"The violations are frequent, recurring, and can negatively affect public health and the environment."

Smogging Gun

In an awkward turn, an environmental group has slapped Tesla with a lawsuit this week, CNBC reports, for spewing pollution from its factory in Fremont, California and violating the Clean Air Act.

Despite Tesla touting that its factories are conscious about limiting waste, the California nonprofit group Environmental Democracy Project alleges in its lawsuit that the electric vehicle company has disregarded the Clean Air Act "hundreds of times since January 2021, emitting harmful pollution into the neighborhoods surrounding the Factory," as reported by CNBC.

The litigants say the pollution has continued to this day, with the factory spewing "excess amounts of air pollution, including nitrogen oxides, arsenic, cadmium, and other harmful chemicals."

This comes on the heels of the local air pollution control agency, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, announcing that it's seeking to stop Tesla from releasing more pollutants into the community — and dinging it for some 112 notices of violation since 2019.

"Each of these violations can emit as much as 750 pounds of illegal air pollution, according to some estimates," the agency wrote in a statement earlier this month. "The violations are frequent, recurring, and can negatively affect public health and the environment."

Factory Hazard

The Tesla factory in California isn't the only one facing criticism. In Germany, hardline environmental activists recently breached the barriers around a factory just outside Berlin and tried to storm the plant, upset that Tesla felled more than 200 acres of trees.

"Companies like Tesla are there to save the car industry, they’re not there to save the climate," one anti-Tesla activist in Germany told a Wired reporter.

This is a persistent criticism against Tesla and other electric vehicles that aim to save the environment and make a profit selling a product: are they really that green?

After all, the manufacture of an electric battery takes up an enormous amount of fossil fuels and requires the mining of lithium, cobalt and other minerals.

However, life cycle analysis of electric vehicles versus one that runs on fossil fuels shows that EVs win the race on lifetime emission output.

But that doesn't excuse the pollution allegations at Tesla factories, which have also earned scorn in California for hazardous waste violations.

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