STORY: Elon Musk has surprised markets, and the auto industry, by scrapping the unit responsible for Tesla's charging network.

The move was confirmed by two former executives, and multiple posts on LinkedIn.

It sees the Supercharger team entirely disbanded as part of wider layoffs.

There was no comment on the reports from the firm.

Posting on X, Musk would only say that the Supercharger system would continue to expand, but at a slower pace.

His move blindsided firms that work with the network.

The boss of one supplier said his team woke up to a "sharp kick in the pants".

It also rattled General Motors and Ford, which are equipping their cars with connectors that allow use of the Tesla charging network.

GM said it would monitor the situation, but wasn't changing its plans for now at least.

It all comes after Tesla reported falling profits and a move to shed some 10% of its workforce.

The EV pioneer is grappling with falling sales, mounting competition and a price war.

Musk has said he's now more focused on AI, robotics and robotaxis, than regular cars.

Some analysts think he could even sell the Supercharger network to raise cash for other ventures.

Others just saw a signal that Tesla is deadly serious about cutting costs.