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US administration unveils clean vehicle goals and regulatory agenda

6 August 2021

The Biden administration released an executive order that sets a goal of making 50% of new vehicle sales in the United states electric by 2030; published a proposal to revise GHG & fuel economy regulation for MY 2023-2026 light-duty vehicles; and announced a regulatory agenda for emissions from light- and heavy-duty vehicles through 2030.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposed rule that will tighten light-duty vehicle GHG emission standards for model years 2023 through 2026. The US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it will release a parallel proposal to tighten the CAFE fuel economy standards. Once finalized, the rules would essentially reverse the action of the previous Trump administration, which relaxed the GHG/CAFE standards.

The proposed GHG emission standards would require a 10% year-over-year stringency increase in MY 2023, followed by 5% increases each model year from 2024 through 2026. By comparison, the rule adopted under the Trump administration required increasing the stringency by about 1.5% year-over-year.

The new NHTSA CAFE standards are expected to require an increase in fuel economy of 8% annually from 2024 through 2026, and would boost the estimated fleetwide average by 12 mpg compared to the 2021 average.

The executive order also directs the EPA and NHTSA to take a number of further actions to reduce vehicle emissions and to advance the electric vehicle goal. The key items on the regulatory agenda are:

Source: The White House