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U.S. EPA headquarters, Washington, D.C.

EPA Proposes to Raise Car and Truck Emissions Regs

April 12, 2023
The agency claims progress in “clean car technology” will make possible tighter emissions standards for passenger and commercial vehicles, starting in 2027, and projects a range of financial, environmental, and social benefits.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposes to tighten emissions standards for passenger and commercial vehicles, starting with the 2027 model year and increasing in stringency through 2032. The agency claimed its proposals would slash 2022 CO2 emissions by half and reduce U.S. oil imports by approximately 20 billion barrels, along with delivering various other financial and social benefits.

“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,” stated U.S. EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.

In addition to the stated objectives, the EPA proposals may be seen as a new effort to promote electric vehicle sales beyond the $2,500 to $7,500 federal tax credits already available to EV and HEV buyers. List prices for those electric and hybrid vehicles have consistently been cited as a concern for car buyers.

Regan called the new standards “readily achievable thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which is already driving historic progress to build more American-made electric cars and secure America’s global competitiveness.”

For passenger and light/medium-duty vehicles, the proposed new emissions standards extend the regulatory design of existing EPA standards for light-duty vehicles, and introduce targets made available by “advances in clean-car technology to further reduce both climate pollution and smog- and soot-forming emissions.”

More specifically, the agency stated its proposals recognize “a broad suite of available emission control technologies, and the standards are designed to allow manufacturers to meet the performance-based standards however works best for their vehicle fleets. EPA projects that for the industry as a whole, 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.”

For heavy-duty commercial vehicles, EPA is proposing a third phase for its greenhouse gas (GHG) standards that it claimed, “maintain the flexible structure that EPA previously designed through a robust stakeholder engagement process to reflect the diverse nature of the heavy-duty industry.”

The new GHG standards likewise are based performance-based standards that allow manufacturers to achieve compliance “based on the composition of their fleets,” according to EPA.

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