Tesla blasts California regulators, other automakers

Tesla's Musk, O'Connell tout EV maker's role in lowered emissions.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk blasted the California Air Resources Board (CARB) this week for what he said were the state's weak zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) sales mandates. That wasn't all. Tesla's vice president of business development, Diarmuid O'Connell, toed the party line by criticizing other automakers for not making more of an attempt to sell plug-in vehicles.

Musk made his comments in Tesla's 2Q earnings call on Wednesday. He called the California Air Resources Board's standards "pathetically low" for administering a system that appears to allow some automakers to skirt zero-emissions vehicle sales minimum, Bloomberg News says. The state is looking to have 15 percent of its new vehicles be zero-emissions by 2025, and Tesla has reaped some benefits from the system by selling ZEV credits because it's exceeded the state mandate. Still, while Tesla earned $57 million in first-quarter zero emissions credits sales this year, the company didn't disclose second-quarter revenue from the credits, but indicated that they dropped substantially.

Meanwhile, O'Connell, speaking at Michigan's Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars this week, saved his ire for other automakers, according to Green Car Reports. He said the other companies were "not even trying" to sell plug-in vehicles, equating some of them to " appliances" for their fully-charged driving ranges. He added that many of the models are priced too high compared to their gas-powered counterparts to generate substantial sales, singling out the Chevrolet Spark EV and the Kia Soul EV as examples.

Earlier this week, Tesla announced its second-quarter loss widened to $293 million from $184 million a year earlier, despite the fact that revenue jumped 33 percent to $1.27 billion. The company added that its production rate was approaching 2,000 vehicles a week, though was "disappointed" with 2Q delivery figures.

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