JOBOB: EPA moves to force US car manufacturing toward electric vehicles

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  • 03/31/2024

Framed as a means of giving automakers more “leeway” to phase out gas-powered vehicles, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced broad measures to forcibly shift the U.S. car manufacturing economy away from gasoline and toward electric vehicles.

The new standards, introduced by the agency earlier this month, apply to “passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty vehicles for model years 2027 through 2032 and beyond,” according to the EPA.

Nearly every car manufacturing giant recently scaled back ambitious electric vehicle objectives, noting a noticeable lack in consumer interest and affordability. This, however, didn’t factor in when the EPA finalized its new emissions standards on March 20, which proposed a dramatic increase in EV and hybrid sales.

The revised rule still aims to meet industry sale standards that many car makers call infeasible; the EPA hopes that half of all vehicle sales will be comprised of hybrids, “advanced gasoline vehicles,” and EVs by 2032.

In 2023, EVs accounted for just 7.6% of new vehicle sales in the U.S., meaning this ambitious plan would increase EV and hybrid sales exponentially.

“[The] EPA’s final rule gives manufacturers the flexibility to efficiently reduce emissions and meet the performance-based standards through the mix of technologies they decide is best for them and their customers,” the agency said in a press release. “EPA’s analysis considers a broad suite of available emission control technologies, and projects that consumers will continue to have a wide range of vehicle choices under the final rule, including advanced gasoline vehicles, hybrids, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and full battery electric vehicles.”

The Wall Street Journal called the new regulations the “strictest-ever rules for tailpipe emissions” but lauded the EPA for giving automakers “more time to comply” than originally anticipated.

Ford Motor Company, one of the largest U.S. car manufacturers, lost billions on its EV investments in 2023, while rental car company Hertz reduced its electric fleet by approximately 20,000 vehicles — a wise business decision considering EVs are typically more expensive to maintain and repair following accidents. Mercedes-Benz also recently announced delays in its plan to make half of all vehicles sold by 2025 electric or hybrid, pushing the new date back to 2030.

This piece first appeared at TPUSA.


Image: Title: Car Repossessions
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