For the automotive industry to thrive, we need to get our federal vehicle policies right. When we do, we'll not only cut air pollution and make serious inroads on the climate threat, we'll also be able to increase investments in U.S. manufacturing, create jobs and lead the global automotive industry.
With the Trump administration's enactment of less-stringent national clean-car standards, a deal between the clean-car states and five major automakers on tailpipe emissions, California's goal of achieving 100 percent zero-emission new-vehicle sales by 2035 and President-elect Joe Biden's promise to focus on advancing electric vehicles and spend billions to upgrade and expand the nation's charging infrastructure — where, exactly, can we find common ground?
CALSTART just completed its third biennial survey of automotive suppliers, and the findings provide some guidance that policymakers should consider.
Consistent with past surveys, an overwhelming number of suppliers, 81 percent, agreed that more ambitious national clean-car standards tend to encourage more innovation and investment in the U.S. If nothing else, this point needs to be heard loud and clear in policymaking circles.
Compared with the surveys we conducted in 2016 and 2018, our 2020 survey of auto suppliers indicates a clear, steady and inevitable shift toward a zero-emission, all-electric future, which may even be more bullish than the automakers' vision.