In a surprising development, Stellantis, a key player in the global automobile industry, has ceased delivering exclusively gas-fueled vehicles to 14 U.S. states. The cars delivered will now exclusively be hybrids, but only if the customer orders them. This news was brought to light by Automotive News.
The states affected are those that either adhere to or are planning to adopt the vehicle emission standards set forth by the California Air Resource Board (CARB). This rule impacts all automakers but Stellantis is feeling the pinch more acutely due to their limited hybrid options and absence of battery electric vehicles.
At the heart of the matter is a CARB regulation dictating the methods for assessing an automaker’s environmental impact. According to this rule, five automobile manufacturers, namely BMW, Ford, Volkswagen, Volvo, and Honda, have their fleet emissions gauged by CARB on the basis of their nationwide sales. For the rest, including Stellantis, CARB assesses fleet emissions based on sales only in states adhering to its regulations. This puts Stellantis in an unfavorable position.
Stellantis has chosen to stop dispatching ICE-only vehicles to these 14 states, unless a customer specifically orders one. This change affects around 36 percent of Americans residing in these CARB states, which is slightly more than a third of the population.
Dealers acknowledge that the situation is challenging. While some customers are willing to wait, others are not as patient. There are concerns that this might encourage customers to buy cars from neighboring states instead.
Following CARB’s regulations are every state on the west coast, and all states on the east coast north of Maryland, excluding New Hampshire. Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada, and Arizona are expected to comply with California’s regulations soon.
Though CARB’s most recent set of rules don’t come into effect until 2026, Stellantis feels the need to get ahead of the curve. The company reportedly could have capitalized on early electrification to avoid such a predicament, but they’re now grappling with the repercussions of not having done so.