Just after midnight (ET) on Saturday morning, Musk took to Twitter (where else?) to offer help from his electric vehicle company Tesla, which is based in the state.
“If Tesla can help people in California wildfire, please let us know,” he tweeted. “Model S & X have hospital grade HEPA filters. Maybe helpful for transporting people.”
If Tesla can help people in California wildfire, please let us know. Model S & X have hospital grade HEPA filters. Maybe helpful for transporting people.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 10, 2018
He also reportedly sent out an email to Tesla employees giving them permission to assist in any way they could, and for them to “not worry about payment” according to the memo obtained by Electrek.
“If there’s any way for Tesla to be helpful, please provide assistance and don’t worry about payment,” Musks email reportedly said.
This wouldn’t be the first time Musk has volunteered his or his companies’ services to help a disaster.
In 2017, on Musk’s orders, Tesla shipped its Powerpack and Powerwall batteries to hospitals ravaged by Hurricane Maria. Then in the summer of 2018, Musk attempted to help with efforts to rescue the Thai soccer team that was trapped in a cave for 17 days.
He controversially insisted on building a kid-sized “submarine” and sending it to Thailand to transport them through the treacherous tunnels. While Musk likely had good intentions, his offer ended up being more interference that would land him in hot water with British cave diver Vern Unsworth, who did help rescue the trapped team, and whom he repeatedly accused of being a pedophile.
The question facing Musk is has he really changed his tune? Can he and Tesla really provide actual aid without interfering with the authorities? Or is this yet another marketing ploy to shout out Tesla veiled as an offer of help?
After the episode in Thailand over the summer, some think that Musk’s seemingly always-buzzing noggin is just savvily taking advantage of another unfortunate situation.