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General Motors Co GM-N said Tuesday it backed establishing tougher federal emissions standards to help ensure at least 50 per cent of new vehicles sold by 2030 are zero-emission models.

The largest U.S. automaker and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) released a series of joint recommendations to boost electric vehicles (EVs) as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develops proposed requirements from the 2027 model year through at least 2030.

GM and EDF said the new EPA standards “should help to ensure at least 50 per cent of new vehicles sold by 2030 are zero-emissions vehicles and consistent with eliminating tailpipe pollution from new passenger vehicles by 2035.”

In December, the EPA finalized new light-duty tailpipe emissions requirements through the 2026 model year that reversed then-President Donald Trump’s rollback of car pollution cuts and will speed a U.S. shift to more EVs.

“General Motors has the ultimate goal of eliminating tailpipe emissions from new light duty vehicles by 2035,” said CEO Mary Barra, adding the recommendations “support accelerated adoption of electric vehicles to put us on the path toward that goal.”

GM and EDF also said standards should incorporate an “innovation opt-in compliance pathway for multipollutant reductions.”

Expressed in miles per gallon (mpg), the EPA rules finalized in December would result in a fleetwide real-world average of about 40 mpg in 2026 for new vehicles, versus 32 mpg under the Trump rules.

President Joe Biden wants 50 per cent of all new vehicles sold in 2030 to be EV or plug-in hybrid models but has not endorsed California’s regulation adopted last month to phase out new gas-only powered light-duty vehicles by 2035.

One open question in the next round of EPA rules is to what degree they will push automakers toward building EVs.

In March 2020, Trump’s Republican administration rolled back then President Barack Obama’s standards to require only 1.5 per cent annual increases in efficiency through 2026. Obama required 5 per cent annual increases

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