General Motors CEO Mary Barra took to the USA Today op-ed page Friday to advocate for a national zero-emission vehicle strategy — NZEV, for short. The automaker is calling for the ZEV program already in effect in California and nine other states to become law across the United States, thus making it mandatory for OEMs to field a certain number of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, or pay a price.
Were the proposal to became the law of the land, you can only imagine the reaction from Ford’s rival in Auburn Hills.
Compared to the rest of the United States, California is on the bleeding edge of government-appointed environmentalism. When the Trump administration suggested reexamining Obama-era fuel economy and emissions standards, The Golden State was the first to complain, saying it would not be adjusting its goals just because the rest of the country may. It also has pretty serious mandate on zero-emission vehicles — one that forces 15 percent of all new vehicles sold in the state to use zero-emission powertrains by 2025.
While California isn’t alone — nine other states have followed its lead since Trump took office — it is the keystone star on America’s flag pushing to maintain expand fuel regulations. Automakers have noticed and, despite previously having agreed with President Obama’s emission standards several years back, they’re launching a counter-offensive.
Arguing before a U.S. House panel, the Association of Global Automakers complained that California’s ZEV mandate threatens a single national standard for fuel economy.
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