New Biden Administration Vehicle Rules Target Fuel Economy and Carbon Emissions
Last Friday, the Biden Administration unveiled a new proposal aimed at accelerating the shift towards electric vehicles (EVs) in the US, in an effort to combat climate change.
The proposed policies require carmakers to enhance the average fuel efficiency of the vehicles they sell. A 2% annual improvement is required for passenger cars, while light trucks are required to have a 4% annual improvement between 2027 and 2032.
According to the plans, by 2032, the average fuel efficiency of newly sold vehicles in the US should achieve 58 miles per gallon (MPG). Based on the proposed requirements, experts estimate that approximately two-thirds of vehicles will need to be electric to meet the 2032 target.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) predicts that this proposal could cut gasoline consumption in the US by 88 billion gallons by 2050, and prevent over 900 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to removing over 233 million vehicles from roads between 2022 and 2050.
The Biden administration’s new rule is in line with a separate rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Both organizations aim to speed up the switch to electric vehicles in the United States. The Biden rule targets fuel economy, while the EPA rule is focused on cutting down harmful car exhaust emissions.
Importantly, the two rules are intended to support each other. Since it’s likely that the rules will face resistance and legal pushback from industry lobbyists, and may go as far as the Supreme Court, having two similar rules from two different government agencies means that even if one is legally challenged, the other may still stand. This way, the push towards cleaner, more efficient vehicles inside the U.S. can continue. Should a Republican president assume office in 2024, however, he or she could potentially start the legal process to rescind the rules.
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