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Consumer Reports on GM call for federal government to back national electric vehicle program

Friday, October 26, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — General Motors today is calling on the federal government to adopt a nationwide program to boost the sale of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) such as electric vehicles (EVs), pointing to California’s program that requires automakers to sell more EVs each year.  GM’s call comes as the government has proposed ending California’s ability to mandate more clean cars.

David Friedman, Vice President, Advocacy, Consumer Reports, said, “As with most proposals, even seemingly welcome concepts, the devil is in the details. Based on GM’s press release, this program risks being designed to fail, while potentially enabling increased sales of gas guzzlers.

“Unless accompanied by strong greenhouse gas standards as implemented in California, such a requirement will simply allow automakers to offset sales of electric vehicles with increased sales of low fuel economy vehicles, while still meeting rolled-back requirements such as those proposed by the federal government.

“Further, setting an arbitrary 25 percent line in the sand for a market share that is tied to an unrealistic and unnecessary battery cost target of $70/kWh risks setting this program up to fail.

“GM will need to provide convincing evidence that 25 percent is a tipping point, and will have to show that there is a reasonable pathway to $70/kWh before this proposal can even begin to be fairly evaluated. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy established a target of $80/kWh which would allow vehicles like GM’s Bolt to very effectively compete with gasoline cars.

“We hope GM is truly serious about this proposal. If they are, they will support the existing ghg standards they committed to meet back in 2012 and sit down with us and other organizations to craft a proposal designed to help all consumers.”

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Contact: David Butler, dbutler@consumer.org

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. For 80 years, CR has provided evidence-based product testing and ratings, rigorous research, hard-hitting investigative journalism, public education, and steadfast policy action on behalf of consumers’ interests. Unconstrained by advertising or other commercial influences, CR has exposed landmark public health and safety issues and strives to be a catalyst for pro-consumer changes in the marketplace. From championing responsible auto safety standards, to winning food and water protections, to enhancing healthcare quality, to fighting back against predatory lenders in the financial markets, Consumer Reports has always been on the front lines, raising the voices of consumers.