The Biden administration is set to issue vehicle mileage standards that will first restore Obama-era standards and then exceed them, with a goal of 40 percent of U.S. drivers using electric vehicles by 2030, The Associated Press reported.
The rules, which would undo Trump-era rollbacks, would first apply to 2023 cars, which would be subject to California’s 2019 emissions rules cutting emissions by 3.7 percent a year. By 2025, the Obama-era level of a 5 percent annual increase in fuel efficiency standards would be fully restored and would continue to go up beginning in the model year 2026, according to the AP, citing four officials briefed on the plan.
Although the standards are set to eventually exceed those of the Obama administration, they fall short of the calls issued by some environmental groups. The Center for Biological Diversity, for example, has called for a complete phase-out of gas-powered vehicles by the end of the decade and mandatory 7 percent annual emissions reductions for each model year from 2027 to 2030, the AP noted.
However, the EPA is expected to announce the requirements will begin increasing faster in 2027 in a non-binding statement, with hopes that the pressure will nudge the vehicle industry into increasing their electric vehicle output. One of the officials told the AP the EPA will seek to request that new vehicle sales be 40 percent electric by 2030.
The Trump-era rollback of the Obama-era rules reduced the requirement from raising fuel economy 5 percent annually to 1.5 percent annually between 2021 and 2026.
The report comes days after an analysis projected that electric vehicle sales would exceed those of combustion vehicles by 2036, while China is expected to hit that threshold by 2033 and Europe is set to hit it by 2028. The analysis from the firm EY credited increased transition efforts by Volvo and General Motors for the shift.
The EPA and Transportation Department declined to comment to The Hill.