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Palo Alto, United States
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Climate Lobbying Overview: Tesla has actively and positively engaged on a number of streams of climate legislation globally. The company has supported extensive national climate regulations for the automotive sector including higher GHG emissions standards for road transport in the UK, EU and US and more ambitious ICE phase out dates in the UK, California and New Zealand.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Tesla has generally positive top-line messaging on climate policy. In a September 2021 UK consultation response found via FOI, Tesla appeared to support EU Climate Law and its objective to reach climate neutrality by 2050. It also advocated for GHG emissions reductions in line with the IPCC demanded 1.5°C target in a March 2021 New Zealand consultation response. The company stated its support for the UK’s net-zero 2050 target in a July 2020 regulatory consultation, and advocated for a net-zero target sooner than 2050 in Australia’s Climate Bill (2020) in November 2020. It further communicated broad support for efforts towards increased GHG emissions reductions in a September 2021 US consultation response, where it also advocated for policymakers to increase the level of ambition of government regulation on climate change. In July 2021 comments submitted to the EPA, Tesla also advocated for greater ambition to combat climate change at the state level, and in a February 2022 Guardian media report, supported the EPA's authority to limit CO2 emissions. Additionally, Tesla appears to support the Paris Agreement, having opposed the US’ withdrawal in a joint public letter signed by Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, in December 2019. However, in December 2021, Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, appeared to oppose the US Reconciliation Bill, which includes extensive climate policies, stating in a Reuters interview that "honestly, it might be better if the bill doesn't pass".

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Tesla has supported numerous key climate regulations globally. Tesla is highly supportive of stringent GHG standards for vehicles, supporting moves to strengthen standards in regulatory consultations in the UK (2020), the EU (2021) and New Zealand (2021). This includes advocating for a higher zero-emissions EU 2035 CO2 target for light duty vehicles and a higher 2030 target of 65% in a February 2021 EU consultation response. Prior to this, Tesla supported stronger emissions standards in a November 2020 EU consultation response, including the removal of flexibilities that favour ICE vehicles. In a September 2021 US consultation response, the company expressed strong support for the EPA's higher range GHG emissions standards in the US, as well as advocating for the removal of flexibilities that may weaken the stringency of the standards. It also strongly supported the EPA's proposal to restore California’s authority under the Clean Air Act to enforce its own more ambitious GHG emission standards and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) sales mandate in a July 2021 consultation response. According to a July 2021 Politico tweet, Tesla was also among a group of companies directly advocating to Congress to enact a federal clean energy standard that aims to achieve 100% clean energy by 2035. Additionally, in a November 2021 New Zealand consultation response, Tesla strongly supported higher proposed CO2 targets for light-duty vehicles included in New Zealand's Clean Car Bill.

The company’s CEO, Elon Musk, has consistently publicly advocated for a carbon tax, for example in February 2021 and October 2021 CNBC news reports. In Europe, the company opposed the extension of the EU ETS to road transport in a 2021 regulatory consultation, instead supporting higher CO2 targets. In the United States, Tesla has strongly supported more stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and GHG standards. This includes taking legal action to reinstate higher penalties for automakers that fail to meet US fuel economy standards, as highlighted in a September 2021 Tesla consultation response. It also opposed a petition led by the Alliance for Automotive Innovation to not reduce CAFE fines in a December 2020 consultation response, and in January 2022 took legal action to support the introduction of higher penalties for automakers not meeting US fuel economy standards, according to a Reuters news report.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Tesla is a strong supporter of measures to electrify transportation, and has mostly supported a variety of regulatory initiatives to this effect. In the UK, in both July 2020 and September 2021 consultation responses, the company supported the country’s proposal to move its planned date for the phase-out of the sales of new ICE vehicles (including hybrids) from 2035 to 2030 and supported a UK ZEV mandate. Tesla also strongly supported a phase-out of all non-zero emission heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) in the UK by 2035 regardless of weight category in a September 2021 consultation response.

In the EU, Tesla urged policymakers in a 2021 consultation response to adopt ZEV mandates of 30% by 2025, and 100% by 2030. It also supported specific measures to electrify transport in a November 2020 EU consultation response on the revision of CO2 emissions for cars and vans, and directly advocated to policymakers in an April 2020 consultation response to support binding EU EV charging targets and increased EV charging points for HGVs.

In the United States, Tesla supported bringing forward California's ZEV phase-out date for commercial trucks from 2040 to 2035 in an October 2021 consultation response. In a May 2022 consultation response, Tesla strongly supported California's proposed Advanced Clean Cars II regulation, which would require an increasing percentage of new light-duty EV sales each year until a 100% ZEV mandate in 2035, advocating for increased stringency. In a February 2021 testimony, the company supported the promotion of EV charging infrastructure in Maine, as well as supporting a Maryland tax credit and rebate program for electric vehicles in January 2021 testimony. In its February 2022 New York State Budget testimony, Tesla strongly supported legislation to expand direct-to-consumer sales of ZEVs by manufacturers in the state of New York, which would increase the availability and sales of ZEVs, as well as advocating for a Clean Fuel Standard Programme to accelerate the EV transition. The company also directly advocated to Congress to support the transition to a zero-emissions energy mix, supporting a Federal Clean Energy Standard that would achieve 100% clean energy by 2035, according to a July 2021 Politico Tweet. In the same month, Tesla submitted comments to the EPA strongly supporting its proposal to restore California’s authority under the Clean Air Act to enforce a zero emission vehicle (ZEV) sales mandate. However, in December 2021, Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, stated opposition to Congress approving new electric vehicle subsidies in the Reconciliation Bill, stating "I'm literally saying get rid of all subsidies" in a Reuters interview.

In New Zealand, in a November 2021 consultation response, Telsa strongly supported specific regulatory measures towards the electrification of transportation in the country’s Clean Car Bill, including the Clean Vehicle Discount scheme, a purchase subsidy that would make fuel efficient and electric vehicles more affordable for consumers to buy. It also stated in a March 2021 consultation response that it "strongly supports the Commission’s recommendation for an end date on light vehicles with internal combustion engines entering, being manufactured, or assembled in Aotearoa" in the 2030s.

Industry Association Governance: Tesla does not provide a disclosure of its industry association memberships. The company is a member of a number of industry associations with highly positive climate policy engagement including Advanced Energy Economy, Clean Energy Council, Eurelectric, SmartEN, SolarPower Europe and the Zero Emissions Transport Association.

Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.