California wants more electric cars. The Trump administration doesn’t. Automakers are in the hot seat
An intensifying clash between California and Washington over getting cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles on the road has put auto companies in a bind as they contemplate what cars they should be rolling onto showroom floors.
The signals to automakers couldn’t conflict more: California, with the nation’s largest auto market, is stepping up pressure to stay on track with the state’s ambitious climate goals. The Trump administration is moving to free the companies of such obligations and even has threatened to strip California of its power to impose existing requirements within its borders.
At stake: Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to get 5 million electric vehicles onto California’s roads by 2030 as well as the kinds of cars that drivers nationwide will be able to buy over the next decade.
Carmakers are left to gamble on how aggressively to follow California’s blueprint as the Trump administration tries to undermine it.