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California will no longer buy cars made by automakers aligned with Trump against clean air

The California state government has fired back against the Trump administration’s attempt to destroy the state’s emission regulations and those of ZEV states. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration enacted a directive yesterday which would prevent agencies from buying most gas-powered sedans and any vehicles made by the few automakers siding with Trump’s “EPA”.

Trump’s EPA is rolling back previously agreed-upon stricter emission regulations for the auto industry that would have forced automakers to produce more efficient vehicles, including electric cars.

California and ZEV States

California had already implemented its own stricter regulations, but the Trump administration is seeking to block California from enforcing its own regulations.

It’s going to be a long legal battle, but both sides are not sitting idle in the meantime.

As we previously reported, BMW, Ford, Honda, and VW struck a deal with California, but GM, Toyota, and FCA sided with Trump in an attempt to keep selling more polluting vehicles without being penalized.

Now California is fighting back against those automakers.

Gavin Newsom brings fight to Trump

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration enacted a new directive preventing the state government and state agencies from buying gas-powered vehicles except for public safety vehicles.

It should give a boost to electric vehicle sales for government fleets, but in order to more directly affect the automakers who are fighting the state’s clean air regulations, they are also banning the state government from buying cars from those automakers.

The Sacramento Bee reported:

“The new rules announced Friday also require that starting next year state agencies only buy vehicles from manufacturers that recognize California’s ability to set its own air pollution standards, a power the Trump administration is trying to revoke.”

Newsom commented on the directive in a written statement:

“Car makers that have chosen to be on the wrong side of history will be on the losing end of California’s buying power. In court, and in the marketplace, California is standing up to those who put short-term profits ahead of our health and our future.”

The California government operates a fleet of over 50,000 cars and trucks. BMW, Ford, Volkswagen and Honda have decided to back California.

Electrek’s Take

Obviously, it’s a drop in the bucket since the government fleet is not that big, but I love that they are going directly after the automakers who are siding with Trump. That’s GM, Toyota, FCA, Mazda, and other EV laggards. Even Honda, who did side with California on fuel economy, has lagged on EVs and is a member of Global Automakers, the trade group which is pushing the effort against California.

There’s no excuse for it. These companies aren’t moving fast enough to go electric so regulators need to drag them into the future and they are lobbying against it.

These automakers are currently on the wrong side of history. The crazy part is that they either already know it and if they don’t they will realize it quick. In fact, you could see the California government’s actions as trying to save these laggards by forcing them invest in future electric technologies to meet regulations.

It will be interesting to see if people will remember though. I doubt they will.

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