Tesla Spent ~$370,000 Lobbying Federal Government In Last Three Years, $0 In Three Years Prior


Pennies really, when compared to what some automakers spend.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has long insisted that Tesla needs no subsidies to survive, provided that subsidies for Big Oil vanish too, but that doesn’t mean that the automaker spends no money lobbying for subsidies.

Quoting Musk from a recent earnings call:

“And I should perhaps touch again on this whole notion of—it’s almost like over the years there’s been all these sort of irritating articles like Tesla survives because of government subsidies and tax credits. It drives me crazy. Here’s what those fools don’t realize. If Tesla is not alone in the car industry, but all those things would be material if we were the only car company in existence. We are not. There are many car companies. What matters is whether we have a relative advantage in the market.”

Public records show that Tesla has spent approximately $370,000 lobbying the federal government of the U.S. over the past three years. The figure has steadily grown from $0 in 2012, 2013 and 2014, to less than $40,000 in 2015, followed by more than $150,000 in the two most recent years.

It’s really just a few pennies here and a few there though.

Here’s a look at where the money has gone in 2017 (other years can be found at source link below), according to Open Secrets:

Source: Open Secrets

Categories: Tesla


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16 Comments on "Tesla Spent ~$370,000 Lobbying Federal Government In Last Three Years, $0 In Three Years Prior"

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Gotta pay to play…

“but that doesn’t mean that the automaker spends no money lobbying for subsidies”

How do we know Tesla lobbied for subsidies?


More likely lobbying around rules.

Like autonomous cars rules, replacing side mirrors with cameras, mandatory noise makers for electric cars.

Direct sales vs mandatory franchised dealerships.

That was my thought too. It is a pity that with this assertion, Eric continues the (false) narrative that Tesla is only about subsidies.

Or maybe he knows more than we do.



The issue is not how much they spent but rather, why they have to do any kind of lobbying in the first place? Isn’t by definition a true capitalist market open with no barriers?

Absurd. The article presents not the slightest shred of evidence that Tesla is lobbying for (or against) subsidies.

Since it has been previously reported that Tesla lobbied (unsuccessfully) to allow use of cameras to replace side mirrors, we know that not all of the money Tesla has spent on lobbying has gone to support more subsidies for Tesla. In fact, it may be that none of the money has been spent on that, despite what this article claims.

I wonder how much Toyota spent.

Toyota spend $5,378,000 in direct lobbying last year, but it also a known member and contributor to the automotive trade lobbyist organization “Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers” who spent and additional $7,452,500 to directly lobby in 2016, and also runs various spin-off’s, such as a PAC to elect politicians that is not required to disclose contributors, etc.

Toyota is also rumored to be associated (provide financial support) to a number of other PAC’s through third-party indirect donations, like the Alamo PAC, House Conservatives Fund, and Keep the Senate Red 2016. But they obfuscate those actions by having those funds do a 2-hop through an intermediary so they do not have to directly disclose those activities.

They just need one of Trump’s “Ethics Waiver” thingies, and voila..

Regardless of the company all lobbying is usually for their best interest against that of others and generally the consumers. As a result any company doing lobbying, and let’s be fair most of the big ones do it to some degree, is at least somewhat evil.

Name one that doesn’t…you said most so i want to hear which don’t. It’s a republican gov so I expect more lobbying from Tesla just to be left alone.

You’re the one with seeming unlimited time on their hands.

If you have a question, go answer it yourself 😀

I have no idea which big company doesn’t lobby. I am sure there is at least one, not like it actually matters though. Even if they all do it, doing something bad like lobbying doesn’t make it alright.

I mean if everyone killed someone that wouldn’t make it right..

Come on man, i’m at work…i can’t just sit around and post on the internet.

Here are the details on the issues that Tesla lobbied on (duplicates indicate multiple disclosures of activity through different lobbyists organizations hired by Tesla): 1) Discussions regarding electric vehicle manufacturing and sales policies and regulation 2) Discussions regarding issues impacting EV manufacturers regarding autonomous drive vehicles 3) Discussions regarding solar energy policy 4) Discussions regarding Sec. 30D electric vehicle tax credit 5) Sec. 48 and 25D solar investment tax credits 6) Storage tax credit 7) Energy storage policy. 8) Energy storage and vehicle tax credits. 9) Electric vehicle policy. 10) electric vehicle tax credit 11) autonomous vehicle regulation 12) Introductions to Members of Congress; Issues impacting EV manufacturers regarding autonomous drive vehicles (no bill number); Discussions with Members of Congress concerning 30D EV tax credit (no bill number). 13) Discussions with Members of Congress concerning 30D EV tax credit (no bill number). 14) Issues related to the 30D EV tax credit. 15) Issues related to EV manufacturers regarding autonomous drive vehicles. 16) Issues related to EV manufacturers regarding autonomous drive vehicles. 17) Legislative and regulatory issues related to solar energy. The vast majority of their lobbying was to the US Congress, with one disclosure of lobbying for “Energy storage policy.”… Read more »

Very sad this is legal and accepted in our society.