The Biden administration will soon unveil stringent limits on auto tailpipe pollution, aiming to ensure that as many as two-thirds of all new passenger vehicle sales are electric by 2032, according to three people briefed on the proposal.
The Environmental Protection Agency plan — the toughest ever from the EPA on auto emissions — threatens to spark a fight with several automakers, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss proposals that have not yet been made public. That battle could determine how quickly and cheaply Americans can purchases EVs and grow what’s now just a small fraction of the country’s auto market.
Environmental groups see the auto emissions rules as enormously consequential in meeting the overall U.S. climate goals. The transportation sector is the country’s biggest source of planet-warming gases, and Detroit and President Biden have often aligned on boosting the sales of EVs — which have no tailpipe emissions — as their fastest way to address climate change.
But the most aggressive options in the EPA’s proposal are so stringent that many automakers, especially those slowest to adopt electric cars and trucks, will see it as more aggressive than what they can realistically meet, the people said.
Biden has promised more aggressive rules for cars since he was a candidate. During his first year in office he paired new near-term standards for vehicle emissions with voluntary targets he agreed to with automakers for electric vehicles, hydrogen-fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles to make up 50 percent of U.S. sales by 2030.
The new proposal could go even beyond that. It includes four different options, the most aggressive of which would set emissions reductions requirements so stringent that automakers would have to boost electric vehicles’ share of the market to between 54 percent and 60 percent by 2030, according to two of the people. [Continue reading…]