General Motors is hoping the Trump administration will support a nationwide program to increase sales of zero emissions vehicles (ZEV), despite the government’s proposal to end California’s ability to regulate more clean vehicle use.
ZEV mandate could create jobs, cut fuel use and CO2 emissions
On Friday, General Motors said it hopes the Trump administration will support a nationwide program aimed at increasing the sale of zero emissions vehicles.
GM argues that a national program modelled after California’s efforts to increase the sale of electric vehicles could mean 7 million EVs could be on US roadways by 2030. According to Reuters, GM says the requirements would not apply if “battery cost or infrastructure targets are not practicable within the time frame”.
According to GM, a nationwide plan would allow automakers more flexibility to meet a single target, rather than having to meet individual state requirements.
Mark Reuss, GM product chief, told reporters that governments and industries in Asia and Europe “are working together to enact policies now to hasten the shift to an all-electric future”. He added “It’s very simple: America has the opportunity to lead in the technologies of the future”.
Should the US adopt a nationwide mandate to increase the volume of zero emissions vehicles, Reuss says job numbers would go up, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions would decline and EVs would be more affordable.
The automaker also wants the government program to offer incentives for EV autonomous and ride-sharing vehicles.
In August, the Trump administration proposed reversing the Obama administration’s fuel rules and freezing standards at 2020 model year levels through to 2026. The Trump government is also looking to bar California from being able to set its own emissions requirements or legislate the use of more zero emissions vehicles.
As well, the federal government is considering cutting all emission compliance credits that car makers in the US receive for building electric vehicles.
The Trump administration argues that California’s ZEV mandate requires carmakers to spend tens of billions of dollars developing vehicles that most consumers do not want, leaving automakers to sell the EVs at a loss.
Reuters says neither Trump administration nor California officials responded for comment. Meanwhile, Luke Tonachel, director of clean vehicles and fuels at the National Resources Defense Council told the news agency that carmakers should continue to focus on Obama era rules that require increases in fuel efficiency to be about 5 per cent annually through 2026.
The deadline for automakers and other to file comments on the Trump administration’s proposed emissions revisions is Friday. Most automakers are not in support of freezing requirements.
California is calling for 15.4 per cent of vehicle sales to be EVs or other zero emissions vehicles by 2025 and in January, Governor Jerry Brown set a target of 5 million zero emissions vehicles to be in California by 2030.
Nine other states, including Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York have also adopted California’s 2025 plans.
This time last year, General Motors pledged to offer 20 EVs in the global market by 2023.
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