Detroit’s Big-3 automakers (Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Stellantis) met in Washington D.C. yesterday, to be there when the current administration announced its goal of having half of the vehicles sold in the United States be zero emissions by 2030.
Mark Stewart, Chief Operating Officer of Stellantis North America, was present at the event. With Stewart, was the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 4xe – the best-selling plug-in hybrid (PHEV) in the United States since its launch in March.
During its EV Day 2021 presentation last month, Stellantis announced that it would invest more than €30 billion ($35.6 billion) through 2025 in electrification and software, while continuing to be the automotive efficiency frontrunner, with investment efficiency 30% better than the industry average.
This included the automaker targeting over 40% of sales in the United States to be low-emission vehicles (LEV) by 2030. A move that is far different than today’s numbers, but still under the numbers presented by the White House yesterday. The low-emissions strategy from Stellantis involves mild-hybrid (mHEV), PHEV, fuel cell electric (FCEV), and battery-electric (BEV) alternatives.
The White House announced that it is also introducing greenhouse gas-reduction standards and fuel economy requirements for vehicles, including those in the medium and heavy-duty truck segment to cut pollution through 2026.
During the Trump administration, the former President rolled back the Obama administration’s fuel economy standards from 5% annually to 1.5%. The new administration is expected to follow California’s lead for regulations to be pushed ahead by 3.7% annually through 2026.
It is the administration’s first major effort to use regulation to stem greenhouse gases. According to the administration, federal agencies are creating additional rules targeting things such as methane emissions from oil wells and carbon dioxide released from power plants, something that the Trump administration had relaxed over the last four years.
Surprisingly, one U.S. automaker was absent from the event. According to reports, Tesla was not invited to the event despite being the largest producer of electric vehicles in the country. “Yeah, seems odd that Tesla wasn’t invited,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on social media. Musk then went on to post some funny memes, on several tweets posted from various media outlets.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 5, 2021
The White House went on to explain that it invited manufacturers who were the biggest employers of United Auto Workers (UAW) members. The employees at Tesla-operated plants are not UAW members.
The administration asked Congress earlier this year for $15 billion in spending to build a coast-to-coast network of 500,000 charging stations. This left several private charging companies up in arms about their own investments being undermined by the government. It also left gas station owners questioning their decisions to revamp their stores to adopt electric charging alternatives or to eventually close after demand switches to more electrified options.
Stellantis released an official statement after the event stating, “Our path to offering clean, safe, and affordable mobility is defined by our $35 billion investment in vehicle electrification, which includes four flexible BEV platforms, a scalable family of three electric-drive modules, and solid-state battery development. This activity also serves to echo the Administration’s commitment to [safeguarding] employment for American workers.”