The Biden administration is planning some of the world’s toughest auto pollution limits, with more than 67 percent of all new passenger vehicles sold in the country designed to be electric cars by 2032, the equivalent of two people. According to acquaintances.
It represents a quantum leap for the United States — where only 5.8 percent of vehicles sold last year were fully electric — and surpasses President Biden’s previous aspirations for half of all vehicles sold in the country by 2030.
It would be the federal government’s most aggressive climate regulation to date and would put the United States at the forefront of global efforts to reduce greenhouse gases produced by cars, a major driver of climate change. The European Union has already implemented vehicle emissions standards that are expected to phase out sales of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. Canada and Britain have proposed standards similar to the European model.
At the same time, the proposed rule presents a significant challenge to automakers. Almost every major car company has already invested heavily in electric vehicles, but few have committed to the levels envisioned by the Biden administration. And many faced supply chain issues that halted production. Even manufacturers enthusiastic about electric models don’t know if they’ll buy enough to make up a large portion of new car sales within a decade.
The EPA’s move is likely to please climate activists, angered by the Biden administration’s recent decision to approve a massive oil drilling project on federal land in Alaska. Some in the administration argue that as more Americans drive electric vehicles, accelerating the transition to renewable energy will reduce demand for oil in Alaska or elsewhere.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael S. Reagan is expected to announce a proposed cap on tailpipe emissions in Detroit on Wednesday. The requirements aim for electric cars to represent between 54 and 60 percent of all new cars sold in the United States by 2030, and to increase from 64 to 67 percent of new car sales by 2032. Details, according to people familiar with the matter. , who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information has not been made public.
Rapid adoption of electric vehicles in the United States will require other significant changes, including building millions of new electric vehicle charging stations, overhauling the electric grid to meet the power needs of those chargers, and securing supplies of minerals and other minerals. Included is the required material for the battery.
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The proposed rule, which is subject to a public comment period and could be changed by the government before becoming final, is sure to face legal challenges. It could also become an issue in the 2024 presidential campaign, as future administrations could roll back or weaken it.
“This is a monumental undertaking. It is nothing short of a complete transformation of the automotive industrial base and the automotive market,” said John Bozella, president of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation.
In a statement released Friday night, the EPA said the U.S. The spokeswoman, Maria Miklos, did not confirm the new goals, but said the agency would work on the new standards, as the president directed, “to accelerate the transition to a zero-emissions transportation future.” To save people and the planet. .
The new rules build on the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which helped boost demand for electric vehicles by offering tax incentives of up to $7,500 to car buyers, as well as billions in incentives for battery manufacturing and important mineral processing and mining. will teach
Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gases produced by the United States, the second largest polluter on the planet after China. Rapidly replacing gasoline-burning cars with electric models could help Mr. Biden meet his pledge to halve the nation’s emissions by 2030 and effectively phase them out by mid-2019 century.
The proposed auto emissions rule is more demanding than the goal Mr. Biden set in his 2021 White House speech. Bolt EV and Jeep Wrangler, Mr. Biden issued an executive order calling for federal policies to ensure that half of all new cars sold are fully electric by 2030.
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“There is a vision of the future that is electric — battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, fuel cell electric the future of the automobile industry,” Mr. Biden said at the time.
But climate policy experts say zero-emission vehicles must move faster to avoid a global catastrophe. According to a 2021 report from the International Energy Agency, countries will have to stop selling new gasoline-powered cars by 2035 to prevent average global temperatures from rising 1.5 °C (2.7 °F) above pre-industrial levels. Beyond this, scientists say, the effects of catastrophic heat waves, floods, droughts, crop failures and species extinctions will become unbearable for humanity. The planet has already warmed by an average of 1.1 degrees Celsius.
Drew Kodzak, executive director of the International Council on Clean Transportation, a research firm, said the market has begun the transition to electric vehicles and government action is needed to complete the electric car revolution. “Anyone who has seen this movie knows that the market is volatile,” said Mr. Kodjak. “What if there is a market downturn? What if the batteries run out of minerals?
The biggest hurdle is the need for charging stations for millions of electric vehicles. Experts say electric charging stations need to become as ubiquitous as corner gas stations. Credit… Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
The proposed rule does not mandate that electric vehicles account for a certain number or percentage of sales. Instead, automakers are mandated to ensure that the total number of vehicles sold each year does not exceed a certain emission limit. The limit will be tough enough that two-thirds of vehicles sold by carmakers will be fully electric by 2032, according to people familiar with the matter.
Experts say the proposed rule would synchronize federal action with California’s move to ban sales of new gasoline-powered cars after 2035. from California as opposed to federal requirements.
But there are many obstacles to a smooth transition to electric vehicles. The biggest need is charging stations for millions of electric vehicles. Electric vehicles can’t go mainstream until electric charging stations become as ubiquitous as corner gas stations, experts say. The 2021 Infrastructure Act provided $7.5 billion to build a network of about 500,000 charging stations along federal highways, but a January report from S&P Global concluded that millions more are needed.
The shift could cause economic displacement for American auto workers, as electric vehicles require less than half the labor to make gasoline-powered cars.
Mark DePauli, leader of United Auto Workers Local 600, said, “We’ve dealt with job losses through technology before, but when you talk about the speed of it, it’s hard to imagine that we’re not losing jobs. .” Lose.” In a recent interview at union headquarters near the Ford Rouge manufacturing plant in Dearborn, Mich.
Job losses in the auto industry could have political ramifications for Biden, who will need voters in industrial states like Michigan and Ohio if he chooses to run for a second term. As he worked on the new rule, administration officials held weekly telephone calls with union leaders to reassure them.
Mr. Biden, a self-described “car guy,” has campaigned as “the most pro-union guy you’ve ever seen,” repeatedly trying to present the transition as an economic opportunity and insisting it will create new jobs. . Clean Energy Economy.
“Together we are going to build a different future — clean energy, good-paying jobs,” Mr. Biden said in a speech last summer. “We have to organize and recruiting building trades and union electricians for jobs in wind, solar, hydrogen, nuclear, creating more and better jobs.
Mr. Biden has worked to ensure that only US-made electric vehicles qualify for tax breaks offered by the Inflation Reduction Act — though they must be assembled by union workers.