Tesla and Polestar quit Australian auto lobby in protest

Close up shot of shiny red Tesla EV in garage (polestar)
Image: Shutterstock

Electric vehicle makers Tesla and Polestar have quit Australia’s major auto lobby and resigned from its board in protest over the group’s campaign against tougher standards.

Related article: Aussie suburbs overtake inner-city areas on EV uptake

To get more electric vehicles (EVs) on the road and cut emissions, the Australian Government has proposed vehicle efficiency standards that will penalise car makers who import emissions-intensive vehicless and reward those who bring in cleaner ones.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has said the government’s preferred option would raise prices and limit options.

Polestar Australia said the lobby group’s commentary against the proposed regulations had “irrevocably damaged” public trust in the policy.

In a letter to the FCAI, Polestar said delaying or making the standards less stringent would keep Australia a dumping ground for old technology vehicles and force the emissions burden elsewhere in the economy.

“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,” Polestar Australia head Samantha Johnson said in the letter.

Tesla quit the FCAI on Thursday and resigned from its board, accusing it of making false claims about the proposed standards and their effect on car prices.

The FCAI responded saying it could not support a standard that met the needs of the owners of premium vehicles while leaving others with fewer choices and higher prices.

The Australian Government opened consultation on the standards in February, and also released a “preferred model” for the new standards.

Related article: Labor’s fuel-efficiency standards may settle the ute dispute—but there are still hazards on the road

Until recently, Australia was the only developed country apart from Russia without fuel efficiency standards.

Previous articleAussie suburbs overtake inner-city areas on EV uptake
Next articleHorizon reminds farmers to work safely near electricity