GM Wants Trump to Back Nationwide Fuel Economy Standards

GM Wants Trump to Back Nationwide Fuel Economy Standards

The 2018 Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid.

I can be a cynical creature, so when GM asked President Trump to do something wildly out-of-character for him, I cocked an eyebrow. General Motors wants the Chief Executive to back a nationwide program aimed at boosting sales of zero emission vehicles (ZEV).

Paging Captain Obvious – Trump hasn’t been overly receptive to the “green” agenda. Just recently, the President moved to freeze Obama-era CAFE standards, locking in the 2020 fuel economy standards through 2026.

Obama’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, enacted in 2012, set a 39 MPG target by 2020 and 50 MPG in 2025. Trump wants to halt the mandate at 2020 levels.

Meanwhile, GM wants Trump to back a nationwide version of California’s program – extrapolating it nationwide could put 7 million EVs on U.S. roads by 2030.

“America has the opportunity to lead in the technologies of the future,” said GM product chief Mark Reuss.

Here’s the problem – Trump not only wants to freeze existing CAFÉ standards, but he’s also proposed barring California’s ability to set their own emissions requirements.

For his part, Trump claims the higher CAFÉ standards would force automakers to spend billions complying with a law for vehicles consumers don’t want. Ultimately, large corporations don’t foot that bill. We do.

The most desirable trait of any product is ‘value’, and for many, that means a cheaper price tag.

GM claims a nationwide ZEV program would eliminate piecemeal state requirements. But any comprehensive CAFÉ standard, state or federal, would likely raise prices.

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