The day before Elon Musk fired virtually all of Tesla’s electric vehicle charging division last month, they had high hopes as charging chief Rebecca Tinucci went to meet with the billionaire businessman about the network’s future, four former staffers said.

After Tinucci had cut between 15% and 20% of staffers two weeks earlier, part of much wider layoffs, they believed Musk would affirm plans for a massive expansion of the charging network.

The meeting could not have gone worse.