EPA Considering Tougher Emission Rules for Big Trucks

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will reportedly consider adopting new emissions rules for large trucks after Congress passed fresh incentives designed to accelerate the national adoption of zero-emission vehicles.

Environmental regulations have become quite the slippery fish of late. Over the summer, the Supreme Court ruled against the agency (West Virginia v. EPA) and functionally limited its authority — especially in regard to the greenhouse gasses emitted from power plants. But the EPA has still been flexing its muscles and doing its utmost to advance the Biden administration’s stated agenda of ensuring the swift adoption of all-electric vehicles while also pushing forward some preexisting proposals of its own.

In March, the agency floated new rules to cut smog-forming and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. Reuters has since reported that the EPA has confirmed that it will be revisiting those proposed GHG rules now that there’s a boatload of new climate spending outlined in the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act. All told, the legislation sets aside roughly $369 billion in incentives for energy and climate-related programs.

“... the big change here is the Inflation Reduction Act. Congress definitely sent a very strong message backed by significant resources,” EPA Office of Air and Radiation official Joseph Goffman explained to Reuters.

According to the outlet, the EPA will be issuing a supplemental notice of the proposed rules to consider even more stringent standards for vehicles MY 2027-2029 this December. This is based on the premise that the additional funding will make it possible for higher annual EV adoption rates in the United States than previously assumed.

The EPA suggested in March that the new heavy truck emission standards could result in “up to” 24-25 percent lower CO2 emissions when the plan reaches peak performance. Vehicles being targeted include most tractor vehicles, school buses, city buses, commercial delivery trucks, and more.

We'll just how much higher the EPA is aiming in a couple of months.

[Image: Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

More by Matt Posky

Join the conversation
4 of 77 comments
  • Jwee Jwee on Sep 23, 2022

    EVs have low energy density but high efficiency and high energy recovery. Thus they are good replacements for ICE in stop and start traffic, but their relatively puny energy density hurts them for longer haul/trips. As battery energy density increases and prices drop, so does the cost envelope that makes EVs viable. Have trucks crossed the cost envelope yet? I don't know, but it seems like they will, and along with it almost all road transport. Even in the Villages, the bastion of retired republicans, retirees drive EVs, (carts).

  • EBFlex EBFlex on Sep 23, 2022

    “Even in the Villages, the bastion of retired republicans, retirees drive EVs, (carts)”

    There is a difference between a golf cart and an automobile. EVs have their place but they are nowhere near ready to replace ICE automobiles for numerous reasons

    • See 1 previous
    • EBFlex EBFlex on Sep 24, 2022

      How is pointing out that there is a difference between a golf cart and an automobile related to anything you asserted? Also please provide a link to the affiliations of the residents of that community. I’d be interested to see where you are getting your information.

      And yes you can criticize government cars because they are simply garbage.

  • Philip I love seeing these stories regarding concepts that I have vague memories of from collector magazines, books, etc (usually by the esteemed Richard Langworth who I credit for most of my car history knowledge!!!). On a tangent here, I remember reading Lee Iacocca's autobiography in the late 1980s, and being impressed, though on a second reading, my older and self realized why Henry Ford II must have found him irritating. He took credit for and boasted about everything successful being his alone, and sidestepped anything that was unsuccessful. Although a very interesting about some of the history of the US car industry from the 1950s through the 1980s, one needs to remind oneself of the subjective recounting in this book. Iacocca mentioned Henry II's motto "Never complain; never explain" which is basically the M.O. of the Royal Family, so few heard his side of the story. I first began to question Iacocca's rationale when he calls himself "The Father of the Mustang". He even said how so many people have taken credit for the Mustang that he would hate to be seen in public with the mother. To me, much of the Mustang's success needs to be credited to the DESIGNER Joe Oros. If the car did not have that iconic appearance, it wouldn't have become an icon. Of course accounting (making it affordable), marketing (identifying and understanding the car's market) and engineering (building a car from a Falcon base to meet the cost and marketing goals) were also instrumental, as well as Iacocca's leadership....but truth be told, I don't give him much credit at all. If he did it all, it would have looked as dowdy as a 1980s K-car. He simply did not grasp car style and design like a Bill Mitchell or John Delorean at GM. Hell, in the same book he claims credit for the Brougham era four-door Thunderbird with landau bars (ugh) and putting a "Rolls-Royce grille" on the Continental Mark III. Interesting ideas, but made the cars look chintzy, old-fashioned and pretentious. Dean Martin found them cool as "Matt Helm" in the late 1960s, but he was already well into middle age by then. It's hard not to laugh at these cartoon vehicles.
  • Dwford The real crime is not bringing this EV to the US (along with the Jeep Avenger EV)
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Another Hyunkia'sis? 🙈
  • SCE to AUX "Hyundai told us that perhaps he or she is a performance enthusiast who is EV hesitant."I'm not so sure. If you're 'EV hesitant', you're not going to jump into a $66k performance car for your first EV experience, especially with its compromised range. Unless this car is purchased as a weekend toy, which perhaps Hyundai is describing.Quite the opposite, I think this car is for a 2nd-time EV buyer (like me*) who understands what they're getting into. Even the Model 3 Performance is a less overt track star.*But since I have no interest in owning a performance car, this one wouldn't be for me. A heavily-discounted standard Ioniq 5 (or 6) would be fine.Tim - When you say the car is longer and wider, is that achieved with cladding changes, or metal (like the Raptor)?
  • JMII I doubt Hyundai would spend the development costs without having some idea of a target buyer.As an occasional track rat myself I can't imagine such a buyer exists. Nearly $70k nets you a really good track toy especially on the used market. This seems like a bunch of gimmicks applied to a decent hot hatch EV that isn't going to impression anyone given its badge. Normally I'd cheer such a thing but it seems silly. Its almost like they made this just for fun. That is awesome and I appreciate it but given the small niche I gotta think the development time, money and effort should have been focused elsewhere. Something more mainstream? Or is this Hyundai's attempt at some kind of halo sports car?Also seems Hyundai never reviles sales targets so its hard to judge successful products in their line up. I wonder how brutal depreciation will be on these things. In two years at $40k this would a total hoot.So no active dampers on this model?