The United States Environmental Protection Agency is proposing new and significantly more stringent vehicle emissions rules that would make electric vehicles up to 67 percent of light-duty model sales by the 2032 model year. The EPA projects that this would reduce the fleet average greenhouse gas emissions by 56 percent versus the 2026 standards. The EPA projects these changes would reduce oil imports by 20 billion barrels and save between $850 billion and $1.6 trillion from 2027 to 2055.
The proposed emissions regulation changes for light- and medium-duty models would take effect for the 2027 model year and run through 2032. By the end, CO2 emissions would fall to 82 grams per mile. The required reductions would happen year-by-year. This would include drops of 18 percent in 2027, 13 percent in 2028, 15 percent in 2029, 8 percent in 2030, 9 percent in 2031, and 11 percent in 2032.
If all of these proposals take effect, then the EPA estimates that light- and medium-duty vehicles would prevent 7.3 billion tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere through 2055. This is equivalent to four years of the entire US transportation sector today.
The EPA estimates that the upfront cost per vehicle would increase by approximately $1,200 for the 2032 model year under these regulations. However, the agency projects that the average person would save $12,000 over the lifetime of model ownership.
There are separate targets for medium-duty vehicles. The goal is for 46 percent of models in this segment to be EVs by 2032. The projected average CO2 emissions would fall 44 percent over 2026 model year standards, which equates to 275 grams of CO2 per mile.
The EPA proposal also includes some broader strategies for the auto industry. For example, there would be "new battery durability requirements for light-duty and medium-duty BEVs and PHEVs." This would include additional testing of a pack and reporting that it meets the proposed specifications.
"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.
For now, all of these changes are just proposals. They still need to go through a mandated comment period and a public hearing. It's possible that things could change.