The proposal wants to see two-thirds of the new vehicles sold in the country be EVs by 2032.
This is significantly more than was previously planned by the Biden administration.
Automakers have yet to comment on this proposal, but some of them might oppose it.
In order to curb climate change and global warming, the EPA says it will have to strengthen its requirements for automotive emissions and EV sales.
In a new proposal that will have to be voted into law, the administration lays out the new guidelines that would significantly reduce the level of pollution each automaker’s vehicles are allowed to generate.
Since the EPA doesn’t have the authority to mandate the number of electric vehicles that have to be sold by each automaker, it made its new emissions requirements stringent enough to ensure automakers will have to sell a large number of EVs in order to comply.
The proposal calls for two-thirds (67%) of all new light-duty passenger vehicles and 46% of medium-duty vehicles (delivery vans) sold in the U.S to be powered by electricity in 2032.
Another proposal also tackles pollution created by heavy-duty vehicles such as long-haul trucks and busses by making sure half of new buses and a quarter of new big rigs will have to be EVs during the same timeframe.
Achieving all of these targets could eliminate the equivalent of two years of carbon dioxide production from all sectors of the United States Economy.
Scientists say new gasoline-powered vehicles will need to be banned by 2035 in order to limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celcius over pre-industrial levels, the threshold after which natural disasters such as droughts, floods, or species extinction would accelerate.
These new regulations are significantly more aggressive than before since the Biden administration’s previous guideline which had been announced in 2021 called for only 50% of new vehicles to be EVs by 2030.
While environmentalists praise the EPA for taking action against climate change with these new proposals, many believe them to be unrealistic as well as a threat to automakers’ profitability and the American Economy’s stability.
These groups argue that it won’t be possible to raise the market share of EVs from its current 5.8% all the way up to 67% in only about 10 years.
Another concern comes from the United Auto Workers (UAW) which represents factory workers in the automotive industry. Indeed, the association fears job losses since EVs only require half as many workers to manufacture as gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles.
While automakers have yet to comment on the new proposals, some of them might speak up in opposition in the coming days.
The director of the EPA’s lab that was tasked with determining how much EV technology is likely to advance over the next decade says that automakers have a habit of complaining about new regulations but then managing to comply with them anyway.
The aggressiveness of the new proposals seems to have come as a surprise to members of the industry since the announcement was supposed to be made in Detroit in the presence of UAW representatives and EVs from various U.S. automakers, but these plans were scrapped and the EPA held the conference at its headquarter in the absence of automakers and UAW members.
One automaker that is unlikely to complain is Tesla since its lineup comprised only of electric vehicles and an electric big rig would give it a significant advantage over most of its competitors if these proposals were to become law.
Source: The New York Times