EPA Unveils Strongest-Ever Emissions Standards for Cars and Trucks

Earlier today, the Biden Administration announced new proposed regulations on vehicle emissions designed to push for greater EV adoption. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced new proposed federal vehicle emissions standards aimed at accelerating the ongoing transition to a clean vehicles future and tackling the climate crisis. If enacted, the EPA projects significant cost savings to consumers through the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and for massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The new rules will effectively mandate that 67 percent of passenger cars sold new in the U.S. will be zero-emissions by 2032.

According to the press release:

“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,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “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.”

Major impacts of the new standard:

  • Through 2055 the proposed standards would avoid nearly 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions (equivalent to more than twice the total U.S. CO2 emissions in 2022).  The proposed standards would reduce other harmful air pollution and lead to fewer premature deaths and serious health effects such as hospital admissions due to respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses.
  • By accelerating adoption of technologies that reduce fuel and maintenance costs alongside pollution, the proposed standards would save the average consumer $12,000 over the lifetime of a light-duty vehicle, as compared to a vehicle that was not subject to the new standards.
  • Together, the proposals would reduce oil imports by approximately 20 billion barrels.
  • Overall, EPA estimates that the benefits of the proposed standards would exceed costs by at least $1 trillion.

In recent years the United States has prioritized the development of EV infrastructure. Since 2020 over 130,000 public chargers have been brought online, an over 40% increase. Longtime readers will know that authorities, both statewide and at the local level, have also prioritized  EV infrastructure development. In December 2022 Maryland ranked 9th nationally in access to EV chargers. This most recent legislative session saw the expansion of Maryland’s Electric Vehicle Recharging Equipment Program, an initiative that MACo supported. 

The Road Ahead

Not everyone was supportive of the new emissions standards. Representatives from automakers and the United Auto Workers have expressed some concerns regarding the cost of an accelerated shift to EVs and the possible impacts on jobs.

The EPA plans to hold several hearings regarding the proposed regulations and may make some changes, but many expect their adoption more or less as is.

Read the full press release. 

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