Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report CEO Elon Musk sometimes appears to vacillate between mad genius, impish prankster, and Batman villain. He’s a talk first, think about the consequences later Twitter (TWTR) – Get Twitter, Inc. Report presence who has never hesitated to troll people or post things designed to provoke President Joe Biden, the SEC, or anyone else.
Musk’s motives may be hard to understand — sometimes it seems like he has a plan and sometimes it seems like he just wants attention — but he has made his feelings about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine very clear. The outspoken CEO has not only used his social media platform to speak out on behalf of the people of Ukraine, he has also supported them in more tangible ways.
Musk has sent multiple shipments on Starlink internet stations to help Ukrainians stay in touch with the world. He has also quietly sent some Tesla Powerwalls to Ukraine to help the war-torn country.
Tesla Brings Power to Ukraine’s People
While many companies have made donations in Ukraine, Musk’s Tesla has gone above and beyond. It has not only sent its solar-power battery systems to the country, it has also quietly shared a video on how to use them, according to one media report.
“The unlisted YouTube “Mobile Powerwall setup” video discovered by Electrek appears to have been made by Tesla, or at least by someone working alongside the electric automaker. Regardless of the official source, the video should prove very helpful to Ukraine amid these dark times,” InsideEVs reported.
A Tesla Powerwall could potentially power a Starlink internet terminal for multiple days. If you add solar panels — and Tesla provided the hookups to do that — you could have long-term internet connectivity as well as power.
Musk Has Made His Position Very Clear
While a lot of companies — pretty much every major American brand — had suspended operations in Russia, most have done so quietly. McDonald’s (MCD) – Get McDonald’s Corporation Report, for example, has “suspended” its operations in the country, but that’s a move that will reportedly cost the company $50 million a month.
So, while McDonald’s and others have taken steps to not be supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin, they have been much more measured than Musk in their approach. Yes, they’re not doing business in Russia (for now) but they’re playing politician and setting themselves up to return as soon as possible.
Musk has not done that and has cast his support very directly to the people of Ukraine through direct action and by using his very powerful social media voice.
The CEO, however, has also made it clear that he sees this situation as a Putin problem and not something to hold the people of Russia responsible for.
Musk may sometimes come off as unfeeling or at least unthinking when it comes to his social media presence. In this case, he has taken bold action and made real moves on behalf of Ukraine. That’s perhaps not unique among CEOs, but it’s very rare in a world where global companies always keep an eye on their long-term bottom line even while doing the right thing during a global conflict.