Bloomberg reported on Monday the new standards will include an end to state’s waivers to not follow federal regulations, which will affect California’s current right to set its own emission laws via the California Air Resources Board. In addition, the revision may also freeze fuel-economy standards at 2020 levels, 35 mpg. Under the Obama administration, plans are currently in place to grow fuel-economy standards to 50 mpg across an automaker’s fleet by 2025.
California’s waiver has also allowed the state to mandate a number of electric cars sold in the state, which has given way to “compliance cars” from numerous automakers. The state’s rules are more stringent than the federal government’s and a dozen other states have opted to follow CARB regulations. Colorado will join California’s rules in the near future.
Automakers initially rallied around the thought of a fuel-economy and emissions regulation rollback, but have quickly come to the current rule’s defense. Now, numerous automakers fear regulatory uncertainty could prove more costly than the rules as they stand. And global automakers have already begun tweaking vehicle portfolios to match new regulations in China and Europe. GM has already said relaxed regulations won’t shift its strategy.
On the political side of things, the regulatory rollback could amount to a major legal battle over states’ rights. Automakers will have to eventually choose a side.