GM breaks with Trump administration and calls for nationwide electric-car sales program

Two of the biggest automakers are pushing back on the Trump administration’s proposed rollback of U.S. fuel-economy standards.

In filings due Friday, General Motors Co. planned to propose that, rather than oppose California’s so-called zero-emission vehicle sales mandate, federal regulators should embrace a nationwide electric-car sales program starting in 2021. Honda Motor Co., meanwhile, took exception to President Trump’s proposed freeze on mileage standards and called for steadily increasing requirements to continue.

The responses, to be proposed in formal comments to regulators, mark one of the clearest signs yet of the auto industry’s misgivings about the proposal to cap federal fuel-economy requirements in 2020 and unwind California’s power to set its own automobile fuel-efficiency standards and its zero-emission vehicle mandate.

“We know that we can do better” than the Trump proposal, Mark Reuss, GM’s executive vice president of global product development, told reporters in advance of the deadline. “We know that the industry can do better than that.”

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