Monthly eNewsletter from the IADC

Washington, D.C., Updates for April 2024

IADC Advocacy - Image - GovernmentAndIndustryAffairs - Washington DC - US Congress

The Biden Administration’s New Emissions Rules and Electric Vehicle Projections 

On March 20, 2024, the Biden Administration announced new regulations targeting a reduction in tailpipe emissions from vehicles. The rule calls for automakers to achieve a 56% decrease in fleetwide average carbon emissions by 2032, setting the strictest limits to date on pollution from cars and light trucks sold in the United States.

While the standards do not explicitly mandate the production or sale of specific vehicle types, they are projected to drive a significant increase in electric vehicle (EV) sales over the next several years. EVs accounted for just 7.6% of new car purchases in 2023. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that under the new rules, EVs could make up between 35% and 56% of new vehicle sales by 2032.

The proposed emissions regulations have drawn criticism from congressional Republicans. The House of Representatives passed a bill (HR 4468) that would amend the Clean Air Act to prevent any regulation on new motor vehicles from mandating particular technologies or limiting vehicle availability based on engine type. During debate, some Republicans characterized the rules as effectively mandating EVs. The bill passed 221-197, with five Democrats joining all Republicans in voting for it. Though referred to the Senate, the Democratic majority has not scheduled the bill for consideration.

Recent months have seen softening consumer demand for EVs in the U.S. market, leading to a buildup of inventory at dealerships. Some major automakers like Ford, GM, and Mercedes have revised down their EV production targets as a result. Public opinion polling suggests many Americans are interested in EVs but wary of government mandates to phase out gasoline and diesel vehicles. A 2023 Pew Research poll found that 60% of Americans, including 37% of Democrats, opposed government rules like those enacted by some states to end sales of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035.