LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Alternatively-fuelled vehicles including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric and hydrogen cars are displayed during a photocall by the Society Of Motor Manufacturers in Potters Field on February 23, 2017 in London, England. In a bid to reduce pollution older, more polluting cars will be subject to a £10 T-Charge for entering the congestion charge zone in London from October 23. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Jack Taylor/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Alternatively-fuelled vehicles including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric and hydrogen cars are displayed during a photocall by the Society Of Motor Manufacturers in Potters Field on February 23, 2017 in London, England. In a bid to reduce pollution older, more polluting cars will be subject to a £10 T-Charge for entering the congestion charge zone in London from October 23. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:36
New technology tackles London's air pollution problem
PHOTO: Snam
Now playing
02:45
Using green hydrogen to fuel pasta production
PHOTO: BMW
Now playing
02:32
Electric vehicles could break through the coronavirus crisis
Now playing
02:26
Renewable energy growth stalled by coronavirus
Now playing
02:35
Why oil rich UAE is developing nuclear power
Now playing
02:39
Shipping industry adapts to stricter fuel regulations
Now playing
02:32
What is carbon capture?
PHOTO: mako energy
Now playing
02:46
Harnessing Australia's tides for energy
global energy challenge japan geothermal_00002322.jpg
global energy challenge japan geothermal_00002322.jpg
Now playing
02:39
Japan's untapped geothermal hot springs
saudi arabia carbon capture utilization storage gec_00002509.jpg
saudi arabia carbon capture utilization storage gec_00002509.jpg
Now playing
02:56
How Saudi Aramco is working toward climate targets
Now playing
03:13
These tiny islands have been quietly mastering hydrogen power
Now playing
02:46
A clean energy solution for rural communities
Now playing
00:50
These logs are made from recycled coffee grounds
Now playing
02:48
These households are bringing energy awareness home
Now playing
04:41
These energy leaders disagree over how to deal with coal
Now playing
00:49
Turning sunlight into renewable aviation fuel
(CNN Business) —  

SpaceX and Boeing are arch-rivals: They’re both gunning for the glory of returning human spaceflight to US soil for the first time in a decade. They battle it out for lucrative government contracts. The companies’ CEOs have even traded taunts about who will be the first to reach Mars.

The companies struck a deal with air quality regulators in California, promising to deliver fleets of cars that average 50 miles per gallon by model year 2026, and they vowed to stick to that standard in all 50 states. The Washington Post first reported the news earlier Thursday.

The move will essentially put the four automakers on track to comply with tougher emissions rules even as the Trump administration works to roll back policies put in place under President Barack Obama.

Regulatory pressures around the world, including in Europe and China, are pushing automakers to produce electric vehicles. Automakers anticipate consumers will start buying more electric vehicles in the future as prices drop.

Automakers are spending billions to develop electric vehicles and more fuel-efficient gas vehicles, and many fear regulatory uncertainty will set back their efforts. They were not thrilled by the Trump administration’s policy shakeup.

The Obama rules would have required automakers to produce vehicles with an average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 model year vehicles. Because of differences in the way fuel economy standards are calculated, the government’s targets are considerably higher than the EPA numbers customers see on window stickers.

A group of 17 leading automakers from around the world wrote to President Donald Trump in June asking him to strike a deal with California, which has led the fight for tougher rules on behalf of itself and 12 other US states.

Ford (F), Honda (HMC), VW and BMW said in a joint statement that the deal they struck with the California Air Resources Board this week will be used to “preserve a single 50-state framework for the regulation of greenhouse gas.”

“A 50-state solution has always been our preferred path forward and we understand that any deal involves compromise,” the companies said. “These terms will provide our companies much-needed regulatory certainty by allowing us to meet both federal and state requirements with a single national fleet, avoiding a patchwork of regulations while continuing to ensure meaningful greenhouse gas emissions reductions.”