New Vehicle Pollution Standards Proposed In U.S.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced new proposed vehicle pollution standards to make all vehicles, including gas-powered cars and heavy-duty trucks, cleaner and more efficient. The EPA on Wednesday proposed two new rules.

The first rule would target emissions of greenhouse gases and smog- and soot-forming pollutants from passenger cars, vans, and light trucks. The “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium Duty Vehicles,” builds on the EPA’s existing emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks for MYs 2023 through 2026.

The proposal retains the proven regulatory design of previous EPA standards for light-duty vehicles but leverages advances in clean car technology to further reduce both climate pollution and smog- and soot-forming emissions.

The new proposed emissions standards for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles for model year (MY) 2027 and beyond would lower maintenance costs and deliver significant fuel savings for drivers and truck operators.

The second set of proposed standards, the “Greenhouse Gas Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles – Phase 3,” would apply to heavy-duty vocational vehicles such as delivery trucks, refuse haulers or dump trucks, public utility trucks, transit, shuttle, school buses and trucks typically used to haul freight. These standards would complement the criteria pollutant standards for MY 2027 and beyond heavy-duty vehicles that EPA finalized in December and represent the third phase of the EPA’s Clean Trucks Plan.

The EPA projects that the standards are expected to drive widespread use of filters to reduce gasoline particulate matter emissions and spur greater deployment of CO2-reducing technologies for gasoline-powered vehicles.

The proposed standards would protect public health by cutting nearly 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions – twice the current annual U.S. emissions, according to the EPA.

They would also save consumers on average $12,000 over the lifetime of a vehicle. It is estimated that they would strengthen American energy security by reducing reliance on 20 billion barrels of imported oil.

The EPA’s approach is technology-neutral, meaning that better-designed gas vehicles, hybrids, fuel cell vehicles, and other innovations could all be used to meet stricter standards. But 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.

The EPA estimates that by 2032, if finalized, the proposed rules could result in electrification of 67 percent of new sedans, crossovers, SUVs, and light trucks; 50 percent of new vocational vehicles (such as buses and garbage trucks); 35 percent of new short-haul freight tractors; and 25 percent of new long-haul freight tractors.

“By proposing the most ambitious pollution standards ever for cars and trucks, we are delivering on the Biden-Harris Administration’s promise to protect people and the planet, securing critical reductions in dangerous air and climate pollution and ensuring significant economic benefits like lower fuel and maintenance costs for families,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.

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