GM Agrees to California's Emissions Requirement, Wants Federal Help for EV Adoption

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【Summary】General Motors has changed its tune on California’s emissions requirements that were put into effect in 2019, but requested flexibility from the Biden Administration.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jul 20, 2021 10:15 PM PT
GM Agrees to California's Emissions Requirement, Wants Federal Help for EV Adoption

In 2019, there was a disagreement with a few automakers and California. The state was pushing for stricter emissions regulations and the ability to enforce its own standards. The decision split major automakers, as some decided to enter into a voluntary agreement with the state, while others were quite vocal about their unhappiness with the decision. General Motors was part of the latter group, joining former President Donald Trump in his bid to prevent California from imposing its own emissions regulations. Now that there's a new administration and all automakers are shifting toward EVs, General Motors is ready to change its tune.

GM Changes Its Tune

According to Reuters, GM is now supportive of California's decision to curb emissions. While the American automaker has changed its position on California's decision, it requested some help from the Biden Administration. The outlet claims that GM wants the federal government to make changes to help consumers make the switch to EVs.

Apparently, GM CEO Mary Barra met with Environmental Protection Agency chief Michael Regan before the announcement was made. After the meeting, Barra outlined GM's stance on California's emissions regulations in a letter that Automotive News received. In the letter, Barra requests some flexibility with the timeline.

GM and other automaker's vehicles are out of compliance for 2021 and 2022. Instead of attempting to work on getting current model year vehicles and upcoming cars to be compliant with California's regulations, the automaker is looking toward 2023 as its date to begin working toward compliance. GM would then aggressively ramp up its efforts from 2024 to 2026. These dates aren't flexible enough for Barra, who wants automakers to be able to work toward meeting California's regulations at a later date. The CEO claims that 2027 to 2035 is when automakers should really be focusing on electric cars.

EVs Are Crucial

In the email letter that Automotive News received, Barra states that companies could "comply with higher-level performance standards in the later part of the program through increased sales of pure EV vehicles." Barra, though, did state how important EVs are to future efforts to curb emissions.

"We believe an electric vehicle compliance pathway is a key component to setting the industry on an irreversible path towards a zero-emissions future, which can only be achieved with a tailpipe-free light duty fleet," said Barra's letter.

In July 2019, when California decided to reduce vehicle emissions through the 2026 model year, Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, and Honda entered into voluntary agreements with the state. The agreements included efforts by the automakers to meet a single nationwide emissions standard

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