EPA Expected to Issue Rigorous Emissions Standards on Light-Duty Vehicles

The new standards are expected to require emissions cuts but not mandate EVs or ban gas-powered vehicles.

April 07, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Biden Administration is expected to announce stringent emissions standards on cars and light-duty trucks, reports Bloomberg. The new regulations, which will be announced on Wednesday, are anticipated to regulate carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, along with other tailpipe emission, on 2027 through 2032 model vehicles. The rules could be toughest-proposed standards on car pollution yet for the United States. 

The EPA, which is writing the new requirements, has not commented on the upcoming regulations but said it’s working on the new standards. The EPA may also propose new rules for carbon-emission regulations on heavy-duty trucks. 

Bloomberg reports that these new standards are intended to help the U.S. meeting its Paris Agreement commitment, which includes cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least half from 2005 by the end of the decade. Environmental groups and some automakers think the proposal will result in at least 50% of the U.S. vehicle fleet by 2030 being electric or plug-in hybrids—in line with a goal President Biden outlined in 2021, Reuters reports

Although the standards set by the EPA are based on a maximum emissions allowed per mile, the agency does not mandate a certain way for automakers to achieve this goal; however, electric vehicles are viewed as part of a strategy to meet these standards, according to Bloomberg. 

Environmentalists argue that aggressive tailpipe standards are necessary. However, Bloomberg reports that the EPA could reject some environmentalists’ requests to set standards through 2035. During a February meeting with the Biden Administration, automakers pushed for the new standards to cover a shorter duration, arguing that EV growth and emission reductions is determined by factors outside their control, including investments in charging infrastructure and crucial mineral production. 

A shift to electric vehicles would require a “massive, 100-year change to the U.S. industrial base,” and the rule should be based on “a clear-eyed assessment of market readiness,” the Alliance for Automotive Innovation said. 

The EPA is also expected to propose new standards on smog-forming vehicle pollution, which could require automakers to begin using certain exhaust controls that are already being used in Europe, China and other parts of the world, reports Bloomberg. 

Paul Billings, national senior vice president of public policy for the American Lung Association, told Bloomberg that it’s crucial to reduce emissions from conventional gas-powered cars even as electric vehicles take off. 

NACS consistently has advocated for technology-neutral standards on transportation sector emissions. NACS is agnostic as to the transportation energy consumers want to buy, but believes that the industry should have the opportunity to sell any such energy in a competitive private market to best meet American consumers’ desires and needs.

For convenience retailers looking to bring EV charging to their locations, NACS launched the EV Infrastructure Matchmaking Tool, which connects retailers with EV charging companies for all aspects and stages of offering electric vehicle supply equipment.