Tesla Accuses Australia’s FCAI of Misleading Consumers over Climate Change Policy

Tesla has accused the Australian Federal Chamber of Automotive Industry (FCAI) of misleading consumers over climate change policy. The organization artificially created the impression that maintaining effective changes would increase the cost of purchasing the most popular cars by thousands of dollars.

Tesla accuses the organization—of which it sits on the board and is an active member—of trying to delay action on climate change. FCAI has repeatedly made false statements to the public about the government’s clean vehicle policy, according to The Guardian.

Tesla Australia said the lobby group was conducting a “concerted public campaign” against the government’s plan. Among other things, the FCAI told several media outlets that it could increase the prices of popular cars by up to $13,000, despite knowing that this was not how the system actually worked.

Tesla also said that the FCAI was supposed to represent the views of all its members, but in fact, it was “representing only one section of the industry: those companies who would continue to delay” action to combat the climate crisis. The FCAI’s position contradicts public commitments from several of its members, including Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz, which have said they will stop selling internal combustion engine models in major markets by 2035.

Tesla said that instead of supporting positive change, the FCAI advocates for a political regime that does little to improve the climate situation. Tesla said the FCAI had openly discussed within the organization that it would not cut emissions until 2030.

Tesla estimates that FCAI’s preferred approach would lead to a 25% increase in vehicle emissions between 2024 and 2030. The company submitted its calculations to the FCAI before writing its application, allowing the organization to check its own calculations for accuracy. In response, FCAI wrote: “You are missing the review process.” Tesla took this to mean that the FCAI realized that the model it was advocating for would allow for higher emissions.

“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 its submission.

“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.”

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