General Motors has officially gone on record that it wants to force the market into electrification through a new mandate by proposing a National Zero Emissions Vehicle (NZEV) program. The framework of the program aims to “support a 50-state solution, promote the success of the U.S. automotive industry and preserve U.S. industrial leadership for years to come.”
The automaker has been the most vocal out of any of them when it comes to zero emissions, signified by the “Zero, Zero, Zero” marching orders. Never mind that Continental tried that first. Below are the official program elements outlined by GM:
Establish ZEV requirements (by credits) each year, starting at 7 percent in 2021 and increasing 2 percent each year to 15 percent by 2025, then 25 percent by 2030.
Use of a crediting system modeled on the current ZEV program: credits per vehicle, based on EV range, as well as averaging, banking and trading.
Requirements after 2025 linked to path toward commercially viable EV battery cell availability at a cost of $70/kWh and adequate EV infrastructure development.
Establishment of a Zero Emissions Task Force to promote complementary policies.
Program terminates when 25 percent target is met, or based on a determination that the battery cost or infrastructure targets are not practicable within the timeframe.
Additional consideration for EVs deployed as autonomous vehicles and in rideshare programs.
In terms of context, General Motors has invested aggressively into electrification, and other zero emission ventures such as fuel cell technology. However, market headwinds consisting of minimal EV adoption rate, shrinking auto sales, and unsustainable vehicle pricing have piled up as a heaping scoop of risk for the automaker, and it could be speculated as to the reason why General Motors stock is currently trading below its IPO price from 2010. This zero-emissions mandate set forth can be seen as a lobbying effort to protect GM’s mounting investments into this space, sprinkled in with heaping spoonfuls of sweet social currency.
That said, a zero-emissions mandate in the United States would fit nicely between the aggressive emissions legislation put forth by both China an various Western European nations. The ZEV mandates would at least create a uniform blueprint for automakers to follow in these developed markets. GM leaders have also openly endorsed forced electrification in these markets, as well.
Proposing a zero-emissions mandate could also be seen as General Motors pandering to its future product rollout, as designated by its ZEV requirements timeline between 2021 and 2030, as it plans to introduce 20 new all-electric vehicles globally by 2023. Automakers who haven’t invested as aggressively in the zero emissions space ahead of time would then be penalized. But not GM – because not only did it begin investments early, but also schemed up regulations to protect them.