Tesla says Aussie car lobby group is attempting to delay climate action

(Credit: Tesla)

Tesla says an Australian automotive industry lobby group is attempting to delay climate action by making false claims about the government’s clean car policy.

The EV maker reportedly said that the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the main auto industry lobby group in Australia, is actually attempting to increase emissions by 2030, instead of reducing them, by using a variety of falsehoods to mislead the public.

Tesla is a part of the FCAI, holding a board seat, and is an active lobby group member.

However, a report from The Guardian states that Tesla is claiming the FCAI is running a “concerted public campaign” against the government’s clean car policy by aligning with automakers who want to delay action on the climate crisis.

The FCAI has several members that have ambitious climate goals, including Ford, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar Land Rover. Each of these companies have stated they will eliminate ICE production and sales in 2035.

Tesla said in a submission to the government that the FCAI’s job was to represent the views of its members, but instead, it accused the group of only aligning with those who wished to delay action against the climate crisis.

The report states that Tesla also openly discussed within the FCAI that the lobby group would not cut emissions prior to 2030.

The company also said the FCAI planned to increase vehicle emissions by 25 percent between 2024 and 2030. Before writing the submission, Tesla said the calculation was mentioned to the FCAI and asked if it had “missed anything.” The FCAI said that Tesla did not mention the review process.

According to the report, Tesla interpreted this as the FCAI was ready to allow emissions to increase by 2030. However, details could be changed down the road.

“The FCAI knew that its targets would actually allow carmakers to increase emissions because of enormous loopholes that create hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles that only exist on paper,” Tesla said in the submission, which was seen by The Guardian.

“Tesla is both a member of the FCAI and represented on its board, so it’s important that Tesla makes clear its disagreement with the submission made by the FCAI to this review, and with false claims it has made in the public discussion of vehicle standards,” the company also wrote.

The FCAI said in response to Tesla’s submission that wants to continue supporting automakers and their goals to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles.

Tesla’s submission also included several claims that the FCAI made false statements that dealt with pricing of its vehicles and had used misleading emissions figures with vehicles.

Tesla claims the FCAI said the company would reduce prices of “two popular EV models,” likely the Model 3 and Model Y, by $15,000. Tesla called this “a nonsensical claim.”

Additionally, it said it based emissions calculations that it gave various media outlets on the most polluting type of the country’s most popular vehicles:

“For example, when looking at the Ford Ranger it chose only its most polluting variant, the Raptor, which emits 262 grams of CO2 per kilometre. But the government’s Green Vehicle Guide last year listed 42 variants of Ranger, including 20 that emitted less than 200g/km.”

Tesla also said the FCAI misrepresented how a new efficiency standard would work, stating that differences in the emissions limit and how much a vehicle actually omitted would result in a raised sticker price. Instead, the penalties would not apply to cars on an individual basis. They would apply to the companies who make the cars.

Tesla says Aussie car lobby group is attempting to delay climate action
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