'Aggressive' New Tailpipe Rule Could Boost EV Sales

EPA proposal could require up to two-thirds of new vehicles to be electric by 2032
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 12, 2023 4:28 PM CDT
Tough New EPA Tailpipe Rule Could Boost EV Sales
An electric vehicle charges at an EVgo fast charging station in Detroit on Nov. 16, 2022.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

The Biden administration is proposing strict new automobile pollution limits that would require up to two-thirds of new vehicles sold in the US to be electric by 2032, a nearly tenfold increase over current electric vehicle sales. The proposed regulation, announced Wednesday by the EPA, would set tailpipe emissions limits for the 2027 through 2032 model years that are the strictest ever imposed—and call for far more new EV sales than the auto industry agreed to less than two years ago, the AP reports. If finalized next year as expected, the plan would represent the strongest push yet toward a once almost unthinkable shift from gasoline-powered cars and trucks to battery-powered vehicles. More:

  • The EPA proposal. The proposed tailpipe pollution limits don’t require a specific number of electric vehicles to be sold every year but instead mandate limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Depending on how automakers comply, the EPA projects that at least 60% of new passenger vehicles sold in the US would be electric by 2030 and up to 67% by 2032. For slightly larger, medium-duty trucks, the EPA projects 46% of new vehicle sales will be EVs in 2032.

  • Auto industry reaction. John Bozzella, CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a trade group representing Ford, General Motors and other automakers, called the EPA proposal "aggressive by any measure" and wrote in a statement that it exceeds the Biden administration's 50% electric vehicle sales target for 2030 announced less than two years ago. Reaching half was always a "stretch goal," contingent on manufacturing incentives and tax credits to make EVs more affordable, he wrote. "The question isn’t can this be done, it’s how fast can it be done," Bozzella wrote.
  • Environmental benefits. The proposed standards for light-duty cars and trucks are projected to result in a 56% reduction in projected greenhouse gas emissions compared with existing standards for model year 2026, the EPA said. The proposals would improve air quality for communities across the nation, avoiding nearly 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2055, more than twice the total US CO2 emissions last year, the EPA said. The plan also would save thousands of dollars over the lives of the vehicles sold and reduce US reliance on approximately 20 billion barrels of oil imports, the agency said.

  • Is the proposal realistic? With electric vehicles accounting for just 7.2% of US vehicle sales in the first quarter of this year, the industry has a long way to go, the AP notes. However, the percentage of EV sales is growing. Last year it was 5.8% of new vehicles sales. Many auto industry analysts say it will be difficult for automakers to meet the projected sales percentage. The consulting firm LMC Automotive, for instance, said new EV sales could reach 49% in 2032 but are unlikely to go above that, citing high prices for EVs compared with gas-powered cars. White House climate adviser Ali Zaidi, however, said EV sales have tripled since Biden took office and the number of available EV models has doubled. Analysts have repeatedly revised their forecasts upward since Biden took office, and the industry announced over $100 billion in EV investments, Zaidi told reporters Tuesday.
(Read more electric vehicles stories.)

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