Global Automakers

Driving the Conversation on the Evolution of the Auto Industry

Regulatory Reality Check: Why Customers Matter

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Sep
26
2016
by: John Bozzella, President and CEO

Today we submitted our initial analysis of a Draft Technical Assessment Report written by federal and California government agencies who will regulate light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel economy standards for model years 2022-2025. This is the beginning of a critical reality check to see if this program is feasible.

In 2009 and again in 2012, the auto industry, federal government, and State of California committed to a unified program for fuel economy and GHG emissions.  The goals of this program are very important and we support them.  I will leave it to you to read through the document and the details of our preliminary analysis. But I want to emphasize a few points...

  • If every American went out today and purchased a hybrid or electric vehicle – and nothing but hybrids and electric vehicles– meeting or beating the aggressive standards proposed by the regulators would be no big deal.  But it’s not that simple.
     
  • Achieving our fuel economy and GHG emissions targets is not just about engineering, it is also about economics and politics.  There are more highly efficient vehicles on the market today than ever. Though framed as “one program,” the reality is that we have two, or actually three, different regulatory schemes that manufacturers have to comply with.  That creates inefficiencies and inconsistencies that needlessly waste resources and drive us to high-cost and high-price solutions.  
     
  • We ought to be doing everything we can to encourage, support and reward innovation.  This includes developing infrastructure to support electric and hydrogen vehicles and providing customers with incentives for the new advanced-tech cars and trucks that will be required to meet these extremely challenging requirements.  As we look to 2025 and beyond, we need to expand our options and choices. If we get locked into a discussion of what the number should be – we may miss opportunities that provide more effective and faster paths to our goals.  

For our part, we are ready and eager to have these discussions. We, meaning automakers, regulators, and lawmakers, need to work together to get this right.  And the key to getting it right is to be sure we reconcile our policy goals with what the customer wants and needs and what the consumer can afford.

 

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