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Tesla vehicles are thought to be green, but the company doesn't share its carbon emissions numbers or reduction targets. Why all the secrecy?

Tesla is a tempting choice for consumers who want to go green. But while a big part of the attraction of buying a Tesla is going green, but it’s also about exclusivity. Elon Musk managed to create something to cover. His was the first company dedicated to making electric vehicles. One might wonder, however, if the expensive cars are really green.

A recent study cited by Forbes found that Tesla “is among the 15% of the world’s largest companies, across 14 indices that do not disclose their overall greenhouse-gas emissions.” General Motors and Ford, on the other hand, have been transparent not only about emissions during the manufacturing process, but about their plans in regard to reducing those emissions. If Tesla cares so much about being green, why doesn’t it share with the public its carbon emissions?

Two Pieces of Green Data

Arabesque doesn’t share its findings with the public, but we know that the company uses environmental, social, and governance (ESG) plus sustainability measures as criteria for allocating capital. The asset-management company says that ESG policies offer clues as to the strength of a company’s approach and purpose, as well as its management character. Companies are expected to report two pieces of carbon emissions data:

  1. Company-wide emissions numbers, across all operations.
  2. Projected targets for carbon emissions reduction.

“Green” Tesla Lags Behind Ford and GM

This data, in order to be considered timely and sufficient, must be reported within two years’ time. Apparently, Tesla is failing in this respect, ranking far behind Ford and General Motors, according to Arabesque. Musk isn’t reporting exact numbers. Instead, Tesla uses graphs to illustrate its carbon emissions. The graphs lack detail, and they aren’t timely. Aside from all this, the electric vehicle manufacturer hasn’t shared any carbon emissions targets.

Why is Tesla working so hard to hide this information? Could it be the numbers really aren’t that great in comparison with Ford and GM? Or is it simply that Tesla is more interested in profits than the environment?

The impression we’re left with, regarding Tesla’s commitment to emissions reduction and a greener mode of transport, is not good. At some point, all of this will become widely known to consumers everywhere. They buy Tesla because they care about being green. It is definitely possible that they will turn on Elon Musk, and purchase their electric vehicles from the more transparent Ford and GM. At least they’ll then know if their “green” cars actually match the color of their money.



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