GM said Friday it would have 30 electric vehicles by 2025, part of its bigger electric push that until now coincided with a baffling decision to side with the Trump administration on emissions rules, along with Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Subaru and others. Today, GM said it was no longer on Trump’s side.
This is hardly a profile in courage, since Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen were perfectly capable of cutting a deal with California that included tougher emissions regulations than those the Trump administration wanted. GM didn’t cut a deal with California, presumably because it thought that the Trump administration could still be of some use to it.
But then the election happened. Unsurprisingly, GM now says forget about the whole Trump thing. And hello California!
General Motors said on Monday it was reversing course and will no longer back the Trump administration’s effort to bar California from setting its own emissions rules in an ongoing court fight.
GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said in a letter to environmental groups it was “immediately withdrawing from the preemption litigation and inviting other automakers to join us.”
Barra spoke to California Governor Gavin Newsom and said in her letter she believes “the ambitious electrification goals of the president-elect, California, and General Motors are aligned, to address climate change by drastically reducing automobile emissions.”
This is the kind of move that will be described as a “stunning reversal,” but in reality was probably inevitable from the moment it became clear that Joe Biden would be the next president of the United States. Ford had made its rejection of the Trump rules part of an advertising campaign, specifically calling out GM; I now cannot wait to watch as GM and Ford compete to perform environmentalism as much as possible while giving us a bunch of giant EVs.
Anyway, you can bet that Toyota, Subaru, Fiat Chrysler, Mazda, Nissan and Kia, who all supported the Trump administration as well, will eventually follow suit. I’m emailing them and will update this post if I hear back. Here is the early word from Toyota: