While Tesla has a commanding lead in the global electric vehicle market, the automaker is dealing with lost production from a plant shutdown in China and parts shortages for its new factories in Texas and Berlin. It also faces growing EV competition from Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Volkswagen, Hyundai and startups such as Rivian and Lucid.
Tesla fans and influencers, including the Whole Mars Catalog blog, with nearly 100,000 followers on Twitter, called on Musk to tone down his comments and focus more on the automaker and less on side projects.
"Elon, I listen to a lot of Tesla shareholders and they are feeling the pain in the market and do not appreciate your political comments," the Whole Mars account said on Twitter on Wednesday. "Many of them are Democrats like you were and take offense to your comments. I wish you would talk more about Tesla and less about this BS."
Whole Mars Catalog, written by several longtime Tesla fans who often interact with Musk on Twitter, also defended the Tesla CEO and accused Democratic politicians of favoring legacy U.S. automakers over Tesla. Musk has complained that Biden has not invited him to EV-themed events at the White House, which hosted leaders from GM and Ford.
Musk's attack on Democrats was welcomed by prominent Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado.
"Welcome to the right side, Elon!" said her Twitter account, with 1.3 million followers. Fox News personality Sean Hannity's Twitter account, with 5.8 million followers, posted a news story on Musk with the headline "Ditching the Donkey."
Some Tesla supporters suggested vehicle sales could be hurt by Musk's political comments, especially in California, where the automaker clocked in at No. 2 in first-quarter registrations — after Toyota — according to Experian. Tesla held 11 percent of registrations in California, the No. 1 car market in the U.S. and a Democratic stronghold.
"Cali is Tesla's most important U.S. market," said a comment from the Twitter account James Cat, a Canadian Tesla fan with nearly 10,000 followers. "Maybe stopping ripping on California in public appearances @elonmusk?"