EPA must move quickly to finalize greenhouse gas emissions rule for heavy-duty vehicles
12 April 2023, (Washington, D.C.) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Transportation and Air Quality issued a proposed rule to set new greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for heavy-duty vehicles sold between model years 2027 and 2032. These proposed “Phase 3” standards will dramatically reduce the climate impact of the heavy-duty sector by requiring manufacturers for the first time to sell zero-emission trucks and buses.
This proposal would lock in the first phase of a national transition to zero-emission trucks and buses. Today’s action would result in increasing zero-emission sales for trucks, leading to 1.8 million metric tons of avoided carbon dioxide emissions, 72,000 fewer tons of nitrogen oxides emitted, $250 billion in vehicle operating cost savings and net social benefits equivalent to $320 billion through 2055. Buses, local delivery trucks, refuse trucks, and other vocational vehicles with a daily range under 200 miles will see the largest shift towards electrification over the course of this rule.
The rule supersedes existing Phase 2 GHG regulations for model year 2027-2029 vehicles last adopted in 2016. Those standards failed to predict the coming ZEV transition. By providing certainty to the heavy-duty vehicle industry and to consumers about the role of ZEVs in the transportation fleet, this EPA action will generate significantly greater GHG reductions than current rules require.
ZEVs are more efficient than diesel engines and offer significant climate benefits. Those benefits are magnified by the ongoing transition towards renewable energy, a cornerstone of domestic and international climate goals. And because ZEVs produce zero tailpipe emissions, communities disproportionately exposed to diesel exhaust near ports, warehouses, and highways will face lower rates of lung cancer, heart disease, and childhood asthma.
Over the coming weeks, EPA will take comment on pathways to strengthen the rule. A stronger rule would increase the likelihood that the U.S. meets its commitments under the Paris Climate Accords. It would increase the likelihood that major truck manufacturers, carriers, and retailers such as Navistar, Fedex, and Amazon reach their 2030 sustainability targets. And improvements to the rule can ensure its benefits are delivered in low-income and minority communities.
Incentives made available through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) have made possible faster deployment of ZEVs. ICCT projects that all major vehicle categories will achieve total cost of ownership (TCO) parity with IRA incentives within the time frame of the rule.
In response to the EPA’s proposed rule, Drew Kodjak, Executive Director of the International Council on Clean Transportation, issued the following statement:
“EPA’s proposed Phase 3 rule is a strong bid for the U.S. to reclaim its global leadership position on progressive climate policies. EPA should move quickly to finalize the rule this year.”
Ray Minjares, Heavy-duty vehicles Program Director, [email protected]