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Tesla reveals carbon emissions – but ‘work still to be done’

The electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla has revealed its impact on the environment for the first time, releasing a report that quantifies its carbon emissions.

Publishing its first ever sustainability report, the EV giant said it is responsible, both directly and indirectly, for releasing 282,000 metric tonnes of carbon each year across its products, operations and supply chain.

Tesla has said that the report, based on 2017 data, will now be used to set specific targets to drive down its carbon footprint in individual products.

While the company has announced its plans to run 100% of its operations on renewable energy, it has not yet outlined a target date for achieving this.

Tesla said in its report: ‘While the everyday use of Tesla products by consumers has by far the biggest environmental impact, we also care deeply about operating our business and manufacturing our products in a sustainable way.’

‘Tesla has expanded its global manufacturing, charging, sales and service footprint rapidly in recent years. Keeping track of our various operational impacts allows us to implement efficiency improvements that simultaneously reduce our impact on the environment and lower operational costs.’

Tesla is the world’s biggest selling manufacturer of plug-in passenger cars. Image: Jakub Orisek, Pixabay

Tesla’s report judges the company’s sustainability largely on the lower environmental impact of its products, which include all-electric vehicles and energy generation and storage products, compared to rival options.

For example, Tesla said that the 550,000 EVs it has sold to date have been driven over 10 billion miles, thereby saving over four billion metric tonnes of CO2 compared to vehicles with internal combustion engines.

The company’s Supercharger network has also delivered over 595 gigawatt-hours (GWhs) of energy, saving over 75 million gallons of gasoline, it added.

However, the report failed to provide information on Tesla’s environmental impact in other areas such as water use and waste levels, or to set specific targets relating to these.

‘By design, Tesla’s products are sustainable, and we’re working hard to build them in a sustainable way too,’ Tesla added.

‘As we grow and prove to the world that a business rooted in sustainability can also be successful, we will continue to improve our processes and report on our progress in future Impact Reports.’

Tesla has rapidly gained influence as a big player in the automotive industry with the company set to benefit further from a global move towards electric vehicle use.

Tesla was the world’s biggest selling plug-in passenger car manufacturer in 2018 as it delivered over 240,000 units, while the Tesla Model 3 was the world’s top-selling plug in car.

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