California's clean car ambitions clear first roadblock with Biden win

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By S&P Global Platts and P Global Platts. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

California and its clean car ambitions had a lot riding on the US presidential election.

The state's Air Resources Board spent the Trump presidency fighting with the US Environmental Protection Agency about its rollback of Obama-era tailpipe standards, which were set to increase average fuel economy of the US passenger vehicle fleet by 5% annually from 2021 to 2026. The Trump administration slashed these targets to a 1.5% annual increase.

Trump's EPA also moved to revoke California's long-held waiver to set tougher air quality standards than the national limits, and it is still battling that in courts.

The incoming Biden administration, however, means a smoother ride for California's clean car goals.

In September, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an ambitious target to phase out new sales of gasoline-powered cars and passenger trucks by 2035. This zero-emission vehicle policy also set a 2045 goal for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

We have two interviews today on California's clean car ambitions:

* Jennifer McIsaac, lead analyst of emissions and clean energy for Platts Analytics' Future Energy Outlook Service, on the market, policy and logistical challenges ahead.

* John Boesel, president and CEO of CALSTART, a clean transportation nonprofit, about the results of a recent study showing that auto suppliers want policy makers to set strong standards in this area.

Stick around after both interviews for the Market Minute, a look at near-term oil market drivers.

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