General Motors said on Monday it was reversing its stance and will no longer support the Trump administration’s attempts to bar California from setting its own emissions rules in an ongoing court battle.
CEO Mary Barra said in a letter to environmental groups that the automaker was “immediately withdrawing from the preemption litigation and inviting other automakers to join us”.
The about-face came as the automaker sought to work with President-elect Joe Biden, who has made the promotion of electric vehicles (EVs) a top priority. The automaker has laid out an ambitious strategy to increase EV sales and last week said it will increase investment in EVs and autonomous vehicles by 35% from earlier disclosed plans.
The announcement shows corporations in the United States are moving to engage with the incoming Democratic administration.
“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.
The White House and Justice Department refused to comment. Environmental Protection Agency spokesman James Hewitt said of the automaker’s announcement that “it’s always interesting to see the changing positions of U.S. corporations”.
In October 2019, GM joined Toyota Motor, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), and other automakers to support the Trump administration in its bid to bar California from making its own fuel-efficiency rules or zero-emission requirements for automobiles.