We have expanded the list of climate policies we assess company engagement with to incorporate land-use related policy, referring to legislative or regulatory measures to enhance and protect ecosystems and land where carbon is being stored. Assessments under this category are currently underweighted in terms of their contribution to the overall company metrics. This weighting will be progressively increased over the next 6 months.
We adjusted the terminology used to describe the queries running down the left-hand side of our scoring matrix and added additional explanatory text to the info-boxes. This has no impact on the scores and methodology. It has been done following user feedback to improve clarity.
Climate Lobbying Overview: The Alliance for Automotive Innovation has mixed engagement on climate policy in the US in 2021-22. While it appears to be generally supportive of the electrification of transportation and incentives around this, it has consistently pushed back on increased CAFE fuel efficiency and GHG standards for light-duty vehicles at a federal level.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: The Alliance for Automotive Innovation’s top-line messaging on climate policy is very limited. While the industry association has expressed its commitment to a net-zero carbon transportation future in an April 2021 Guardian news article and an August 2021 White House statement, it is unclear whether it supports governmental 2050 carbon neutrality targets in line with the IPCC. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation also has not stated an explicit position on the Paris Agreement.
Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: The Alliance for Automotive Innovation appears to engage negatively with climate-related regulations, particularly in opposing higher GHG and fuel economy (CAFE) standards in the US. In an October 2021 consultation response on CAFE Standards, the Alliance for Automotive innovation only appeared to support NHTSA's Alternative 1 proposal for MY 2024-2026. It further appeared unsupportive of more stringent Alternative 2 proposals, advocating for numerous flexibilities, such as air conditioning efficiency and off-cycle technology credits to meet higher standards, and directly opposed the more ambitious Alternative 3 proposal. The industry association also issued a statement via the White House in August 2021 which took an unclear position on the EPA’s revised fuel economy targets for light-duty vehicles, calling the move a “challenge”. Additionally, in a September 2021 consultation response, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation opposed higher fuel economy penalties for automakers failing to meet fuel economy requirements in the US.
In a September 2021 consultation response and a November 2021 presentation from a meeting with the EPA, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation opposed the adoption of the more stringent and less flexible GHG emission standards. It also called for alternative GHG standards for small volume manufacturers. In August 2021 testimony, the industry association further expressed support for measures which would reduce the stringency of the standards. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation’s CEO, John Bozzella, emphasized in a November 2021 press release that US GHG emissions standards “are becoming increasingly challenging to meet using technology alone". However, in March 2022, the Alliance was reported by Reuters as having taken legal action to defend the Environmental Protection Agency's new vehicle emissions regulations against litigation which sought to challenge increasing their stringency above Trump-era standards.
Positioning on Energy Transition: The Alliance for Automotive Innovation appears to have mixed engagement on the electrification of transportation. In an August 2021 testimony, the industry association appeared to support a voluntary 40% US EV target and electric vehicle infrastructure. It also directly advocated to policymakers to support Maryland’s electric vehicle tax credit legislation in a January 2021 testimony. The group called for government support in EV expansion at an April 2021 senate hearing and in a March 2021 auto industry joint letter to President Biden. It called for further regulatory measures, including the expansion of EV refueling infrastructure and purchase incentives in September and October 2021 consultation responses, as well as in a November 2021 presentation from a meeting with the EPA. Additionally, the industry association appeared to support EV tax credits in the US Build Back Better Act in a September 2021 Automotive News article.
The Alliance for Automotive Innovation’s CEO, John Bozzella, generally appears to support the electrification of transportation. For example, Bozzella supported the expansion of the IRA’s tax credits for electric vehicles in a social media post in February 2023. In a November 2021 press release, he expressed support for the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act in the US, which includes $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations. In letters sent in April 2021 to 11 governors of US states, Bozzella further signalled his commitment to EVs. In an August 2021 statement, the industry association’s CEO appeared supportive of the Biden Administration’s ‘Steps to Strengthen American Leadership on Clean Cars and Trucks’, which sets a voluntary 40-50% ZEV goal for all new US sales of passenger cars and light-duty trucks by 2030.
However, in an April 2022 Globe Gazette news report, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation appeared unsupportive of California's proposal to increase the sales of zero-emission cars to 35% by 2026, arguing that it will be "extremely challenging even in California and may not be achievable in all the states that currently follow California’s program”. In a May 2022 consultation response, the industry association advocated for numerous flexibilities such as allowing medium-duty vehicle EVs to be used to meet Advanced Clean Car II requirements in California (including a 2035 100% ZEV mandate), and calling for PHEV provisions to be extended for two years until 2030. In June 2021, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation testified in opposition of California Senate Bill 500, which mandates all autonomous vehicles in the US must be zero-emission beginning in 2030. The industry association also directly advocated against the phase out of internal combustion engine vehicles in a June 2021 letter to Congress, arguing that gasoline will continue to play a vital long-term role in transportation. In an October 2021 consultation response, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation further appeared to support a long-term role of the internal combustion engine, particularly in pick-up trucks. Similarly, according to a February 2021 AP News article, the industry association initially opposed the ‘clean cars’ bill aimed at increasing the number of ZEVs in the Virginia Senate, then later took a neutral stance. In November 2021 comments on California Air Resources Board’s Funding Plan for Clean Transportation Incentives, the industry association appeared supportive of the electrification of transportation by opposing the phase-out of EV rebates in California under the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP). Yet on the other hand, it also opposed the elimination of PHEVs from the program, which would hinder the electrification process.