The Biden administration announced historically strict new regulations on tailpipe emissions Wednesday, in a bid to boost the sale of electric vehicles and reduce U.S. oil consumption.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) projects that the proposed rules — which cover both passenger cars and heavy-duty vehicles beginning in model year 2027 — will result in 67% of all light-duty vehicles sold after model year 2032 being electric, according to an EPA press release. Medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles will be 46% and 25% all-electric by 2032, the EPA projects. (RELATED: After Pushing To Shut Coal Plants Down, Biden Shells Out Millions For Green Projects In Coal Towns)
In 2022, just 5.8% of all new car sales in the U.S. were all-electric, and just 2% of all heavy-duty truck sales were all-electric, according to the New York Times.
For smaller passenger vehicles, the upfront cost of purchasing an electric vehicle could be between $3,500 to $7,100 greater than a comparable combustion vehicle, depending on make and model, according to an EPA cost-benefit analysis. While the EPA assumes that customers will offset the price with a $7,500 tax credit from the Inflation Reduction Act, recent rules from the Treasury Department would exclude several electric vehicles from eligibility, according to Politico.
“By proposing the most ambitious pollution standards ever for cars and trucks, we are delivering on the Biden-Harris Administration’s promise to protect people and the planet, securing critical reductions in dangerous air and climate pollution and ensuring significant economic benefits like lower fuel and maintenance costs for families,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in the agency’s press release. “These ambitious standards are readily achievable thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which is already driving historic progress to build more American-made electric cars and secure America’s global competitiveness.”
President Joe Biden in 2021 signed an executive order directing the government to establish policies that would make 50% of passenger vehicle sales all-electric by 2030, the NYT reported. John Bozzella, president of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a trade group representing major automakers, told the NYT he was unsure how the EPA would be able to justify “exceeding the carefully considered and data-driven goal announced by the administration in the executive order.”
Executives for the United Auto Workers expressed concerns over the proposal, considering that electric vehicles typically require less than half the number of workers to be made compared to a traditional gas-powered car, the NYT reported.
While similar to recent California regulations, the EPA’s proposal differs by implementing emissions limits by vehicle size, as opposed to mandating a certain proportion of vehicles be zero-emission, according to NPR.
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