Elon Musk’s Tesla says new state rule punishes it for doing business in California

The only large-scale car manufacturer in California argues that doing business in the state is hard enough without a fast-developing labor regulation backed by organizations that want to unionize its Fremont plant.

Elon Musk’s Tesla is fighting a rule under development by two state agencies that would require it to be certified as a “fair and responsible workplace” for its customers to be eligible for taxpayer-backed state electric vehicle rebates.

Those rebates are key incentives in Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to put 5 million electric vehicles on California roads by 2030. They take thousands of dollars off the price of buying a new Tesla car, and unions want lawmakers to withhold them from companies they believe have unfair labor practices.

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