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Tesla says other OEMs should just make higher-MPG cars

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CHINA-AUTO-SHOW-ENVIRONMENT-TESLA / Image Credit: JOHANNES EISELE via Getty Images
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Tesla certainly isn't afraid to wade hip-deep into a regulatory fight. Not only is the EV maker routinely battling at the state level for permission to establish its stores, but the company is also challenging changes to California's zero-emissions vehicle mandate. The brand's next clash is to maintain the Environmental Protection Agency's 2025 54.5-mile-per-gallon CAFE fuel economy standard, if not make things even more strict. To no one's surprise, traditional automakers aren't welcoming that idea.

Soon, the EPA will hold a meeting to determine if its economy mandate will be maintained, lowered, or raised. Tesla Vice President of Business Development Diarmuid O'Connell will speak about the company's position at an upcoming conference in Michigan. "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," he said about the government's standard, according to The Wall Street Journal.

With relatively cheap gas and booming popularity for crossovers, automakers counter that buyers just don't want electric vehicles. They also continue to claim that the EPA numbers can't be met on time. "We need consumers to buy them in high volumes to meet the steep climb in fuel-economy standards ahead," a spokesperson for the lobbying group the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said about EVs to The Wall Street Journal.

O'Connell's point about the feasibility of the current EPA standard seems to hold water, though. Last year, an exec at Johnson Controls made a similar argument and even claimed that the numbers could be achieved without relying on EVs. On multiple occasions, the government's regular checks on automakers' progress have shown them to be ahead of schedule of reaching the goal on time.

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