Biden admin. rolls out sweeping regulation changes to spur EV transition

The Biden administration is taking a page out of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s playbook by accelerating the transition to electric vehicles.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has set lofty climate goals for the state, mandating the end of new gas-powered car sales by 2035. 

Now President Joe Biden is taking a page out of Newsom’s book with a new proposal for stringent vehicle emissions standards across the nation. 


Driving the news: Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced new proposed vehicle emission standards that are intended to accelerate the transition to clean-air vehicles. 

The big picture: Light- and medium-duty vehicle proposed standards will run between 2027 and 2055 and builds on federal standards that are in place for model years 2023-2026. They place more stringent emissions standards for criteria pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions from gas-powered cars. 

  • For heavy-duty trucks, the new proposed standards would be a third phase in standards that are already set for model year 2027 and beyond, the latest of which were finalized last year. 
  • The EPA expects the proposals to push the automotive industry with an increased widespread use of filters to reduce gasoline particulate matter emissions and to spur greater deployment of CO₂-reducing technologies for gas-powered vehicles. 

By the numbers: According to the EPA, the proposals would keep nearly 10 billion tons of CO₂ emissions out of the atmosphere, which is equivalent to over double the total CO₂ emissions in the nation last year. 

  • The EPA also presented the proposals as a money-saving opportunity as the nation would reduce its reliance on approximately 20 billion barrels of oil imports. 

What we’re watching: While electric vehicles have become more popular in recent years, the EPA is projecting that 67 percent of all new light-duty cars could be electric vehicles by model year 2032. 

  • The EPA is also projecting that 46 percent of new medium-duty vehicle sales in model year 2032 will be electric vehicles. 

What they’re saying: “By proposing the most ambitious pollution standards ever for cars and trucks, we are delivering on the Biden-Harris Administration’s promise to protect people and the planet, securing critical reductions in dangerous air and climate pollution and ensuring significant economic benefits like lower fuel and maintenance costs for families,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

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