Elon Musk asked to ‘turn off’ Teslas in Russia as he makes superchargers free for people fleeing Ukraine

Entrepreneur is one of just 22 Twitter accounts followed by Kremlin

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Wednesday 02 March 2022 19:04
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Elon Musk has been asked to “turn off” Teslas in Russia as he has made superchargers free for people fleeing Ukraine in electric vehicles.

The entrepreneur was inundated with requests from his Twitter followers to shut down his company’s electric vehicles in the country as Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine continues.

Mr Musk’s Twitter account is just one of 22 that is followed by the Kremlin’s own official account on the social media platform.

“Dear Elon Musk, can you deactivate all Teslas in Russia, please?” one Twitter user asked him.

And another user added: “(Elon Musk) maybe it’s time to disable all Teslas in Russia and Belarus?”

Meanwhile, Tesla owners fleeing Ukraine can use the company’s superchargers for free in four cities near the borders of Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, according to Electrek.

Elon Musk pauses and looks down as he speaks during a press conference at SpaceX's Starbase facility near Boca Chica Village in South Texas on February 10, 2022

Tesla and non-Tesla electric vehicles can use the chargers without any cost in Trzebownisko, Poland; Košice, Slovakia; Miskolc, Hungary; and Debrecen, Hungary, an email to owners in the region stated.

Ukraine reportedly has around 30,000 electric cars on its roads, while the United Nations Refugee Agency estimates that around 660,000 refugees have fled the fighting in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.

The Independent is unable to reach out to Tesla for comment as Elon Musk shut down the company’s public relations department.

Last week Mr Musk announced that SpaceX’s Starlink satellites, which beam the internet down from space, were active over Ukraine after a request from the embattled country’s leadership to replace iservices destroyed by the Russian attack.

The invasion had left parts of the country being without internet, while SpaceX has launched thousands of communications satellites to bring broadband to hard to reach areas of the world. “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route,” the entrepreneur tweeted on Saturday.

The move came after Ukraine’s vice prime minister urged Mr Musk to help them out, as the SpaceX system does not require any fibre-optic cables.

Users on the ground access the broadband signals beamed back to earth using a kit sold by SpaceX.

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