Even though it previously lobbied for regulation changes
Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to roll back Obama-era emissions rules that required automakers to significantly improve average fuel economy by 2025. New standards will be announced in the coming months, but even if they’re significantly less strict than before, don’t expect automakers to stop developing more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Chevrolet, for example, says it plans to continue with its current strategy regardless of what happens in Washington. Speaking to reporters recently, Chevrolet’s head of cars and crossovers, Steve Majoros, said:
The commitments that we’ve made and the statements that we’ve made about our future portfolio remain. You know, we’re very proud of all the things we’ve done from a fuel efficiency standpoint. Whether it’s increased fuel efficiency, you know, stop/start technology, more transmissions, lightweighting, diesels, all the things we’re doing are just one part of a broader commitment that we’ve got. Nothing’s going to change based on that. We’ve got future plans. If you look at things like Equinox, the latest products we’ve brought out, our fuel economy’s going up anywhere from three to five miles (5 to 8 km) per gallon whether it’s highway, city, combined. So we have a number of things in place to make sure that we continue on that journey, and nothing’s going to change fundamentally from that.
Considering that General Motors joined other automakers to lobby for different emissions laws last year, that may sound like a new position. In reality, it’s a little more nuanced than that. The changes GM asked for include receiving a credit for including stop/start systems and no longer having emissions from generating electricity count against EVs. Essentially, GM’s focus has been on the way emissions are calculated, not being able to sell less-efficient vehicles.
When asked to comment further, a GM spokesperson reiterated Majoros’ position. “Regardless of the standards, we remain committed to improving fuel economy, reducing emissions and an all-electric future,” they said. “Our priorities for modernizing the standards are the need for one national set of requirements and the need to comprehend new technology developments and increased shared and autonomous electric vehicles.”