Biden Fuel Rules Unveiled, Will Exceed Obama's Goals

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

The Biden administration is proposing a return to the Obama-era fuel-economy regulations over five years.

After that, the rules will get tougher, with the goal of getting 40 percent of American drivers into electric vehicles.

The exact numbers, which would come from the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency, haven’t yet been finalized. They are expected to be released next week, but the Associated Press has apparently spoken to sources who have been briefed on the plan.

The Biden administration has a goal of cutting the nation’s output of greenhouse gas by at least half by 2030. The new rules would begin with the 2023 model year and use the California compromise of 2019 as a template. That agreement was reached between BMW, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, and Volvo. That deal increases the mileage standard and is supposed to cut greenhouse gas by 3.7 percent per year.

The requirements will move to a 5 percent annual increase in mileage standards by 2025, along with a similar reduction in emissions. From 2026 on, it will push higher, though the exact number isn’t known. Estimates are 6 or 7 percent.

The EPA may also have a nonbinding statement requiring requirements to climb even more quickly after 2027, in a bid to force the auto industry to sell more zero-emission vehicles. In the meantime, the agency is asking that 40 percent of new-vehicle sales by 2030 be that of EVs.

It’s unclear if the administration aims to restore credits for EV sales, though its infrastructure proposal includes 500,000 EV charging stations and makes mentions of tax credits and rebates as part of an effort to increase EV sales.

As you no doubt know, this is all happening at a time in which American consumers are swallowing up trucks and SUVs, which are generally less fuel-efficient. Meanwhile, the market share for EVs sits at 2 percent, though analysts expect it to rise rapidly in the years to come.

Transportation-sector emissions are the single biggest American contributor to climate change.

[Image: NadyGinzburg/Shutterstock.com]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • Daniel J Daniel J on Jul 28, 2021

    How will companies pull this of? 2023 models have already been designed. How will companies decrease consumption year over year when models are set for 4-6 years? This looks unobtainable. I what about when all the soot created is more of an issue because of trying to make these engines more fuel efficient.

  • EBFlex EBFlex on Jul 29, 2021

    And the clown show in Washington becomes more destructive by the day. 2022 needs to get here quick so we can put a stop to all of this. The adults need to take back control of the house and senate from the children and then we take the White House in 2024. At that time we can start rebuilding and allow our country to heal.

  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys i was only here for torchinsky
  • Tane94 Workhorse probably will be added to the heap of failed EV companies.
  • Freddie Instead of taking the day off, how about an article on the connection between Black Americans and the auto industry and car culture? Having done zero research, two topics pop into my head: Chrysler designer/executive Ralph Gilles, and the famous (infamous?) "Green Book".
  • Tane94 Either Elio Motors or Aptera Motors.
  • Billccm I think we will see history repeat itself. The French acquired AMC in the 1980s, discovered they couldn't make easy money, sold AMC off to Chrysler. Jeep is all that remained. This time the French acquired FCA, and they are discovering no easy profits. Assume an Asian manufacturer will acquire what remains of Chrysler, but this time Jeep and RAM are the only survivors.
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