General Motors Co said on Tuesday it backed establishing tougher federal emissions standards to help ensure at least 50% of new vehicles sold by 2030 are zero-emission.
The largest U.S. automaker and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) released a series of joint recommendations to boost electric vehicles as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develops proposed requirements from the 2027 model year through at least 2030.
GM and the EDF said the new EPA standards "should help to ensure at least 50% of new vehicles sold by 2030 are zero-emissions vehicles and consistent with eliminating tailpipe pollution from new passenger vehicles by 2035."
Some other environmental groups have raised concerns that the California Air Resource Board (CARB) could ease some emissions requirements for GM and other automakers that did not join a voluntary California emissions deal in 2019.
Asked Tuesday how automakers should comply with near-term requirements, CARB Chair Liane Randolph said it was for companies to determine "the most appropriate strategy to figure out how to take as much early action as possible."
CARB's new executive officer, Steve Cliff, said last week that he met with GM Chief Executive Mary Barra in Detroit.
In December, the EPA finalized new light-duty tailpipe emissions requirements through the 2026 model year that reversed former President Donald Trump's rollback of car pollution cuts.
"General Motors has the ultimate goal of eliminating tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035," Barra said.
President Joe Biden wants 50% of all new vehicles sold in 2030 to be EV or plug-in hybrid models, but has not endorsed California's regulation adopted last month to phase out new gas-only-powered light-duty vehicles by 2035.
In March 2020, Trump's Republican administration rolled back standards set by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, to require only 1.5% annual increases in efficiency through 2026. The Obama rule required 5% annual increases.