President Donald Trump is expected to announce a rollback of the nation’s strict fuel standards on the back of pressure from many large automakers.
Ever since Trump was elected, car manufacturers have been attempting to convince him that Obama’s fuel-efficiency standards were too strict and that they don’t line up with consumer demand for larger and less fuel-efficient vehicles including pickup trucks and SUVs.
The current rules were signed off by Obama in January and would require automakers meet a target of 54 miles per gallon for vehicle fleets by 2025. Although it is unclear by how much Trump intends on reducing this target by, The New York Times points out they it could lead many companies to scale back their electric vehicle plans.
In a statement last month, the president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers that represents FCA, Ford, GM, BMW, VW, Mercedes, Toyota and more, Mitch Bainwol said “Even under E.P.A.’s optimistic estimates, the automotive industry will have to spend a staggering $200 billion between 2012 and 2025 to comply.”
However, the imminent decision to rollback fuel standards has been met with fierce criticism by environmental groups. They point out that many of the automakers now opposing the standards actually agreed to them in 2012 when fuel prices were higher and consumers were demanding smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles.