Polestar leaves Australian car lobby group following Tesla

Following Tesla, Polestar has also left Australia’s Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) as disagreements with the automotive lobby group worsen. The group is not fulfilling its responsibilities and is harming the development of electric vehicles in the country.

Polestar has joined Tesla in its exit from Australia’s biggest auto industry body. The Texas manufacturer left the group earlier this week amid a deliberate campaign to slow Australians’ transition to electric vehicles and ease new pollution restrictions. On Friday, Volvo-backed Polestar also left FCAI. The company criticized the association’s recent commentary claiming that the Albana government’s proposed fuel emissions rules for new cars would have significant consequences, including significant increases in car prices for consumers.

“The FCAI’s commentary… does not represent the position of Polestar and may have irrevocably damaged consumer perception and trust in the proposed policy,” said Samantha Johnson, the head of Polestar Australia, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

“The brand cannot in good faith continue to allow its membership fees to fund a campaign designed to deliberately slow the car industry’s contribution to Australia’s emissions reduction potential.”

After years of inaction, the Albana government is developing a “fuel efficiency standard”. Its goal is to limit the average emissions of automakers’ entire fleet of vehicles sold each year from January 1st. However, in its message to the government this week, the FCAI slammed the proposed five-year time frame for achieving the targets, which it said was too stringent. The group said the plan in its current form would significantly increase the prices of new cars. In addition, some manufacturers will consider limiting their offerings in Australia or leaving the country entirely, according to the statement.

Albana’s government has rejected the group’s claims. It said there was no evidence that fuel efficiency standards raise consumer prices elsewhere in the world, but on the contrary lower fuel and maintenance costs for more efficient and cleaner models could save motorists an estimated $1,000 per vehicle on average every year.

In the letter, Polestar wrote: “When the FCAI commits to representing all voices in the automotive industry fairly, Polestar will consider returning as a full member.”

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