President Joe Biden’s administration has announced a proposal for tougher vehicle emissions standards to be phased in for model-year 2027-32 vehicles. Released by the EPA on Wednesday, the proposal covers light- and medium-duty vehicles as well as heavy-duty commercial trucks. The EPA claims the more stringent standards would cut down on pollutants, greenhouse gasses, consumer costs and the country’s dependence on foreign oil. If the proposal is approved, it will have an immediate impact on automakers as they aim to comply with the new regulations, but consumers will also see a shift in the market as a result.
According to the agency’s press release, the proposal would avoid nearly 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2055. That reduction would come as a result of automakers’ investments in cleaner technology for gas-powered vehicles and accelerated electrification. To achieve this goal, the agency outlines an aggressive 13% year-over-year average CO2 reduction for combined fleets — in comparison, the current requirements range between 5%-10%.
“By proposing the most ambitious pollution standards ever for cars and trucks, we are delivering on the Biden-Harris Administration’s promise to protect people and the planet, securing critical reductions in dangerous air and climate pollution and ensuring significant economic benefits like lower fuel and maintenance costs for families,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan in a statement.
It’s worth noting that the proposal has a long road ahead before it’s approved and will likely encounter objections and revisions. Here are the top five things consumers should know:
1. It Could Bring an Influx of New EVs
The EPA states that the proposal would accelerate the transition to battery-powered vehicles; although it wouldn’t directly dictate the number of electric vehicles that automakers must sell per year, the tightened pollution standards would force them to shift the focus to battery-powered cars. The agency estimates that EVs would account for 67% of light-duty sales and 46% of medium-duty sales by model-year 2032. These ambitious targets surpass Biden’s previous goal of 50% EV sales by 2030.
While interest in EVs is growing as new models are introduced, the market share for EV sales in the U.S. is currently in the single digits. Should the EPA proposal pass, consumers would likely see an increase in new electrified vehicles along with more availability. There are currently over 40 EV models on the market and more on the way.