Electric vehicles are being used to drive the clean-energy economy in California, and some of the state’s largest utilities are violating the state Clean Power plan, a federal watchdog said Friday.
In a letter to Tesla, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) said the electric vehicle maker has a “disproportionately high” share of its total electricity demand, and that the company “does not meet the minimum requirements” for a clean-coal or electric-vehicle standard.
“Tesla has not met the Clean Power Program requirements in any of its major markets for electricity generation and generation of electricity,” CPUC Administrator David Teague said in a statement.
“The company is not meeting the Clean Air Act requirement to generate zero carbon electricity in any market where it operates.”
The CPUC letter came a day after Tesla, which had been touted as the clean alternative to fossil fuels, announced a new fuel option for its Model S sedan, the Model X, with a $35,000 tax credit to encourage customers to buy it.
Tesla said it would offer customers a $5,000 discount on their Model X vehicle and $2,500 discount on the Model S. The tax credit will apply to purchases made in the state of California and will be extended through June 2020.
Tesla also plans to offer the new Model X with a 30-mile range, an electric-only battery pack, a new “supercharger” that will connect Tesla customers to a network of charging stations, and a larger battery pack that can support up to 100 miles of driving.
California Governor Jerry Brown said he would take action to reduce the state energy dependency on fossil fuels and that “the governor’s office will review the findings and recommendations of the Commission.”
Tesla announced it would invest $300 million in a battery research facility in the United States and to invest $250 million in batteries in China.
The company said in its earnings release that it expects to increase its battery production capacity by more than 100% in the next two years and expects to produce up to 7.7 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity by 2025.
Tesla said the company is investing $3 billion in electric vehicle research and development.