GM turns on Trump, now supports California’s strict emission regulations

General Motors said it reversed completely on Monday and no longer supports President Donald Trump’s plan to stop California from setting its own automotive emissions standards.

In September 2019, the White House moved to revoke the authority the Obama administration gave California to set tougher CO2 guidelines. The California Air Resource Board (CARB) adhered to much stricter standards than those implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency, leading to a huge increase in electric vehicle sales over the decade.

The divided auto industry saw Ford and BMW among California with automakers. GM, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and others supported the Trump administration, arguing for the need for uniform national clean car standards.

Now, though, GM has changed its side, its near-face coincides not only with its plan to increase its battery-car investment, but also with the White House reaffirming the handing over of a new administration that would offer clean energy and Too much for hard auto emissions. Standards.

In a letter sent to environmental groups on Monday, GM CEO Mary Bara said the automaker was “immediately withdrawing from prior emissions litigation and inviting other automakers to come with us.”

In a statement sent to NBC News, Toyota said, “Given the changing circumstances, we are assessing the situation, but are committed to our goal of a consistent, unitary set of fuel economy standards applicable across all 50 states.” “

Other manufacturers joining the “Alliance for Sustainable Automotive Regulation” have not yet responded to requests for comment.

It is unclear what impact GM’s move will have on the ongoing litigation. California is joined by 22 other states that have adopted their Clean Car Guidelines, along with several environmental groups. The Trump administration is also locked in a court battle over plans to roll back Obama-era corporate average fuel economy standards.

Although the White House and Justice Department remain silent on GM’s announcement so far, EPA spokesman James Hewitt told Reuters that, “It’s always interesting to see the changing positions of American corporations.”

GM officials declined to comment on the specific timing and rationale for the company’s turn, but several factors are at play out.

For one thing, Barra has ordered the automaker to accelerate his moves, which he often refers to as “a path to an all-electric future”. In recent months, the company has unveiled an assortment of new battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, including the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, Cadillac Lyriq SUV and GMC Hummer Pickup. Last week, GM announced that it was increasing spending on EVs and autonomous vehicles by 35 percent over earlier, mid-decade plans.

GM’s announcement on California’s mandate was also made on the day the White House formally elected everyone, but formally accepted the 2020 presidential election, approving the transition process for the presidential election.

The former vice president under Barack Obama has promised to impose a premium on clean and renewable energy, including battery-electric vehicles. In GM’s statement released on Monday, Barra said, “We believe the presidential-elect, California and General Motors’ ambitious electrification goals have been revised to address climate change by a drastic reduction in automobile emissions. Could. “

GM has organized one of the most aggressive electrification programs in the industry, with plans to bring “20 or more” BEVs to market by 2023, and also through the rest of the decade.

California is moving in that direction. While it has not called for a outright ban of vehicles using internal combustion vehicles – something happening in many foreign markets – the state wants to start phasing out gas and diesel trucks over the next 15 years. And the guidelines the Trump administration hoped to block would promote rapid BEV growth in the passenger car market, as well.

California is the largest US market for new vehicles, representing about 11 percent of annual sales. Adding to other states that have adopted its tougher standards comes to more than a third of the US volume.

In September Gavin Newsom said the state would take steps to ban the sale of new passenger cars using internal combustion engines by 2035. CARB had already planned to roll out gas and diesel trucks starting in the mid-decade in a phased manner.

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