If someone pointed to a Tesla Roadster and said, “That thing is the worse polluter on the road,” most people would take exception to it. Okay, okay, we will concede that the case could be made that the car does pollute, if not out a tailpipe, through the use of the power grid when the battery is charged. Oh, and let’s not forget the pollution associated with manufacturing—you might remember that this is how the Jeep Wrangler got named the greenest vehicle in a British study. However, the government has fined Tesla Motors for non-compliance to the “Clean Air Act.”
You are probably asking yourself right about now how they could possibly be non-compliant. Well, the short answer is a lack of paperwork and bureaucracy. To be compliant with the “Clean Air Act” all vehicle manufacturers must supply the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a “Certificate of Conformity.” Someone at Tesla drop the ball here because now they are on the hook for a $275,000 fine from the EPA. That ain’t chump change—hell it is basically one of the retail prices of their cars. According to their Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Tesla and the EPA “entered into an Administrative Settlement Agreement and Audit Policy Determination in which we agreed to pay a civil administrative penalty in the sum of $275,000."
2011 Tesla Roadster 2.5
Bottom line—we think something is rotten in Denmark…er, well in this case Washington D.C. However, if Tesla just ignored the requirement then shame on them for wasting time and money that could easily go to moving new products forward. On the other hand, the government should be smart enough to wave this fine, as the cars aren’t polluting when they are out on the road. Bet our D.C. politicians can’t say that about their Town Cars.