Press release

The EPA final multi-pollutant rule for light and medium-duty vehicles sends a resounding message about the accelerating transition to electric vehicles in the U.S.

March 20 (Washington, D.C.) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Transportation and Air Quality finalized a rule that sets new multi-pollutant standards for light and medium-duty vehicles sold from 2027-2032. The rule will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas and criteria pollution caused by new cars, SUVs, vans, light trucks, as well as medium-duty vans and pickups.

EPA’s final rule is anticipated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from light-duty vehicles by about 11% per year, an improvement over the annual reduction in the current standard of 8% per year for 2023-2026. The rule is expected to lead to a cumulative reduction of 7.2 billion metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions through 2055. The performance-based standards are technology neutral and provide automakers with the flexibility to comply by using a combination of advanced gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric powertrains. The final rule will promote the growth in plug-in electric vehicle sales, expand consumer options for advanced combustion, hybrid, and other low and zero-emission vehicles, and paves the way for billions of dollars in consumer savings.

EPA estimates that the rule could result in a 53% light-duty sales share for plug-in electric vehicles in 2030, including 44% battery electric and 9% plug-in hybrid electric. In 2032, the rule could result in a 68% plug-in electric vehicle share, including 56% battery electric and 13% plug-in hybrid electric. The rule sends a clear signal to automakers, charging companies, and utilities about the growing market. EPA’s rule is a blueprint for the pace of the electric transition in the U.S. and puts the country on track to catch up to regions like the European Union (EU) and China which have been leading the global transition to EVs. In 2023, the U.S. had about 9% light-duty EV sales compared to about 21% in Europe and about 33% in China.

EPA’s final rule also tightens limits on harmful emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides for gasoline vehicles. These measures will deliver real and significant health benefits, reducing lung cancer, heart disease, and childhood asthma, especially in communities disproportionately exposed to pollution.

EPA’s final multipollutant standard for light- and medium-duty vehicles is historic, locking in the transition to cleaner vehicles in the U.S. and building on billions of dollars in industry investments and incentives from the Inflation Reduction Act that have primed the market for widespread electric vehicle growth. All of the building blocks are in place that make delivering on this final rule achievable, feasible, and cost-effective.

In response to EPA’s final rule, Rachel Muncrief, Acting Executive Director of the International Council on Clean Transportation, issued the following statement: “These final standards send a powerful message about the accelerating transition to electric vehicles in the United States, and for the first time put the nation on a path to decarbonizing the light- and medium-duty vehicle sectors.”

Figure 1. Passenger car CO2 emissions, normalized to CAFE

 

Figure 2. Light truck CO2 emissions, normalized to CAFE

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Contacts:
Aaron Isenstadt, U.S. Passenger Vehicles Senior Researcher
Pete Slowik, U.S. Passenger Vehicles Lead
Stephanie Searle, Chief Program Officer

About the International Council on Clean Transportation
The International Council on Clean Transportation is an independent nonprofit organization founded to provide first-rate, unbiased research and technical and scientific analysis to environmental regulators. Our mission is to improve the environmental performance and energy efficiency of road, marine, and air transportation, in order to benefit public health and mitigate climate change.

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