Elon Musk couldn’t sell many Teslas without government subsidies, so it’s no surprise he’s putting his mouth (lobbyists) where his money is (our pockets).

Tesla Motors Inc. is pushing for tougher auto-emission regulations even as major carmakers are launching initiatives to water down state and federal mandates to increase fuel economy and the number of zero emission vehicles on U.S. roads.

At an industry conference in Michigan, representatives of the Palo Alto electric auto maker said that California will fall far short of an executive order by Gov. Jerry Brown to have 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2025, and that federal fuel economy targets should be higher.

Tesla estimates that manufacturers need to sell only 600,000 zero emission vehicles in California by 2025 based on the current rules, well below Brown’s goal, because of the arcane way the state regulation is written. They will use banked environmental credits to satisfy the rules, reducing the number of vehicles they are obligated to sell.

Electric cars are not zero emission: they use electricity generated offsite and transmitted via the grid to charging stations.

Out of sight, out of mind to green twits.