California's zero-emissions vehicle requirements are spreading.
Something is happening at the state level that the federal government most likely will fight against. Last week, the state of California cut a deal with Ford, BMW, Honda, and Volkswagen on a single set of fuel economy regulations. This completely bypasses what the Trump administration wants: a single set of federal mileage and emissions standards. California and the White House had been negotiating for months to make a deal, which has since proven futile. California's decision also thrusts the issue of states' rights front and center.
And now Colorado has joined that debate. Reuters reports Colorado has just reached a deal with major automakers to adopt California's zero-emissions vehicle requirements, which take effect starting in the 2023 model year. General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, and Hyundai made the deal with Colorado on a program that begins with 2023 model-year vehicles. These manufacturers will be required to build and deliver a certain number of zero-emission vehicles.
The agreement also allows automakers to earn credits for selling electric vehicles in the two model years prior as well as other "transitional credits" available in other states. "This agreement will ensure that Coloradans have access to the range of clean car choices that are increasingly available to consumers in other states," said Colorado Transportation Department Executive Director Shoshana Lew. Ever since the Trump administration made it clear it wants to roll back Obama-era environmental regulations, California has vowed to fight. A total of 18 states have said they plan to fight the Trump administration's goal to weaken the regulations.
And now two of them have taken matters into their own hands. "All of this was made possible by the fact that Colorado has one of the highest adoption rates of electric vehicles in the country as well as the largest electric vehicle incentives for consumers to buy or lease a ZEV," said the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers.
But don't think the White House, along with the NHTSA and EPA have any intention to back down. "The Trump Administration believes strongly in a national fuel standard that promotes safer, cleaner, and more affordable vehicles. The Federal government, not a single state, should set this standard," a White House spokesperson told Bloomberg. "We are moving forward to finalize a rule for the benefit of all Americans." This debate is far from over.