Biden admin proposes stricter emissions regs for passenger, commercial vehicles
Tom Quimby, CCJ senior editor
Apr 12, 2023
Newly proposed emissions rules from the Biden administration this morning call for increased electrification requirements for both light- and heavy-duty vehicles amid growing concerns over climate change.
In a statement released by the White House, the EPA is seeking a technology-neutral approach that by 2032 could electrify 67% of new light-duty cars and trucks as well as electrifying 50% of vocational vehicles like buses and waste haulers; 35% of new short-haul regional tractors; and 25% of new long-haul trucks.
While these standards are directed at manufacturers, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear said it is fleets – the customers and end-users of this equipment – who will ultimately determine their level of success. “The Phase 3 standards must take into account the complex challenges and operating conditions facing motor carriers as we manage the transition to a zero-emission future while simultaneously moving more than 72% of the economy’s freight,” he said.
The White House reports that the EPA’s approach to slashing emissions, termed the Clean Vehicle Transition in Technology-Neutral Way, envisions using more clean-running gas vehicles, hybrids, fuel cell vehicles and other innovations to meet stricter standards.
However, the Biden administration goes on to say, “with EV technology getting better and cheaper every day, and consumer demand rising rapidly, many manufacturers would likely rely on fully electric vehicles for compliance.”
Truck and Engine Manufacturing Association President Jed R. Mandel said the non-profit group which represents major OEMs around the globe is currently reviewing the EPA’s proposed changes and offered support in the interim.
“EMA and its member companies have a long history of working with EPA on the development and implementation of stringent regulations that have greatly reduced GHG and other harmful emissions from heavy-duty vehicles,” Mandel said. “We look forward to engaging with EPA and providing data and insights to inform a comprehensive final rule that will successfully accelerate the adoption of heavy-duty ZEVs.”
John Boesel, President and CEO of CALSTART, a California-based non-profit that advocates for emissions reductions in transportation across the country, applauded the EPA’s efforts.
“The rules proposed by the EPA today build on the historic investments of the Inflation Reduction Act, continuing the Administration’s leadership in supporting the transition to a zero-emission transportation future, improving public health and addressing the climate crisis,” Boesel said.
Spear noted his disappointment that EPA has chosen to reopen its Phase 2 regulation, which had been set for years. “To make the plans and investments necessary for a successful transition, our industry needs regulatory certainty, not whimsical changes of mind from year to year,” he said “Our industry has always found ways to partner with EPA on regulations that are tough but achievable. If EPA wants us to remain a willing participant, their going back and changing what was already agreed upon is not how to do it.”