Biden Administration Proposes 52 MPG Standard By 2026; Sets Goal Of 50% Market Share For EVs By 2030

Thursday, President Biden released a comprehensive multi-pronged plan to significantly tighten light truck and car fuel efficiency and begin a dramatic shift to electric vehicles over the next decade.

Current CAFE standards are 46.1 mpg for passenger cars and 32.6 mpg for light duty trucks. Those standards are set to gradually increase to 55.3 mpg and 39.3 mpg, respectively, by 2025.

The new standards would be 10 percent more stringent than the Trump rules for model year 2023, followed by 5 percent increases in each model year through 2026, a 25 percent increase over the four years.

The new efficiency standards will result in a 52-mpg requirement for light trucks and cars by 2026. By comparison, the Trump era CAFE standards would have required a 29-mpg efficiency requirement by 2026.

The second prong of the Biden auto emissions reduction plan would require 50 percent of all new passenger cars sold in 2030 be powered by batteries and fuels cells or electric plug-in vehicles.

However, that goal is widely seen as overly optimistic given that EVs sales represented only 2 percent of all passenger cars sales in 2020.

While the automakers support the Biden plan, they are proposing a less ambitious goal of 40 to 50 percent of their annual vehicle sales be battery electric, fuel cell and plug-in gasoline hybrid vehicles.

However, automakers characterized the Biden plan a dramatic shift from the current U.S. auto market and can only happen with policies that include incentives for electric vehicle purchases, adequate government funding for charging stations and money to expand electric vehicle manufacturing and the parts supply chain.

In the infrastructure bill awaiting passage in the Senate, there is $7.5 billion allocated for grants to build charging stations, about half of what Biden originally proposed. He wanted $15 billion for 500,000 stations, plus money for tax credits and rebates to entice people into buying electric vehicles.

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