Aug 22, 2019

The fuel economy stakes of Big Auto's emissions fight with Trump

Data: Rhodium Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

Automotive emissions standards — essentially a proxy for mileage improvements — would rise under an agreement with California by four big automakers, according to an analysis from The Rhodium Group.

What they found: Under the California deal, the group estimates "that fleetwide average rises to 39 to 41 mpg in 2025, and 42 to 45 mpg by 2030." That would be less than Obama-era standards but still higher than under Trump's plan to freeze mileage rules.

  • The analysis assumes that Ford, Honda, BMW and VW — which together represent about a third of the U.S. market — sell cars nationwide that comply with the California deal.

By the numbers: It estimates that the California deal "could reduce emissions by 184 to 266 million metric tons (MMTs) cumulatively from 2021 to 2035 relative to Trump's pending rollback."

  • If all automakers active in U.S. markets signed on, "cumulative reductions would jump to 557 to 807 MMT over the same timeframe."
  • That would be "on par" with the effects of the Obama-era standards.

Go deeper: Trump gets personal in auto emissions fight

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WSJ: Justice Dept. probes carmakers in California emissions deal

Attorney General Bill Barr. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Justice Department (DOJ) has opened an antitrust inquiry into 4 major automakers who recently struck a deal with California to boost emissions standards for their nationwide fleets, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The report, if correct, signals the opening of a new and high-stakes front in the fight between California and the White House over vehicle emissions and mileage rules.

Go deeperArrowSep 6, 2019

Trump moves to block California from setting own auto emissions rules

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The battle between the Trump administration and California over vehicle carbon emissions and mileage is getting hotter.

The latest: Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday that the EPA will revoke California's waiver under the Clean Air Act that enables the state to set CO2 emissions rules that exceed federal standards.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Sep 18, 2019

New twist in the Trump-California auto fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Trump administration could soon move to revoke California's authority to set vehicle pollution rules that are tougher than federal standards, per multiple reports Thursday.

Why it matters: It’s the next phase in the high-stakes battle between the White House and California over carbon emissions and mileage rules and a key part of the wider White House effort to freeze Obama-era standards, rather than allowing them to get significantly tougher through the mid-2020s.

Go deeperArrowSep 6, 2019