General Motors has issued a proposal that openly defies the Trump administration’s attempt to water down emission regulations. GM demands to issue an ultimatum for the USA to reach an electric car proportion of 25% for new vehicles by 2030.
GM’s NZEV programme (National Zero Emissions Vehicle) stands in a clear response to president Trumps rollback of the Obama era gas mileage rules, and takes inspiration from California’s far reaching climate goals.
Mark Reuss, executive vice president and president, Global Product Group and Cadillac appeals to U.S politicians directly when saying, “we believe in a policy approach that better promotes U.S. innovation and starts a much-needed national discussion on electric vehicle development and deployment in this country. A National Zero Emissions Program will drive the scale and infrastructure investments needed to allow the U.S. to lead the way to a zero emissions future.”
GM’s programme thus asks for quota, which would work similarly to the ZEV Credits from California and several other states. If the programme were adopted, GM estimates that more than 7 million long-distance EVs would be on U.S. roads by 2030, saving about 375 million tonnes of CO2 between 2021 and 2030.
Specifically, GM’s demands for the government include the establishment of ZEV requirements by credits for automobile manufacturers, starting with a 7% quota for new vehicles, which will increase by 2% each year, culminating in the above-mentioned 25% in 2030.
To help this measure happen, a Zero Emissions Task Force would be established, which would “promote complementary policies”. A crediting system based on the current ZEV programme with credits per vehicle assigned based on range is planned as well as “averaging, banking and trading”.
GM also adds that the commercial viability of batteries needs too be established and sufficient infrastructure installed. Moreover, the proposed programme here introduces an intermediate goal for 2025. By then a commercially viable EV battery cell availability means a cost of $70/kWh, for GM.
This last target is particularly ambitious and GM does leave a back door as it specifies the potential termination of the scheme: “Programme terminates when 25 percent target is met, or based on a determination that the battery cost or infrastructure targets are not practicable within the timeframe.”
Additional consideration should also be given to autonomous vehicles and ride-share programmes, although GM does not specify how exactly this would happen, and whether this consideration should be spearheaded by public or private resources in their statement.
However, the demands are in line with recent developments at the Detroit manufacturer such as the Chevy Bolt EV and the investment in autonomous driving with their subsidiary GM Cruise. And Mark Reuss, GM’s executive VP of global product development added some incentive for even the most conservative lawmakers to see value in the e-mobility business saying that a scheme such as this “will move the U.S. to a leadership position on electrification, a position that will help create jobs and encourage innovation, improve the environment, and make EVs more affordable for more customers.”