Two Days after the Elections, US Automakers Plea Trump to Ease the Push for EVs

2017 Chevrolet Bolt 1 photo
Photo: Chevrolet
This would almost be funny if it weren't actually sad. So all that talk from car companies who said that electric vehicles were important, they are needed to save the planet, blah blah blah, was just window dressing.
During the Obama administration, all American manufacturers seemed to agree that they need to introduce some kind of electrification in their range of vehicles - at least on a declarative level. It turns out that was not out of conviction, but simply because the rules told them so.

Nobody's naive enough to believe that a hugely profitable business like that of making cars would willingly start investing in alternative propulsion systems as long as there was still plenty of fossil fuel to go around. That would take billions of dollars, and that's billions of dollars out of the pockets of those who control these companies.

That's precisely why just two days after Donald Trump was elected the new president of the United States of America, a group of carmakers called the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers sent a letter to Trump's White House transition team asking for a revision of the current fuel economy and greenhouse rules set for 2025, Automotive News reports.

In the current form, the companies need to provide a fleet average of more than 50 mpg nine years from now, and the best way to achieve this is to offer a number of EVs to off balance the thirstier large pickup trucks and SUVs. But the automakers are citing the development costs for alternative powertrains in such a short timeframe are just too high.

Considering Trump's stance on global warming and all things environment-related, the letter has every chance of succeeding. That means the EV development for US brands could significantly slow down, but the real question is whether that would truly be in their favor? With people more and more interested in electric cars all over the world, can the American manufacturers afford to be left behind? Or do they simply want to be allowed to make the transition at their own pace, without an ax hanging over their heads?

If the summary of the mentioned letter is to be believed, the latter appears to be the case: "The future of mobility is bright and offers the long-term promise of great manufacturing jobs and mobility that increases national productivity while generating significantly improved safety and environmental outcomes. We live at a moment where technology and change are swamping the regulatory capacity to manage our emerging reality. Reform is imperative.

The question at the end of the day is what kind of reform? There will be those who argue against change and for a traditional regulatory paradigm that in effect slows down the march of technology. And there may be those who argue that public policy should stay out of the way.
Neither of these choices is our view. We believe that to maximize consumer acceptance of new mobility patterns and opportunities, the public and private sectors must work in a more coordinated and cooperative fashion. It is in that spirit, and with a commitment to keeping cars safe, clean and affordable for Americans, that we offer these recommendations and our pledge to work with you to achieve the great social outcomes that are within grasp."
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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