Tesla to depart Australian auto lobby amid false claims row

Firm accuses FCAI of misrepresenting impact of new emissions legislation

Tesla to depart Australian auto lobby amid false claims row
The FCAI has repeatedly made false claims about vehicle efficiency standards, Tesla says

Elon Musk-led EV maker Tesla has announced it will leave Australia's biggest automotive industry lobby, citing allegedly false claims made by the body about Tesla's emissions standards and vehicles prices.

Tesla accused the FCAI of misrepresenting the impact of Australia's recent New Vehicle Emissions Standards legislation on penalties and discounts incurred by certain Tesla models in an open letter.

As a result, the firm announced it will leave the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) and is resigning from its board.

"The FCAI has repeatedly made claims about vehicle efficiency standards that are demonstrably false. We cannot stand by that," says Sam McLean, Senior Manager for Business Development and Policy at Tesla Australia.

Tesla says that a news story titled How Australia's top 20 cars will fare under proposed new emissions" featured false claims made by the FCAI about the upcoming price changes for Tesla EVs.

Tesla claims that the industry body making "blanket claims" about how car companies might respond to new legislation risks creating the impression of anti-competitive behaviour.

In addition, the FCAI's misinterprets the NVES legislation when saying that each vehicle model which pollutes over the proposed threshold will be charged a penalty of $100 / gram of CO2 emitted, according to Tesla. In fact, it is the average emissions across an OEM's range that will be measured against the threshold, the firm says.

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Tesla notes that if consumers believe the FCAI’s "false claims" that electric vehicles are about to reduce in price by as much as 25pc next year, "many will conclude they should avoid purchasing one now."

"Such impending price changes would also have immediate commercial implications for current EV owners, including fleet operators for whom residual vehicle values are very material," the statement adds.

Tesla has demanded a public correction be made by the FCAI about the claims.

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