General Motors wants federal regulators in the U.S. to embrace a nationwide electric-car sales program similar to California’s zero-emission vehicle sales mandate.
GM’s push stands in stark contrast to the Trump administration wanting to end California’s EV sales mandate and represents a clear move from the auto industry to push back on Trump’s proposal to cap fuel-economy requirements in 2020.
Bloomberg reports that a nationwide EV sales program could put up to 7 million long-range EVs on U.S. roads by 2030 and subsequently save 375 million tons of carbon dioxide.
In August, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommended keeping federal fuel economy requirements at 37 miles per gallon (6.4 lt/100 km) from 2020 through 2026. Under rules introduced by the Obama administration, fuel economy requirements were to rise to roughly 47 mpg (5.0 lt/100 km) by 2020. The agencies assert that these alterations can reduce societal costs by as much as $500 billion and reduce highway deaths by as many as 1,000 a year.
Numerous car manufacturers announced their support to Trump’s plan to relax these fuel economy rules, but now some say the proposals are too aggressive. According to GM executive vice president of global product development, Mark Reuss, the new rules could force manufacturers to build vehicles specially for California and the 12 states with the same standards, and another range of vehicles for the rest of the country.
It is reported that U.S. and California officials are holding talks about whether uniform EV standards can be introduced nationwide. GM also hopes that the government will enhance the existing $7,500 federal tax credit for EV buyers. Given that a Republican Senator is moving to eliminate federal incentives altogether and instead tax EVs, we’d say that this doesn’t look likely.
General Motors stands to benefit greatly from nationwide EV sales requirements as it is in the process of readying a range of electric vehicles.