With President Donald Trump’s administration planning to roll back fuel economy rules in ways that will almost certainly end in federal courts, four of the world’s largest automakers have voluntarily agreed to adopt tougher California emissions regulations.
Ford, Honda, BMW of North America, and Volkswagen Group of America agreed to annually reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions through the 2026 model year and accelerate the transition to electric vehicles (EVs). Most importantly for the automakers, this sets a single standard that they can reach rather than having two national standards. California has long held a waiver from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), allowing it to set stricter emissions rules than the national standards, and 13 other states follow the California standards. Trump’s planned rollback of Obama-era fuel economy standards would also cancel California’s waiver – the point most likely to lead to lawsuits.
“California, a coalition of states, and these automakers are leading the way on smart policies that make the air cleaner and safer for us all,” says California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Automakers have appealed to the White House and California to collaborate on a single national standard. Earlier this year, a coalition of 24 governors representing more than half the U.S. population also urged a stronger, national clean car standard.
The California framework maintains Obama-era rules, giving automakers until 2026 instead of 2025 to reach efficiency targets. https://ww2.arb.ca.gov; https://www.honda.com; https://corporate.ford.com; https://www.vw.com; https://www.bmwusa.com