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Biden Administration's Revised Approach to EV Sales Targets

Published: 3.6.2024

The Biden administration is set to ease proposed yearly requirements through 2030 of its plan to aggressively cut tailpipe emissions and ramp up electric vehicle (EV) sales, according to sources cited by Reuters.

Automakers and the United Auto Workers (UAW) had urged the Biden administration to slow the proposed ramp-up in EV sales, citing the technology's high costs for mainstream consumers and the need for more time to develop charging infrastructure.

In April 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a 56% reduction in new vehicle emissions by 2032. The initial proposal required automakers to aim for EVs to constitute 60% of their new vehicle production by 2030 and 67% by 2032 to meet stricter emissions requirements.

The revised final regulation, expected to be made public next month, will slow the pace of the proposed yearly emissions requirements through 2030. This new pace is expected to result in EVs accounting for less than 60% of total vehicles produced by 2030.

The UAW, which endorsed Biden in January, has argued for a more gradual increase in stringency over a greater period of time. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, representing major automakers, called the initial EPA proposal "neither reasonable nor achievable" and urged requirements for 40 to 50% electric vehicles in 2030.

EVs accounted for about 8% of sales in 2023, highlighting the challenges in meeting the proposed requirements. AAI CEO John Bozzella emphasized the critical next few years for the EV market, calling for a balanced approach that allows the market and supply chains to catch up.

The EPA's proposal is currently under interagency review, with a focus on achieving reductions in air and climate pollution while ensuring economic benefits. White House climate adviser Ali Zaidi stated that the U.S. is harnessing smart investments and standards to lead the global auto sector.

The EPA is expected to address automakers' concerns, including a proposal to reduce particulate matter from gas-powered vehicles and the elimination of the use of "enrichment" in engines. The Energy Department's proposal to revise how it calculates fuel economy ratings for EVs is also under review, with automakers warning of increased fines for non-compliance.

The Transportation Department is expected to announce a separate proposal to boost Corporate Average Fuel Economy requirements later this spring.

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