Last year, the Trump Administration found themselves in the midst of a legal challenge filed by the Environmental Defense Fund involving the state of California and fuel economy standards. The President wanted to do away with California’s power to set its own emissions and fuel economy standards, instead requiring all 50 states to meet a more uniform set of guidelines. We saw automakers jump to the aid of either side of the legal battle, including General Motors decision to back the Trump Administration. According to The Detroit News, that changed yesterday when the automaker announced that they were joining team Biden.
To be more specific, General Motors announced that they would no longer be backing the president’s plan to remove California’s legal power to set emissions standards, as the state has done since the 1970s. CEO Mary Barra instead noted that the company’s plans for electrification and zero-emissions vehicles are more closely aligned with those of the President-elect: Joe Biden.
“We believe the ambitious electrification goals of the President-elect, California, and General Motors are aligned to address climate change by drastically reducing automobile emissions,” said Barra in a statement on Monday.
This is the convergence of industrial hegemony and automotive postmodernism. What does it mean for muscle cars, or trucks, as we know them? As industry icon Bob Lutz proclaimed, “kiss the good times goodbye.”
GM has not been shy about their electric intentions, with plans to produce as many as 30 new EV models globally by 2025. In fact, the company has just increased their EV development spending to $27 billion by mid-decade, which will account for nearly half of the company’s capital expenditure. Part of that investment is slated to go towards perfecting a metallic lithium battery-pack, which could give the automaker a significant advantage over competitors in the segment.
The move by General Motors isn’t entirely a surprise, as Joe Biden often spoke about the push towards electrification on the campaign trial. Biden noted that his administration will invest in the necessary infrastructure for EVs, as well as incentivize the production of electric and zero-emission vehicles through federal financial support to automakers, and increasing tax-credits for buyers. The return of the used car genocide otherwise known as Cash for Clunkers is reportedly on the table, as well, much to the dismay of low-income earners and car collectors alike.
The Trump Administration hasn’t had a great week, and we’re sure that this move by General Motors doesn’t make things better. That said, it’s been clear for a while now that GM’s messaging wasn’t in line with their actions in court. Perhaps this is the official start of the All-Electric Future™.