The timing is also partly in response to the sales success of EVs, particularly those from Tesla Motors and GM. When it was enacted more than a decade ago, a $7,500 federal tax credit was meant to spur EV sales. This would be applied until a manufacturer sold 200,000 units. At that point, the federal rebate would start to wind down, disappearing completely within about one year of hitting the sales limit.
Success has a price, and California-based Tesla zoomed past the 200,000 sales mark this summer. General Motors is expected to do the same shortly on the strength of the Chevy Bolt.
While the Trump administration has made it clear that it wants to undo Obama-era emissions goals, including boosting mileage requirements to 47 mpg by 2025, California is looking to take matters into its own hands.
“At the end of the day, California officials looked at the data, came to a different conclusion than Trump, and are proceeding with the authority they already have under the Clean Air Act,” said Don Anair, research director for clean vehicles at the Union of Concerned Scientists, in comments published by Bloomberg.