U.S. cities to splurge on EVs after automakers said there wasn’t enough demand

Thirty U.S. cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, are looking to spend $10 billion on electric cars and trucks in a bid to prove to automakers that there is healthy demand for low-emission vehicles.

Municipal authorities have asked automakers about the cost and feasibility of providing a total of 114,000 electric vehicles such as police cruisers, street sweepers and rubbish haulers.

Automakers have said that there aren’t enough buyers for electric vehicles, and President Donald Trump is seeking to lower emission standards that the industry opposes as too costly or onerous.

“No matter what President Trump does or what happens in Washington, cities will continue leading the way on tackling climate change,” Matt Petersen, Los Angeles’s chief sustainability officer, told Bloomberg.

The city initiative is only at an early stage and many of the vehicles requested do not yet exist. However, it is considered the first step in a formal bidding process that has the potential to move the electric vehicles market, providing reliable demand over several years as federal policies and gas prices change.

Trump on Wednesday ordered a review of tough U.S. vehicle fuel-efficiency standards put in place by the Obama administration, handing a victory to auto industry executives and provoking criticism from Democrats and environmental groups.