Trump emissions threat to US car industry

From BBC - November 9, 2017

The US car industry will be wrecked if President Trump relaxes emissions standards, California's governor says.

Jerry Brown said China would dominate car manufacture because it was heavily promoting the electric vehicles that would dominate the future.

He said huge investment was needed on electric vehicles, along with federal rules to encourage their purchase.

He said President Trump and US car-makers were "half asleep" and had not understood the scale of the challenge.

He told BBC Radio 4's Costing the Earth: "There will be a serious threat to the US auto industry.

"The Chinese have taken over the world in wind turbine production, and photovoltaic.

"They are going to take over the American car industry - and the people in Detroit are half asleep. They have to wake up - and I am hoping they will.

"China's investing billions in battery technology and electric cars - and introducing a regulatory regime that will produce for their market a percentage of electric cars that to my knowledge no American executive can even imagine."

Mr Brown said he believed the electric car had a good prospect of being "very competitive" with petrol and diesel cars within five years.

California has special powers as a state to set its own car standards but Mr Brown believes federal action is essential to create a big enough market.

"Boy, it's a very tall mountain we have to climb. To make it work needs a federal tax and regulatory regime.

"But that we do not have and wo not have until Mr Trump returns to his hotel business."

Mr Brown is leading a group of 15 states refusing to follow Mr Trump's attempt to lower CO2 standards for vehicles and electricity.

"We can pursue an intelligent, forceful climate agenda without jeopardising jobs and damaging our economy - which is the message of Trump," he said.

"We are in a contest of ideas, actions and policies. The outcome of this contest will determine what the world's going to look like in the next 10-20 years.

"We have to rise to the occasion."

'A rare sight'

California's critics say the state has talked a good game on clean vehicles but on its sprawling highways, electric cars are still a rare sight.


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