President Biden to Propose Stringent MPG Standards Designed to Speed-up Transition to EVs

The Biden administration is set to propose an ambitious two prong plan to reduce automobile greenhouse gas emissions designed to make electric cars the dominant vehicle sold in the United States.

The plan is a key part of the administration’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent of 2005 levels by 2030. That goal would require a radical transformation of the nation’s economy away from fossil fuels, including a rapid shift to electric vehicles. Currently only two percent of the vehicles sold in the United States are electric.

The first prong of the plan would require automobile manufacturers to achieve a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) of 51 mpg by 2026 in order to meet strict new tailpipe emission reductions. The proposed standard is more stringent than the 44-mpg target for 2026 set by the Trump administration.

A follow-up MPG standard is being drafted to achieve even tougher tailpipe emission reductions through 2032. The plan is designed to force automobile makers to build more EVs to meet rapidly escalating CAFE requirements. If the plan is to succeed, it must win over both automakers and consumers.

This will require, a massive investment for EV fueling infrastructure together with generous tax incentives for both EV manufacturers and EV purchasers.

However, the latest version of the $579 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill, now endorsed by the 58-member Problem Solvers Caucus, provides just seven billion dollars of the total $174 billion needed to fund the 500,000 changing stations required to make the transition to EVs possible.

The bipartisan bill is paid for through a combination of increased tax enforcement, user fees, re-purposed Covid19 relief funds and incentives for private investment. It does not include a gas tax increase or EV registration fees.

The 58-member Problem Solvers Caucus also bucked Speaker Pelosi and progressive democrats and called for a stand-alone vote in the House instead of linking any House approval of the bipartisan deal to Senate passage of a later, larger corporate and individual tax and social spending budget bill. Meanwhile, the EPA and U.S. DOT expect to issue a proposed rule for the first round of new tailpipe emission standards this summer.

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