March 24, 2024

Biden Administration Issues Final Tailpipe Emission Regulation

The U.S. Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) has issued a final rule that, according to Politico, is “the strictest federal climate regulation ever issued for passenger cars and trucks.” Specifically, the standards, which are explained in this fact sheet and which will phase in gradually over model years 2027 to 2032, significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter from new passenger cars, light trucks, larger pickups, and vans.

The final regulation is less strict than the Biden administration initially had proposed. For example, it sets electric vehicle (EV) sales targets at 50 percent by 2030. (The draft version of the rule had set sales target at 67 percent by 2032.) Additionally, unlike the draft, the final version allows eligibility for plug-in hybrids. Automakers had argued these models will be a key part of the transition to a fully electric system.

According to The Hill, under the rule, by 2032 56 percent of the new vehicles on the market could be battery electric, and 13 percent could be plug-in hybrids. Just 29 percent of cars would be gas-powered, while an additional three percent would be other hybrids by that year. Only 16 percent of new vehicle sales were electric and hybrid cars in 2023. The EPA projects that its final rule will increase auto industry employment by somewhere between 17,400 and 188,100 jobs by 2032.

Business groups offered tepid praise for the regulation.

“Auto manufacturers in America make enormous investments to both improve the efficiency of their vehicles and provide numerous options for consumers,” said National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons. “While it is clear the EPA listened to manufacturers’ concerns about the timeline of this rule, challenges still lie ahead. Successful implementation of this policy will still require congressional action on the permitting reforms needed to build the charging infrastructure to support this transition. That includes the ramping up of electricity production and developing a reliable domestic supply of critical minerals.”

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