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Tesla to argue in favor of keeping strict fuel standards

Tesla to argue in favor of keeping strict fuel standards
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Electric carmaker Tesla will argue this week that regulators should keep tough fuel emissions and mileage standards contested by the auto industry in place, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday night.

“We are about to hear a lot of rhetoric that Americans don’t want to buy electric vehicles,” Diarmuid O’Connell, the company’s vice president of business development, told the newspaper. “From an empirical standpoint, the [regulations] are very weak, eminently achievable and the only thing missing is the will to put compelling products on the road.”

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O’Connell will reportedly make the company’s case to automakers at a Michigan conference on Tuesday.

The standards will call for vehicles to average 54.5 miles-per-gallon by 2025. Tesla will also push back against carmakers who want less-stringent regulations in California.

Tesla will reportedly argue that the companies can meet fuel economy without adding more zero-emission cars to their fleets. It will also say that the companies should be able to meet California’s standards by 2022.

The move comes as more traditional auto companies push for the standards to be reduced or delayed. The companies argue that to meet the standards, they must sell a large number of fuel-efficient cars — something that is harder when gas prices are low. California will take a look at its standards in 2016, and the federal government will review it the next year.

The argument will pit Tesla against other automakers, but a victory could provide a boon to its business.