Ford, VW and Honda are among a group of vehicle makers siding with the Biden administration in its attempt to overturn the Trump administration’s withdrawal of the State of California’s ability to set its own emission standards. California’s standards were tougher than the federal CAFÉ standard – which was partially relaxed under President Trump.

Ford has filed a motion to intervene on the side of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against a challenge to California’s ability to set its own vehicle emissions standards.

The issue has been somewhat divisive for the auto industry in North America as it generally favours the principle of having one federal standard rather than multiple standards which can complicate and potentially add to company costs.

Looked at in another way, advancing electrification globally means that some automakers favour going further and faster with lower emissions standards in the US.

Ford says it has consistently supported stricter greenhouse gas standards even when EPA did not, and “this suit continues Ford’s leadership as the only U.S. automaker to stand with California in support of stricter vehicle emissions standards in 2019”.

Ford executives Steven Croley, Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel, and Bob Holycross, Chief Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering Officer, released the following statements regarding the significance of Ford’s environmental action:

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“Ford is combatting climate change. We support the EPA’s recent Waiver Decision to allow California and other states to protect people’s health and combat climate change by establishing and enforcing air pollution standards and zero emission vehicle requirements. This is the right thing to do for people and the planet – but it also is critical to the automotive industry’s future success. It moves us closer to a zero-emissions transportation future, and it creates regulatory stability and a level regulatory playing field for the entire industry.” – Steven Croley, Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel

“Ford is proud to have been the only full-line American automaker to take the side of more aggressive emissions standards in 2019 and we’re the only one to do so today. By joining this action, we are joining a diverse coalition of States and communities already feeling the impacts of climate change to advocate for the health, economic and mobility benefits electric vehicles can provide.” – Bob Holycross, Chief Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering Officer.