Although General Motors touts its vision of zero crashes, zero congestion, and zero emissions, a group of investors believes the automaker isn’t actually working to improve fuel economy requirements for the future.
The Detroit Free Press reported Friday that 18 major GM investors sent a letter to the automaker and demanded the company toughen up on fuel economy standards. They called on GM to work with California and the federal government to find a solution to the brewing fuel economy and emissions battle with the Trump administration.
Currently, EPA standards will see corporate average fuel economy levels jump to 36 mpg come 2025, or 10 mpg higher than current levels. However, the Trump administration proposed freezing levels at 2020 standards to keep cars more affordable. California, which has a waiver to set its own stricter standards, could create two fuel economy standards for automakers to follow.
GM has previously called for one national fuel economy standard to streamline business operations. The automaker has also said it does not support the Trump administration’s fuel economy freeze, but also wants the flexibility to respond to consumers’ needs. The market has, in the past decade, shifted away from small cars, which tend to be more fuel efficient, toward trucks and SUVs.
However, investors believe GM’s proposed plan would actually weaken fuel economy and emissions standards compared to the plan already in place, filed at the end of the Obama administration. Investors added GM has publicly called for action on climate change, though continues to lobby against stronger standards at the federal level. The concerned investors manage $1.96 trillion worth of GM stock.
The current national program, barring any changes from the Trump administration, would boost fuel economy up to 5 percent per year. The plan GM has put forth, based on California standards today, would only improve fuel efficiency by about 1.4 percent instead.
Source: The Detroit Free Press