TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (Bloomberg) -- A Tesla Motors Inc. executive called on rival automakers to put more compelling electric vehicles on the road and said fuel-efficiency standards should be far more stringent.
“You can split the market of EVs into two programs,” Diarmuid O’Connell, vice president of business development, said today during the CAR Management Briefing Seminars.
“Many are compliance programs. Exceptions are Nissan, ourselves and BMW. Most are focused on minimum compliance, lowest common- denominator behavior, and the vehicles reflect that. In some respect, they are appliances, in terms of the way they look.”
Current Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards call for cars to achieve 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Those regulations come under mid-term review in 2017, and Tesla would like to see them strengthened. O’Connell said that if CAFE standards, which began in response to the 1973 oil embargo, had remained on their original trajectory of 4 percent annual improvements, vehicles today would average 75 miles per gallon.
“We’re living in a time of cheap gasoline, but this is probably an ephemeral event,” he said.
The adoption rate for battery electric vehicles has exceeded that of plug-in hybrids, he said.
Tesla makes the all-electric Model S sedan and is introducing the Model X, a crossover SUV, later this quarter. The California-based automaker said it aims to sell 55,000 cars this year.