Vehicle carbon pollution would be cut, but more slowly, under new Biden rule

(Inside Climate News, 20 Mar 2024) The EPA anticipates its biggest climate proposal, eased in response to industry and labor concerns, will mean more plug-in hybrids, less penetration of EVs by 2032.

Foreseeing a slower U.S. switch to fully electric vehicles than envisioned a year ago, President Joe Biden’s administration on Wednesday finalized tailpipe pollution standards that it says would cut carbon emissions from new passenger vehicles by more than half by 2032.

The updated regulations are still projected to cut carbon pollution by 7.2 billion tons through 2055—only 1 percent less than the Environmental Protection Agency’s original proposal—making it Biden’s single most consequential executive action on climate change.

But the EPA anticipates that goal will be achieved with more heavy reliance in the near term on hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, which have gasoline engines to back up their electric drive.

Administration officials stressed that the slower ramp-up, which came in response to input from automakers, organized labor leaders and car dealers, will offer greater flexibility for consumers while still achieving Biden’s environmental goals.

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Inside Climate News, 20 Mar 2024: Vehicle carbon pollution would be cut, but more slowly, under new Biden rule