Automakers prep for stronger mileage standards under Biden
DETROIT (AP) — Now that it's clear Joe Biden soon will be president, the fight over automobile pollution and fuel efficiency standards is likely to peter out, and U.S. consumers should see a broader selection of electric and efficient vehicles.
But just how wide those choices will be and when they will come depends a lot on how negotiations go between the new administration and a fractured industry.
At a board meeting earlier this week, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a big industry trade association, recognized that change is coming. Alliance CEO John Bozzella said automakers are committed to working with the Biden administration, which will renew the fight against climate change and likely will undo gas mileage rollbacks under President Donald Trump.
The Trump rollbacks were supported by at least a dozen auto companies, many of which are having trouble meeting pollution and efficiency standards set when Barack Obama was president. Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru, Isuzu, Suzuki, Maserati, McLaren, Aston-Martin and Ferrari all joined the Trump administration in a court battles over the standards and California's authority to set its own, more stringent requirements.
Five companies — Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, Honda and Volvo — backed California, and last week General Motors switched sides and joined them. Most automakers want one national standard so they don't have to build two versions of each vehicle.
Sometime after Biden takes office Jan. 20, there will be efforts to reach a deal that all sides can live with. Here's what experts say is the likely outcome for new vehicle buyers:
Under Trump's standards, automakers would have to show 1.5% fuel economy increases from model years 2022 through 2025, far less than the...