EPA Holds Hearing on California EV Mandate

More than 100 witnesses testified earlier this week at an EPA virtual hearing on California’s Clean Air Act waiver request for its Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) rule that has been pending before the Agency since May 2023. The ACC II rule, adopted by the State in August 2022, phases out the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and light-duty vehicles in California by 2035.

The overwhelming majority of the witnesses at the hearing represented environmental and public health groups, and they defended the waiver request, saying it demonstrates California’s continuing need for a separate motor vehicle emissions control program and because the zero-emission vehicle mandate curbs greenhouse gas emissions.

Industry representatives pushed back on the waiver request, citing issues with refueling limitations, charging points, and affordability. They emphasized that these issues will be significantly exacerbated, because 11 states (CO, DE, MD, MA, NJ, NM, NY, OR, VT, VA and WA) already have adopted the ACC II rule and three jurisdictions (DC, ME and RI) have initiated the process to adopt the California program.

EMA has joined legal challenges to the ACC II rule waiver request brought in federal court by 17 states and industry groups. “EMA continues to advocate for a diverse mix of technologies, including less carbon-intense motor fuels, to satisfy consumer needs and affordability and to provide needed national and energy security,” said EMA President Rob Underwood. “Simply put, banning access to new, internal-combustion engine vehicles is not necessary to get needed emission reductions.”