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EPA, Tesla team to help environment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will make what it calls "a major fuel economy announcement" Wednesday afternoon at Tesla Motors Inc. headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.

The only thing officials would say Tuesday in an emailed news release to reporters from Silicon Valley was that high gasoline prices and environmental concerns have led to the creation of "greener vehicles" such as the Model S, the first high-end luxury sedan to be built from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld will host a press conference to make the announcement.

The zero-emission Model S, which will be assembled in Fremont, Calif., will be available for sale in mid-2012.

Tesla's goal is to produce a family of electric-powered transportation, from sports cars to mass-market vehicles – with a goal of driving down the cost of electric vehicles. It is the only current U.S. carmaker that mass-produces and sells highway-capable EVs in serial production.

Tesla designs and assembles EVs and EV powertrain components and has delivered more than 1,600 roadsters to customers worldwide.

You can reach's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected]. Follow Hawke on Twitter @HawkeFracassa.