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National Electric Car Plan by GM to Spur Investments


General Motors announced a proposal to start a nationwide program called National Electric Car Plan. This plan, in response to the rollback fuel economy requirements of the Trump administration, involves the placement of a more significant number of electric vehicles on the roads.

California’s Zero Emission Vehicle program inspired GM’s National Electric Car Plan. The organization believes that a policy approach needs to have US innovation and to initiate a national discussion on the development of electric vehicles and the country.

In their proposal, the law requires to sell a certain percentage of zero-emissions vehicles, usually electric powered type. An alternative will require automakers to pay credits to other companies making such cars.

The proper implementation of Trump’s proposal will virtually undo the Obama administration’s rollback fuel requirements since carbon dioxide mainly contributes to global warming. By doing so, there will be a halt on the fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions standards at 2020 levels.

With GM’s vision of putting more than 7 million long-range electric cards by 2030, GM envisions that the National Electric Car Plan will spur infrastructural investment – like electric charging stations – and create jobs for the citizens.

Concerning business, GM projects that this plan will provide the company with a competitive advantage over most automakers. The company has a head start since investing in the creation of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Chevrolet Volt plug-in vehicles. Additionally, the company expressed its commitment to launch 20 emission-free units by 2023, including cars run by hydrogen fuel cell.

In 2021 under GM’s National Electric Car plan, the zero-emissions percentage of vehicles sold by automakers should amount to 7%. This requirement would increase annually, becoming 15% by 2025 and 25% by 2030. Carmakers would have partial credit for cars that run emissions-free part of the time, like Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.

For automakers that do not meet the quota for the zero-emissions vehicle, they can opt to buy credits from companies that are able.

The auto fuel economy and emissions rule were rallied to and from between California and the Obama administration. For a long time, California has a vested right to set its own emissions rules. Other densely populated states follow the state’s decision on the rules.

With Trump’s proposal in August, he plans to take away “California’s waiver.” Consequently, this move will cause lengthy court fights.

Although GM’s plan will help the US become more in line with Europe and China markets, the Union of Concerned Scientists expressed skepticism regarding the proposal. The Union reasons that this plan will undercut California’s current, more aggressive standards. In California, electric vehicles make up 6% of the current market while GM’s envisioned goals will represent only less than 5% of the new vehicle sales in 2025.

With all these taken in account, GM will have to exert more efforts in persuading the different parties involved before this plan comes to reality.