The White House has told US automakers that it wants them to back a voluntary pledge of at least 40 per cent of new vehicles sales being electric by 2030 as it works to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, sources briefed on the matter said.
The administration is set as early as next week to roll out proposed revisions to vehicle emission standards until 2026.
Sources said a voluntary electric vehicle (EV) target could be as high as 50 per cent but emphasised that no agreement with automakers has been reached and many details remain under discussion, including whether that pledge will include various types of petrol-electric hybrids.
Mr Brian Rothenberg, a spokesman for United Auto Workers (UAW), said a published report “that we have agreed to 40 per cent EVs by 2030” was inaccurate.
“The UAW is still in discussions and has not reached agreement at this point.” The UAW has opposed EV mandates, warning that it could put some jobs at risk.
This month, Stellantis, parent company of Fiat Chrysler, said it was targeting for over 40 per cent of US vehicles to be low emission by 2030. Stellantis declined to comment on Thursday (July 29).
General Motors declined to comment on the talks.
It has said it aspires to end sales of new US petrol-powered light duty vehicles by 2035. The White House declined to comment on the discussions.
Ford Motor did not comment on the discussions but noted that it has said it plans “at least 40 per cent of our global vehicle volume being all-electric by 2030”.
The Biden administration has resisted calls from many Democrats to set a binding target for EV adoption or to follow California in setting 2035 as a date to phase out the sale of new petrol-powered light duty vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency are reviewing former president Donald Trump’s March 2020 rollback of fuel economy standards.
Mr Trump required 1.5 per cent annual increases in efficiency until 2026, well below the 5 per cent yearly boosts set in 2012 by former president Barack Obama’s administration.
US President Joe Biden’s proposed rules, which would cover 2023-2026, are expected to be similar in overall vehicle emission reductions to California’s 2019 deal with some automakers that aims to improve fuel economy 3.7 per cent annually, sources told Reuters.
The 2026 requirements are expected to exceed the Obama-era 5 per cent annual improvements.
In March, a group of 71 Democrats in the US House of Representatives urged Mr Biden to set tough emission rules to ensure that 60 per cent of new passenger cars and trucks sold are zero-emission by 2030.
The United States pledged at a global climate summit this year to reduce emissions by 50 per cent to 52 per cent by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.
In April, a dozen governors from states including California, New York and Massachusetts, urged Mr Biden to endorse banning new passenger petrol-powered vehicle sales by 2035.