The California Air Resources Board and four major automakers have struck a deal to create more eco-friendly, fuel-efficient U.S. cars in the future, despite an attempt by the Trump administration to freeze state fuel efficiency requirements. Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, and BMW of North America all signed on after weeks of closed-door negotiations. California’s top air pollution regulator, Mary D. Nichols, said she sees the agreement as an “olive branch” to the Trump administration. “What we have here is a statement of principles, intended to reach out to the federal government to move them off the track that they seem to be on, and on to a more constructive track,” Nichols said.
The four companies, which represent 30 percent of the American auto market, have agreed to produce fleets of cars that will average about 50 miles per gallon by 2026. In return, California will certify vehicles from the automakers and allow them flexibility in how they meet their yearly greenhouse gas emissions goal. Thirteen states are following in California’s footsteps to create stricter fuel emissions guidelines for the transportation industry, which is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.