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Tesla Quits from Australia’s Auto Lobby, Citing Misleading Claims on Fuel Efficiency Standards

Sydney, March 07, 2024, The Europe Today: Tesla announced its decision to withdraw from Australia’s Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) on Thursday, expressing concerns over the group’s alleged dissemination of misleading information regarding the government’s proposed fuel efficiency standards and their potential impact on car prices. In a formal letter addressed to the FCAI, Tesla accused the major auto lobby of repeatedly making claims that are “demonstrably false.”

The U.S. electric vehicle market leader further asserted that it deems it inappropriate for the FCAI to influence or coordinate how competitor brands implement price changes in response to environmental regulations. Tesla has taken the step of requesting the intervention of Australia’s competition regulator to investigate the FCAI’s comments.

The FCAI, comprised of top leaders from major car brands, has not immediately responded to Tesla’s accusations. However, Tesla has communicated its intention to cease its membership with the FCAI in June.

Until recently, Australia had been one of the few developed countries, alongside Russia, without established or developing fuel efficiency standards. The current Australian government, led by the centre-left Labor party since 2022, aims to introduce a fuel efficiency model to limit the average carbon emissions of new vehicles sold starting from next year. This initiative could potentially increase the importation of electric vehicles (EVs) and align the country with standards adopted in most developed economies.

The FCAI, in a statement on Wednesday, criticized the government’s decision to impose what it called “extremely aggressive targets and severe penalties” for fuel efficiency standards, effective from January 1, 2025. The industry body expressed concerns about potential disruptions, reduced choices, and higher prices for consumers.

As Australia grapples with the introduction of fuel efficiency standards, Tesla’s withdrawal from the FCAI signals growing tensions within the automotive industry regarding the adoption of environmental regulations and the transition to electric vehicles.