The problem with new EV rules? We don’t have enough chargers.

The EPA announcement will essentially align federal regulations with the new California rules, Jonas Nahman assistant professor of energy, resources, and environment at Johns Hopkins, said in an email.

It will also help make sure that EVs continue to sell after the tax credits from the IRA expire in the early 2030s. The individual tax credits and other incentives in the IRA were already expected to boost projected EV sales from less than 40% in 2030 to nearly 60%, according to modeling from Energy Innovation. That means those incentives would put EV sales on track to meet the proposed EPA guidelines. But some experts worry that if they expire, there might be a rebound back to gas-powered cars in the early 2030s, Orvis says.

Mandates like the new federal rules could be key in cementing the future of EVs. “In order to meet these targets, carmakers will have to commit to EVs to a degree that will make it harder to change course later on,” Nahm says.

There’s a lot of work left on charging, battery technology, and public acceptance for EVs to reach the levels they’ll need to in order for us to reach climate goals, but the new EPA rules and other policy shifts suggest that the tide is turning . “This is the future: the consumer demand is there, the markets are enabling it, and the technologies are enabling it,” Regan said in the press conference. “We’re rolling in the same direction.”

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