Ford Motor Company

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.

Trump gets personal in auto emissions fight

President Trump with GM CEO Mary Barra in 2017 at a auto factory
President Trump with GM CEO Mary Barra in 2017. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

A move by at least 4 big automakers to cut a separate deal with California on nationwide emissions standards clearly has President Trump's attention on Twitter.

"Henry Ford would be very disappointed if he saw his modern-day descendants wanting to build a much more expensive car, that is far less safe and doesn't work as well, because execs don't want to fight California regulators."

Why it matters: The tweets represent an escalation in the battle over one of the most far-reaching Obama-era climate efforts. They come as major automakers are weighing whether to join Ford, Honda, VW and BMW in the pact with California.