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Tesla wants EPA to finalize tougher vehicle emissions rules

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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Tesla wants the Biden administration to finalize more stringent vehicle emissions limits than those proposed in April by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), putting the automaker at odds with other manufacturers.

The EPA in April proposed 2027-2032 vehicle standards that would cut emissions by 56% and result in an estimated 60% of new vehicles by 2030 being electric and 67% by 2032. Tesla said in comments made public Friday it wants the EPA to adopt a tougher plan that would ensure more than 69% of vehicles in 2032 are EVs.

Tesla added it believes the EPA could require an end to gasoline-powered vehicles as early as 2030 and added there is “sound legal basis for an even more stringent set of standards than EPA’s current proposal.”

Tesla also said it believes the EPA’s “cost assumptions are far too high and are not supported by the record, in that they do not fully consider the documented and projected rapid decline in battery cell and pack costs, as well the significant BEV (battery electric vehicles) range increases achieved through other efficiencies.”

Last week, a trade group representing nearly all major automakers except Tesla urged the EPA soften its proposal, saying it is “neither reasonable nor achievable”.

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota Motor, Hyundai Motor and others, recommended adopting requirements for 40% to 50% (electric, plug-in electric and fuel cell vehicles) in 2030.

Tesla also wants the EPA to make its proposal more stringent by eliminating the credits internal combustion vehicles can receive to meet pollution targets.

Tesla said its internal modeling projects 28% of vehicle sales in 2026 will be zero-emission models and said the EPA’s “modeling significantly underestimates Tesla vehicle sales and projects them out at less 100,000 vehicles per year”.

Tesla said this projection is “inexplicable, unjustified, and needlessly undermines the stringency of the rule … In 2022, Tesla’s U.S. sales already approached 500,000 vehicles.”

Tesla added it had confidentially provided production and sales estimates to EPA.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chris Reese and David Holmes)

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