EPA letting up on its EV throttle

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has, given slower than expected launches for new battery technologies and chargers, relaxed its rules for phasing in electric cars and trucks.

The agency finalized a rule which is still tough on car emissions, but has cut back projections of EV sales from 67% by 2032.  The agency now expects that BEVs will reach 30% to 56% of the market by then.

2025 Ram 1500 REV

New solid state batteries are due from a variety of sources; they should be lighter, safer, and cheaper than the current lithium-ion batteries.  Other technologies and chemistries have been explored with greater speed than in the past, with the intent of making batteries cheaper, easier to make, easier to repair, and less likely to catch fire. BEV car fires are far less common, on a per-vehicle basis, than gasoline car fires, but they are also much harder to extinguish.

The EPA has to balance between predictions of scientists working for numerous agencies, governments, nonprofits, universities, and corporations around the world, and US customer preferences and  behaviors and politicians.  Transportation is, the EPA said, the largest source of climate-affecting emissions in the United States. The new standards aim to cut 7 billion tons of undesirable emissions, while saving motorists $46 billion less in fuel costs.

The rule, which cleared its last obstacles aside from spurious lawsuits, sets standards for light and medium duty vehicles.  For 2023, the target is for the industry to cut carbon dioxide emissions in half, to 85 g / mile on average. Medium-duty vehicles, including Ram 2500 and 3500, have a target of 274 g/mile, a 44% cut from 2026 rules.

Underneath the Ram 1500 REV concept

The original proposal would have moved the goalposts closer to today, with a 56% reduction from 2026 to 2032, starting earlier. EVs were expected to be 60% of new vehicle sales by 2030. Plug-in hybrids were not included in the draft analysis.

The rules do not mandate battery-electric cars and is not an EV mandate. Automakers can increase vehicle efficiency in other ways, including fuel-cells and PHEVs.

Toyota harshly criticized essentially all proposed EPA rules, given that Toyota is not ready for electric cars and has not done much with PHEVs yet. Toyota claimed to be leading the industry despite this. Republicans suggested that forcing ethanol (E15) on buyers would achieve all the same goals, and said that EVs are actually more polluting and are also unreliable.

Discover more from Stellpower - that Mopar news site

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading