Donald Trump has been wielding his presidential powers to exact his will in a number of industries, including the automotive landscape. One issue that particularly impacts cars is the rollback of environmental standards, such as CAFE. Some people worry we’re going to roll right back into the days of wonton gas guzzling.
Thanks to California, that probably won’t happen.
Depending on how you view things, California is either a hero or villain in this story. CARB recently voted to keep the current set of emission standard, which steadily steps up requirements all the way to the 2025 model year.
Have you been wondering why automakers are planning more hybrids and EV models by the end of this decade? CAFE used to be the reason, but now CARB standards likely will be the cause.
California has tremendous power over the industry. First off, the United States is the second-largest vehicle market in the world. California is the largest market in the US, by far. In fact, CARB came about before the EPA, when then-governor Ronald Reagan was in office. It helped pioneer innovations to make vehicles cleaner.
Will this ruin automotive performance? Hardly. A Tesla Model S can trash a Hellcat on the dragstrip, so enthusiasts can stop their whining. There’s no going backwards at this point.