General Motors says it will no longer support the Trump administration in legal efforts to end California's right to set its own clean-air standards. CEO Mary Barra said in a letter Monday to environmental groups that GM will pull out of the lawsuit, and it urges other automakers to do so. She said the company agrees with President-elect Joe Biden's plan to expand electric vehicle use. Last week, GM said it is testing a new battery chemistry that will bring electric-vehicle costs down to those of gas-powered vehicles within five years. GM said Barra sent the letter after a Monday morning conversation with Mary Nichols, head of California's Air Resources Board, the state’s air pollution regulator. "We believe the ambitious electrification goals of the President-elect, California, and General Motors are aligned,” Barra said in the letter, per the AP.
The White House had no immediate comment Monday. In September 2019, Trump announced his administration would seek to revoke California’s congressionally granted authority to set standards that are stricter than those issued by federal regulators. GM, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, and 10 smaller automakers sided with the Trump administration. "With our industry facing the possibility of multiple, overlapping, and inconsistent standards that drive up costs and penalize consumers, we had an obligation to intervene," a rep for the automakers said at the time. The initial move put the automakers at odds with five other companies—BMW, Ford, Volkswagen, Volvo, and Honda—that backed California and endorsed stricter emissions and fuel economy standards than proposed by the Trump administration.
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