EPA Implementing Toughest Emissions Standards for Light-Duty Fleets

(Credit: Pixabay)

by | Dec 21, 2021

(Credit: Pixabay)

The Environmental Protection Agency is finalizing federal greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger cars and trucks, which it says is the most ambitious established for the industry in the United States.

The standards are for light-duty vehicles in model years 2023 through 2026. The EPA says the standards will leverage advances in clean car technology and will net $190 billion in benefits that include reducing emissions and saving money on fuel.

The standards are based on science and an analysis of current technology, the EPA says, but also offer enough time in advance to help manufacturers make adjustments. The EPA says the effort will cut 3 billion tons of GHG emissions through 2050, which is more than half of the total carbon dioxide emissions in 2019.

The EPA says it will make separate rules for model years 2027 and later that will speed the transition of light-duty fleets to zero emissions, in line with President Biden’s executive order from earlier this year.

The new standards cut allowable emissions each year and will result in raising the average miles per gallon capabilities of light-duty fleets to around 40 mpg by 2026. Previous fleet averages were around 32 mpg.

An EPA analysis shows that manufacturers will start moving to be in line with the standards by increasing production of electric vehicles. The EPA says by model year 2026 17% of vehicles will be electric as well as improve fuel engine and vehicle technologies.

Additionally, money allocated to transportation from the recent infrastructure bill will help with making sure these standards are met.

Under the law there is $7.5 billion set aside for electric vehicle charging, which includes a target of having 500,000 public charging stations by 2030. The Biden Administration recently outlined goals to establish that charging infrastructure in hopes of all new car sales in the US being electric by 2030.

More than $7 billion is also set aside for investments in battery manufacturing, materials and recycling.

Battery production is ramping up in the US. Toyota and has announced plans to build a $1.29 billion battery manufacturing facility in North Carolina, its first in North America. Ford is also investing $7 billion in US battery production.

Overall, the EPA standards are in line with a worldwide movement toward net zero vehicles. At COP26 several governments and automakers pledged for all new car and van sales to be zero emissions by 2040.

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