Once Enemies, GM and California Team Up in Push for Electric Cars

(Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co., which for decades crossed swords with California officials over emissions standards, is now teaming up with the state to tout electric vehicles.

The automaker is part of a coalition of utilities, environmental groups and others working with the California Air Resources Board on an advertising campaign boosting public awareness of EVs.

The $4 million effort comes as automakers have dozens of zero-emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles on the drawing board. California, meanwhile, is pushing to put 5 million ZEVs and plug-in hybrids on the road by 2030 -- up from 450,000 today.

Half the money for the ads comes from penalties that Volkswagen AG agreed to pay the state after its emissions cheating scandal. The rest is from GM, Southern California Edison Co., Uber Technologies Inc. and others.

GM, which in 2001 sued California over a mandate requiring automakers to sell thousands of electric vehicles in the state, has been taking a more genial tact lately. The company has joined other automakers in pushing the White House to negotiate with -- rather than litigate against -- California over emissions standards. And it has supported the state’s effort to boost EV sales with charging stations.

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