Tesla, the electric car maker in the US is a potential victim of the Trump administration’s proposed rollback of America’s Clean Car Standards.
While this is bad news for the pocketbooks, climate security and clean air, as well as auto sector jobs, and state leadership – it is also bad for electric car makers.
There is little doubt that Tesla’s boss Elon Musk is aware of the dangers of this U-turn on climate change policies.
Musk tried to push for more liquidity for the car maker, trying to bring it into private hands but failed.
The fact about Tesla is that most critics did not point their finger on whether the management is failing and whether the company’s strategy to build its first mass-market car is the wrong strategy.
The point they made is that Tesla needed more cash to complete the orders for the M3 model.
But Musk’s efforts to bring the company private says a lot more than the need for immediate cash.
A leaked draft of the administration recommends flatlining the standards at 2020 levels through 2026, and also includes an attack on states’ long-standing authority to enforce more protective clean car standards.
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) says the proposed rollback is the wrong move for America. It listed four reasons why:
- Bigger gas bills in all fifty states
But Tesla’s vehicles are a win-win solution for Americans, with cleaner air, lower or not gas bills.
With the current Clean Car Standards in place, owners of the model year 2025 cars would see net savings of up to $5,000 over the lifetime of their cars compared to the model year 2020 vehicles, and trucks owners could save up to $8,000, it said.
With Tesla vehicles, the gas-bill will be trounced, saving Americans more money.
But with a U-turn in the environment strategy, electric vehicles may turn out to be more expensive than guzzlers.
- More pollution
The dramatic rollback reportedly recommended by the Trump administration would increase climate-destabilizing pollution by over two billion tons – comparable to the all the climate pollution emitted from 480 million average American cars in a year.
- American jobs and innovation at risk
Strong clean car standards are a key part of a healthy American auto industry because they foster the deployment of innovative solutions.
- State leadership under attack
The proposed rule takes aim at long-standing state authority to enforce tougher standards than those implemented at the federal level.
Over the last half-century, state leadership has played a key role in spurring the development and deployment of clean car solutions like smog-fighting catalytic converters.