EPA plans to announce significant limits on exhaust emissions


US President Joe Biden speaks at the 2022 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, September 14, 2022.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to announce sweeping tailpipe emissions limits this week that would require up to 67% of new vehicles sold in the United States by 2032 to be all-electric cars, according to a New York Times report SATURDAY.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan is expected to make the announcement Wednesday in Detroit. The proposed limits would be the most aggressive climate regulations in the United States to date, and they would create a host of challenges for automakers.

Under the proposed limits, electric cars will represent between 54% and 60% of new cars sold in the United States by 2030, and between 64% and 67% of new cars by 2032, according to the Times report. These figures are ambitious, since only 5.8% of cars sold in 2022 were electric, compared to 3.2% in 2021, according to a report by Cox Automotive.

These limits would also exceed President Joe Biden’s previous goal of having all-electric cars account for about 50% of cars sold by 2030.

“As directed by the President in an executive order, the EPA is developing new standards that will build on these historic advances to accelerate the transition to a zero-emissions transportation future, protecting people and the planet,” said a EPA spokesperson to CNBC in a statement. “After the interagency review process is complete, the proposals will be signed, published in the Federal Register, and made available for public review and comment.”

The spokesperson declined to provide specific details on the regulations.

Many automakers have already started making significant investments in electric vehicles, but forcing such rapid adoption of the technology will present challenges. Many fully electric cars will require extensive charging infrastructure, for example.

In February, the Biden administration said it wanted to see at least 500,000 electric vehicle chargers on American roads by 2030, and announced a series of initiatives to help make that a reality, including commitments from companies that build and operate charging networks such as Tesla, General Motors, Ford, ChargePoint
and others.

Even with the infrastructure in place, consumers must ultimately be willing to adopt electric vehicles, which means businesses will also need to be able to keep vehicle costs reasonable.

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