Nissan Motor has joined General Motors in exiting a group of automakers that had backed US president Donald Trump in his bid to prevent California from imposing its own vehicle emissions rules, Reuters reported.

General Motors said in November it would no longer back the outgoing Trump administration's effort to stop California from setting its own emissions rules in an ongoing court fight. According to Reuters, GM chief executive Mary Barra said in a letter to environmental groups it was "immediately withdrawing from the preemption litigation and inviting other automakers to join us".

"We are confident that productive conversations among the auto industry, the Biden administration and California can deliver a common sense set of national standards that increases efficiency and meets the needs of all American drivers," Nissan said in a statement.

Reuters noted GM had joined Nissan, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and other automakers in October 2019 in support of Trump effort's to bar California from setting its own fuel efficiency rules, or zero emission requirements, for vehicles – separate from federal requirements.

Others still backing Trump include Mazda, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi, Subaru and the National Automobile Dealers Association, the news agency said.

The industry still remained split on how to move forward.

Reuters noted Biden had made boosting electric vehicles a top priority and pledged to spend billions of dollars to add 550,000 charging stations for such vehicles. He also supports new tax credits for purchases of electric vehicles and retrofitting factories for their production.

Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW in July 2019 struck a voluntary agreement with California on reducing vehicle emissions that is less stringent than rules previously adopted under president Barack Obama but higher than the Trump administration's rollback. Ford has urged other automakers to back the California framework as a way to move forward, Reuters said.