New Tailpipe Emissions Rule Finalized

The EPA made hybrid-friendly modifications to the original rule.

March 21, 2024

“The Biden administration enacted the strictest-ever rules for tailpipe emissions but also handed the auto industry a significant concession by giving them more time to comply, a recognition that the transition to electric cars will take longer than hoped,” reported The Wall Street Journal.

The initial proposed rule, announced in April 2023, would have led to about 67% of new light-duty vehicles being EV in model year 2032.

“In 2023, EVs made up just 7.6% of new car sales, according to Kelley Blue Book. The new rule is targeting 35% to 56% for EVs in 2032, and 13% to 36% for plug-in hybrids,” per CNN.

The Journal noteed that the modified, less-aggressive goals take into account feedback from automakers, parts suppliers, dealers and labor unions, and the fact that the EV market will take longer to mature than the EPA’s original goals take into account.

The past year has seen a slowdown in EV sales growth and an acceleration in the sale of hybrids.

The Alliance for Automative Innovation, which represents the major automakers, released a statement that read in part: “Pace matters. Moderating the pace of EV adoption in 2027, 2028, 2029 and 2030 was the right call because it prioritizes more reasonable electrification targets in the next few (very critical) years of the EV transition. These adjusted EV targets—still a stretch goal—should give the market and supply chains a chance to catch up.”

NACS, along with NATSO and SIGMA, issued a statement noting that the rule issued yesterday is “only a modest improvement from the proposal.” Read that full statement here.