Trump Says He'll Scrap ‘Crazy’ EV Mandates If Re-Elected

Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty Images)

Good morning! It’s Monday, June 17, 2024, and this is The Morning Shift, your daily roundup of the top automotive headlines from around the world, in one place. Here are the important stories you need to know.

1st Gear: Trump Wants Nothing To Do With EVs

Election fever is heating up and there are now just 142 days to go until the country will have to decide who has to be President, which means there are 142 days for presidential hopeful Donald Trump to say more dumb stuff about his plans for the country. Now, after praising the Cybertruck as a formidable vehicle last week, he’s taking aim at electric cars and their place in America.


The first former president to be convicted as a felon was previously caught seeking funding from America’s oil giants for his re-election campaign, and now he’s taking further steps to crunch the country’s dwindling green credentials. To do this, he’s claiming that when he gets back into office he’ll scrap EV mandates imposed by the Biden administration, reports Bloomberg:

Trump told assembled lawmakers at the Capitol Hill Club that “the whole mandate toward battery and electric is crazy,” Representative Russ Fulcher, an Idaho Republican, said in an interview, paraphrasing Trump’s comments.

“He said the policy would be entirely reversed,” Fulcher said. “He made it very, very clear that he’s opposed to the policies we’ve got.”

Trump’s comments, in his first Washington meeting since his criminal conviction in New York last month, came even as one of Biden’s key EV policies was challenged in court. Oil and ethanol industry groups sued Thursday to block new air-pollution limits issued by the Environmental Protection Agency in March that they say would illegally force automakers to sell electric cars.

The current Biden administration is targeting 50 percent of all new cars sold to be electric by 2030. In order to achieve this, a raft of funding has been offered up to automakers looking to expand EV infrastructure across the country and consumers are being handed thousands of dollars towards American-made EVs.

So far, Trump has also set his sites on those EV tax credits, which could be on the chopping block should he win the vote on November 5.

2nd Gear: Elon Won His Pay Package By A Landslide

After months of back and forth, Tesla shareholders finally voted their approval for company boss Elon Musk’s massive pay package last week. The deal is worth an estimated $45 billion. Now, the true scope of the backing he received has become clear.

Despite several high-profile shareholders suggesting that they planned to vote down the motion that would approve the enormous payout, more than three quarters of Tesla investors were in favor of the deal, reports Automotive News:

Tesla CEO Elon Musk won his $56 billion pay package with 77% of shareholders voting in favor, the automaker said in a June 14 regulatory filing.

In the run-up to the June 13 shareholder meeting, Wall Street analysts had mostly expected a positive vote on the compensation, but some were worried that a negative vote could push Musk to focus on outside projects.

“We think the news takes a potentially disastrous scenario off the table, in which Musk could have potentially left Tesla and opted to dedicate more time to his other (non-public) companies,” CFRA Research said in a research note. The Wall Street firm has a buy rating on the stock.

Despite the massive majority coming out in support of the pay, this doesn’t mean that approval is a dead certainty. In fact, the deal still could be derailed by lawmakers in Delaware, where Tesla is still listed. It’s for this reason that shareholders were also asked for approval to shift its state of registry to Texas, a move that was also passed by investors.

3rd Gear: China’s Leapmotor To Build Cars At Stellantis Plant

Western automakers have long had a history of partnering with Chinese automakers as a way of getting their cars on sale in the country. Now, as favor towards Chinese automakers shifts around the world, one Chinese car company has partnered up with Stellantis to start building its models in Europe.

Leapmotor will reportedly build certain models at a Polish factory operated by Stellantis, reports Reuters. The move could offer a route to skirt new tariffs introduced on Chinese electric cars sold across Europe:

Stellantis and Leapmotor have created a joint venture, led by the Franco-Italian automaker with a 51% stake, giving Stellantis exclusive rights to build, export and sell Leapmotor products outside China, a first for a legacy Western automaker.

The venture, called Leapmotor International, is part of a wider cooperation between the two groups, which sees Stellantis buying a 21% stake in Leapmotor in a $1.6 billion deal.

Jefferies said the JV plans to manufacture a second model at Stellantis’ Polish plant, the Leapmotor’s A12 SUV, starting from the first quarter of 2025. Leapmotor has also started to prepare localized production of components, it added.

For electric models made by Leapmotor in China and imported for sale into the European Union, new tariffs announced by the block mean prices could soon rise by around 20 percent. However, with its manufacturing partner in Poland, the company could avoid the price hike and remain a cheaper option for many buyers looking to go electric.

4th Gear: Dodgy Titanium Is Boeing’s Latest Headache

After federal investigators began probing production of the 737 Max and Boeing’s base in Seattle, the plane maker last week revealed that issues had been found on the production line for its 787 Dreamliner aircraft as well. Now, the American aviation giant has found more problems with its production, this time relating to the titanium it uses in its jets.

According to a report from the Washington Post, the company has been using titanium that lacks the proper documentation to prove its authenticity. This means the true condition of some parts manufactured by the company could be unknown:

The titanium was used by Spirit AeroSystems, a key supplier to both Boeing and Airbus, and had counterfeit documents, said Joe Buccino, a Spirit spokesman. The companies issued assurances that the issues have not jeopardized safety.

“More than 1,000 tests have been completed to confirm the mechanical and metallurgical properties of the affected material to ensure continued airworthiness,” Buccino said.

Airbus identified its A220 model as being affected; Boeing declined to say what planes were involved in the issue but said it affected only a small number of parts on any aircraft.

The latest issue to hit Boeing is strikingly familiar to a saga relating to fake parts that shook the airline industry last year. Last summer, both Boeing and Airbus found that parts with falsified safety certificates had been used in some jet engines, so rushed to locate and replace any impacted parts.

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