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Tesla and EV companies join fight against Trump admin over California’s clean air program

Tesla and other EV companies have joined the fight against the Trump administration’s effort to prevent California from implementing its own clean air program.

Trump’s administration 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, which have also been adopted by other states, 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.

California is fighting back against those automakers by preventing the state government from buying vehicles from them.

Tesla, Rivian, and more joining the fight

The National Coalition for Advanced Transportation (NCAT), which includes Tesla, Rivian Automotive, ChargePoint, and several other EV-related companies, has filed a lawsuit against NHTSA.

They wrote in the lawsuit (via Bloomberg):

NHTSA’s purported elimination of state authority through the Preemption Regulation adversely affects the marketplace for transportation electrification and deployment of advanced vehicle technologies across the country —undermining business opportunities for utilities, manufacturers, and infrastructure companies.

Tesla has often complained that California’s emission standards and ZEV mandate are actually too weak, but NHTSA’s effort would make them even weaker.

Here’s the lawsuit in full:

[scribd id=435780765 key=key-glyJ6wEKWvkydLmdJWuX mode=scroll]

Electrek’s Take

Come on, Trump administration. Give this one up already. You are on the wrong side of this. The few automakers you are trying to help out here are just trying to buy some time.

They know they will have to make EVs relatively soon, and these weaker regulations you are trying to force on California are only going to buy them a few years at best.

It will be a long and useless legal battle.

I bet that by the end of it, EV momentum will have become way more important than regulations.

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