Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Pressured to Make Its Cars More Environment-Friendly

Tesla century city

Even as it pushes for increased environmental responsibility, electric car producer Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is being urged by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to do away with leather seats in its cars.

Two Tesla shareholders Mark Peters and Elizabeth Peters proposed that the firm do away with animal sourced materials in its luxury electric cars by 2019. The second proposal called for Tesla to become the pioneering cruelty-free premium car brand. The concepts were given due attention and well received by those present. However, both proposals were rejected by a big margin when put to a vote. But that may not be the end of the matter. At the stockholders meet, a representative for PETA lobbied for other shareholders to ensure Teslas are “vegan” as far as the car’s interiors are concerned.

Tesla’s board of directors requested shareholders to turn down the twin proposals concerning “cruelty-free materials”. According to the board exploring alternatives has the potential to delay or hamper the company posting annual growth rates of 50%. However, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk after hearing out Peta representative’s speech indicated he may be amenable to the issue. Currently, Tesla provides cloth seats as the norm with leather interiors optional. However, Tesla still uses leather for trim items such as the steering wheel.

Mark Peters, who was one of the proposers, contended that breeding cattle to obtain leather goes against Tesla’s stated objective of minimizing greenhouse emissions. The argument is certainly well founded as cows emit significant quantities of methane into the earth’s atmosphere. Also, Tesla Motors has not been singled out by PETA to eliminate cow hide from their car interiors. PETA has lobbied for other carmakers as well as other industries to avoid activities and procurement that involve or cause cruelty to animals. Incidentally, PETA is a Tesla shareholder who shares the electric car makers’ goal of environmental responsibility.

In a statement to USA today, PETA’s Anne Kellogg said that the organization requests firms in a plethora of industries to minimize their carbon footprint by utilizing solely vegan leather. Also, they advocate all firms including car makers to utilize only innovative high-tech interiors.

Khobi Brooklyn, a Tesla corporate spokeswoman, defended Tesla saying it already offers vegan options to interested customers. Those against the leather in their cars have the choice of Multi-pattern seats that come with a synthetic leather trim as well as the option to order a vegan steering wheel.

Sources: stuff.co.nz, motrolix.com