LOS ANGELES – Seeing the latest generation of vehicles and the newest technology that comes with it is a dream come true for self-described car fanatics like Freddie Collins.
“There is nothing else I’d rather be doing right now,” said Collins as he sits in the front seat of the latest Chevy Silverado model.
He is in Los Angeles on vacation from Georgia with his mom and aunt, but the main attraction while he’s in California is the LA Auto Show.
“[I] grew up loving cars, my granddaddy passed and they gave me his ‘73 ford maverick and I used my tuition money to get my car ‘pimped out’ as you would say, painted and reupholstered,” said Collins.
Collins eventually learned to paint and upholster cars, but now he works on private airplanes. He also owns a Chevy Silverado, but as car lovers like check out the new cars, there is one group that isn’t here.
For the first time in 50 years the California Air Resources Board is boycotting the LA Auto Show. The decision is in response to 15-automakers who joined a lawsuit with the Trump administration to prevent California from setting its own greenhouse emission standards, which are stricter than the rest of the country.
Automakers, like General Motors, who are part of that lawsuit say their corporate goal is to achieve zero emissions, which means their entire fleet will eventually go electric. However, they can’t make that happen if there are different standards.
“In order to make that happen we need one national standard, we need one set of rules that we can build these vehicles so that we can sell them in all 50-states. We can’t build a different car for every state,” says Shad Balch, a spokesperson for General Motors.
Balch also hopes officials from CARB will change their mind and attend the LA Auto Show so they could see the variety of energy-efficient vehicles on the market.
So what do car fanatics like Collins think about California setting its own emission standards? After all he does own a muscle car and a large truck, neither of them very eco-friendly, but his answer may surprise you.
Collins hopes all cars will eventually go electric.
“I think California should be able to do their own thing because the rest of the country is pretty much behind when it comes to emissions so they should be able to do their own thing,” said Collins.
Collins added that maybe other states will follow suit and he thinks California is “on a good path to be able to set the standard for emissions.”
When it comes to the CARB boycotting the LA Auto show, Collins says that is where they have gone too far, after coming all the way from Georgia to attend.