US EPA to Propose Sweeping Cut in Car Emissions, Phase out Gasoline-Powered Vehicles

Fri Apr 07 2023
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WASHINGTON: The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set as early as next week to propose the latest rules to spur sweeping cuts in car emissions pollution that would push automakers towards a massive increase in electric car sales.


Sources told Reuters that the proposed new rules are expected to cover 2027 through 2032 model years. Environmental groups and some automakers think that the proposal will result in at least 50 per cent of the United States car fleet by 2030 being electric or plug-in hybrids, in line with the goal of US President Joe Biden.


The Biden administration has not backed calls by California and other states to ban the sale of new gasoline-only light-duty vehicles by 2035.


In December 2021, the EPA finalized the latest light-duty tailpipe emissions requirements through the 2026 model year that reversed then-President Trump’s rollback of car pollution cuts.


One big question is whether the new EPA rules would be as aggressive as California’s effort to ramp up zero-emission cars and phase out new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.


California Air Resources Board Executive Officer Steven Cliff said in December that the federal government should “look at stringency that’s equivalent to our rules … We are 68 percent zero emissions in 2030, so modelling that and looking at that as an option for 2030 is critical.”


Industry backs shift to electric vehicles


The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, the trade group representing nearly all automakers, including Ford Motor, Volkswagen, and Toyota Motor, said Thursday that the industry backs the shift to electric vehicles. “The question is not whether it can be done; it’s how fast can it be done.”


Automakers have raised concerns that the administration would require them to spend substantial sums on improving the efficiency of internal combustion cars that will be phased out in the next decade.


The alliance said that “Every dollar invested in internal combustion technology is a dollar not spent on zero carbon technology,”


Environmentalists want Environmental Protection Agency to mandate important pollution cuts for gas-powered vehicles because they would remain on the road for decades.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to propose the latest fuel economy standards in the coming weeks.

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