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Stellantis, California reach deal on emissions regulations

Luke Ramseth, The Detroit News on

Published in Automotive News

Stellantis NV and the California Air Resources Board said Tuesday they have reached a deal to avoid potentially "lengthy litigation" that will require the automaker to further cut greenhouse gas emissions from its cars and install new public chargers in the state.

California officials said Stellantis agreed to save more than 10 million metric tons of emissions through the 2026 vehicle model year, and the automaker also agreed to comply with the state's more stringent emissions standards through 2030, even if the state were to be unable to enforce them due to federal legislation or a judicial ruling.

Stellantis also agreed to invest $4 million to install public electric vehicle chargers in the state, plus another $6 million on chargers in more than a dozen other states that also follow California's strict emissions standards, according to CARB.

Stellantis has expressed strong opposition to California's strict emissions standards in the past. In December, the transatlantic automaker filed a petition with the California Office of Administrative Law accusing CARB of an "underground regulatory scheme" that put it at a competitive disadvantage. Stellantis said it was facing more strict regulations than other automakers, including Ford Motor Co., BMW AG, Honda Motor Co. Ltd., Volkswagen AG, and eventually Volvo Cars.

Also in December, the automaker warned of mass layoffs in Detroit and Toledo due to California's more stringent standards and how they were affecting production of certain vehicles. The layoffs did not affect nearly as many workers as the company initially estimated, however.


Now, the maker of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram gets its own regulatory arrangement with the state like the other auto companies. The settlement document noted that the deal offers Stellantis more regulatory certainty going forward so it can make long-term planning decisions and investments, and "satisfy market demand and production realities."

“Together, we have found a win-win solution that is good for the customer and good for the planet,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in a statement. “This agreement will avoid 10 to 12 million metric tons greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of the agreement and will also allow our U.S. customers to fully benefit from our advanced technologies, including five plug-in hybrids and two pure electric vehicles. We remain as determined as ever to offer sustainable options across our brand portfolio and being a leader in the global decarbonization efforts.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the agreement was "another example of the private sector joining California to help millions of people get into clean vehicles."

Stellantis said as part of the deal it would also grow its electric vehicle education efforts, including by collaborating with EV advocacy group Veloz, and providing discounted EVs to groups in disadvantaged areas.

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