The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to impose limits on the carbon emissions produced by new vehicles sold by each manufacturer could drastically change American roads. The proposed restrictions, which are progressively stricter until 2032, will reduce the number of gas-powered cars and trucks available, forcing the industry to produce significantly more electric vehicles. According to the EPA, these regulations could increase the national sale of electric cars by tenfold and account for nearly two-thirds of all new car and truck sales by 2032.
While the US proposal lags behind the European Union and California’s plans, it’s still an ambitious start, forcing automakers to either comply or compete in the electric vehicle market. However, James Sallee, an associate professor at UC Berkeley, noted that Tesla’s market share, which currently comprises 58% of all EVs sold in America, is likely to decline, but their market position is still good. The big automakers are taking the EV market more seriously, and every automaker has their limit on how many assembly lines they want to operate and on parts sourcing.
Sallee also mentioned that while an expansion in the electric vehicle market would benefit current players and the wider society, there are challenges in scaling up, especially to meet the government’s regulations. However, the government’s push to clean up truck pollution, which accounts for a lot of greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, is an important part of the proposal. Cleaning up truck pollution would make the air cleaner in disadvantaged communities, which are found mostly by highways, ports, and other places where heavy trucks spend more time.
Overall, the proposal is a big leap for the federal government, and many jurisdictions already have zero internal combustion engine targets in the 2030s. The industry has a long way to go to meet these targets, but the regulations could accelerate the growth of a more sustainable transport system.