But last year, all-electric vehicles accounted for just 5.8 percent of new cars sold in the United States. Biden last year signed a law aimed at encouraging Americans to buy more electric cars by offering buyers up to $7,500 in tax credits. But many foreign-made cars are not eligible for the tax credits.
Experts say the new regulation provides an essential stick to go along with the carrot of tax incentives. Meeting the administration’s goals may be more difficult if the auto companies succeed in weakening the rule. The EPA published the proposed regulation earlier this spring and is in the process of soliciting public comment before finalizing and implementing the rule by the first half of next year.
Car companies’ concerns are expected to weigh on the final rule, especially as Biden campaigns for re-election in politically important automakers states like Michigan and Ohio.
background: the latest in a long battle over the future of the car.
The reversal of the norm is the latest in many years between Washington and the auto industry over climate pollution.
Former President Barack Obama first increased fuel economy standards in an effort to jump-start the transition to electric cars, gaining the grudging support of the country’s then-Big Three automakers because his administration had just saved them from bankruptcy during the global economy. calamity.
Later, President Donald J. Trump reneged on the Obama-era rules so much that even some auto manufacturers protested that he went too far. Since then, Biden has sought to reinstate and expand the Obama rules. In 2021, he signed an executive order pledging to pursue policies to ensure that at least half of new cars sold in the United States are electric by 2030.
But his administration surprised the auto industry this spring with a proposed rule that went much further. His proposal aims for 67 percent of new light passenger vehicle sales, from sedans to pickup trucks, to be all-electric by 2032.
What then: Will the EPA lower its targets?
Biden administration organizers are expected to weigh public comment before reviewing and finalizing the proposals. Historically, many proposed environmental rules have been relaxed to accommodate industry concerns.
The auto lobby group said it does not oppose all regulations designed to speed up the transition to electric vehicles, but suggested in its comments that the Biden administration lower its goal to 40 or 50 percent of electric sales by 2030, instead of the 67 percent by 2030 proposed by the rule 2032. current.
in blog postJohn Bozzella, the group’s chair, suggested that the Biden administration include plug-in hybrid vehicles in its goal, rather than push for such rapid adoption of all-electric vehicles. Plug-in hybrids use internal combustion engines in combination with battery power.
Representatives for the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency did not respond to emails seeking comment.
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