Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen have reached an agreement with the California Air Resources Board to implement tougher fleet wide fuel economy standards by 2026, going against the Trump administration’s plan to freeze the regulations.
The deal aims to increase the average fuel economy of automakers’ new vehicle fleets to just under 50 mpg by 2026. The Trump administration previously indicated that it would aim for a fleet wide average of 37 MPG 2026, a goal that it sees as more realistic for automakers and also good for business, requiring less investment.
This new deal between California and the four automakers will only come into effect if the Trump administration follows through on its plan to re-write the current, Obama-era fuel economy roadmap.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he expects more automakers apart from Honda, Ford, BMW and VW to sign on in the next little while as well.
Newsom also laid praise upon the four companies for signing onto the deal, saying they exercised “significant leadership” and that they deserve “enormous credit,” for doing so.
The automakers released a joint statement after signing the deal, saying they are looking for a 50-state fuel economy agreement and want to avoid having two sets of regulations for California and the rest of the country. “A 50-state solution has always been our preferred path forward and we understand that any deal involves compromise,” the statement said.
General Motors is not taking a stance on the matter just yet, however, and says it is looking forward to working with the federal government and the state of California to hash out a permanent, 50-state solution.
“We are driving toward a future of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion,” GM said. “As we have stated, the pathway includes continuously improving fuel economy and our commitment to an all-electric future. Our focus remains on working with all parties on a solution that would involve a 50-state solution and a national electric vehicle program,” said GM spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said.
For now, more uncertainty seems to be on the horizon for the automakers, with future fuel economy regulations set to hang in the midst amid court proceedings and political hand-wringing between Washington D.C. and California.