We thought you were against government subsidies, Elon.

Pilot Onwards

It looks like Elon Musk is once again conveniently ignoring his purported opposition to government handouts — this time looking to get on the federal dole for infrastructure to support Tesla's electric semi-trucks.

According to emails reviewed by Bloomberg, the electric vehicle maker is asking the government for a cool $97 million to build nine electric charging stations for its forthcoming semi-trucks — currently still in "pilot production" for a handful of clients — as it seeks to create a lengthy charging network running from South Texas to Northern California.

In those emails, Tesla representatives told officials from the US Department of Transportation that the proposed 750-mile network would qualify for grants from the Biden Administration's sweeping bipartisan infrastructure initiative that provides, among other things, companies with tax incentives to build green transit alternatives.

When Bloomberg reached out to the USDOT for comment about the Tesla proposals, a representative said only that the agency is "currently reviewing applications" and will make announcements about them "later this year."

Uncle Sam'd

Interestingly, Tesla didn't undertake this latest appeal for government money alone.

A representative from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, a regulatory agency tasked with improving air quality in Los Angeles, confirmed that it had applied on behalf of the Musk-owned company. That same representative said that Tesla will be putting up $24 million of its own dollars toward the endeavor as well.

While green infrastructure does indeed deserve government stimulus, it's far from the first time a Musk company has asked for money from Uncle Sam — or gotten it, for that matter.

Last year, for instance, California Gov. Gavin Newsom boasted that the Golden State had subsidized Tesla's success, and when the San Francisco Chronicle investigated the claim, it found that it had, to the tune of a whopping $3.2 billion — and that's just on the state level.

Paired with the $15.3 billion SpaceX has gotten from government contracts since 2003, and you've got a major contradiction to Musk's personal disdain for "government-funded" endeavors — but if there wasn't some major point of irony, would it even be a Musk story?

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