GM announced it will recognize California’s authority to set vehicle emission standards under...

GM announced it will recognize California’s authority to set vehicle emission standards under the Clean Air Act. State agencies will now be able to purchase vehicles like the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt, pictured here.

Photo: GM

California fleet managers can purchase General Motors vehicles for their fleets, after the automaker announced it is recognizing California’s authority to set vehicle emission standards under the Clean Air Act. State agencies can only purchase vehicles from OEMs that recognize the California Air Resources Board (CARB)'s authority to set greenhouse gas and zero-emission vehicle standards, and which have committed to continuing stringent emissions reduction goals for their vehicles. Public safety specialty performance vehicles are exempt from the mandate.

GM reported that California has agreed to add GM to the OEM list for fleet vehicle purchases, including for the automaker's future electric vehicles. At the time the law was enacted two years ago, two other major OEMs did not recognize California’s vehicle emission standards: Stellantis and Toyota. A Department of General Services spokesperson confirmed to us that is still the case today. OEMs that are CARB-aligned include BMW, Ford, Honda, Tesla, Volkswagen, and Volvo.

GM’s vice president and head of global public policy Omar Vargas sent a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday, announcing the company is committed to emissions reductions that are aligned with the California Air Resources Board’s targets.

A GM spokesperson said the company is accelerating the rollout of zero-emission vehicles (ZEV), consistent with California’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and federal ZEV targets, and to developing plans to ensure ZEV affordability in disadvantaged and low-income communities.

“GM is proud to share California’s vision of an all-electric future with zero emissions,” said Vargas. “We believe everyone should have access to affordable, long-range electric vehicle options, and we are committed to working in collaboration with California to achieve an equitable transportation future.”

Newsom released a statement in response to the move. “GM is joining California in our fight for clean air and emission reduction as part of the company's pursuit of a zero-emissions future. This agreement will help accelerate California's nation-leading commitment to tackling the climate crisis,” Newsom said.

GM has laid out its plan to be carbon neutral by 2040 in global products and operations and plans to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new vehicles by 2035. The company is investing more than $35 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles through 2025 and will launch 30 EVs in that timeframe.

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