On Wednesday, several American and foreign car manufacturers sided with them Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new and stricter vehicle emission regulations in a court hearing challenged by states and ethanol companies.
Texas and 15 other states have filed a lawsuit against the EPA’s new rules stating that the EPA exceeds its authority and violates the US Constitution’s separation of powers principle in drafting the greenhouse gas emission rules.
The EPA’s new rules entail a 10% reduction in vehicle emissions in model year 2023 and a 5% greater reduction each year until 2026. The EPA’s estimated target is to reduce vehicle emissions by 28.6% by 2026. In addition to reducing emissions, the new rules will also encourage the adoption of more electric motors – something that other countries have been doing freely for years.
European countries have dominated the transition to electric cars for years
In July 2021, the European Union declared that it would reduce 55% of carbon emissions by 2030 in an effort to reach their carbon neutrality target by 2050 as part of the European Green Deal.
While at the same time reducing emissions, the EU is also promoting the increase in electric vehicles.
According to the International Energy Agencyhas increased the market share of electric vehicles in Europe from 1.2% in 2016 to 10% in 2020 – Europe now has the current highest market share for electric cars above the US and China.
Scandinavian countries are leading the onslaught on electric vehicles with Norway having the highest number of electric car sales worldwide in 2020.
Norway set ambitious transition targets for the first time in the late 1990s, setting a target of 50,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2017. By 2015, two years before the target year set, Norway could achieve the transition.
Most recently, Norway has set a goal of being the first nation to end sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2050 and replace them with electric vehicles. From now on, the transition is going smoothly, with 54.3% of all new cars sold in 2020 being electric – an astonishing record, compared to 42.4% the previous year.
Many attribute the Norwegian government’s success to the tax incentives in place for electric vehicles – which encourage consumers to buy electricity.
Short on Norway’s heels, according to a study by the European Environmental Protection Agency and Eurostat, other EU countries which significantly increased their electric vehicle sales in 2020 include the Netherlands by 22.91%, Sweden by 9.69%, Denmark by 7.19%, Germany by 6.86%, Luxembourg by 5.61% and several others – the UK was not included in the study.
The study also predicted that by 2035, both Norway and the Netherlands, if they continue this trend, could reach 99.90% of all car sales that are electric.
The EPA’s new emissions regulations could help America catch up with electric vehicle trend – if they win in court
Filed in December 2021, states that challenge EPA regulations include Texas, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah.
The states are also joined by several corn and soybean producers’ associations such as the U.S. fuel and petrochemical manufacturers and ethanol companies.
Opponents of the regulations argue it is outside the EPA’s jurisdiction to make such strict regulations.
Represented below The Alliance for Motor Innovationcar companies that support the EPA’s decision in court include most of the major players in the automotive industry: Ford Motive Co., General Motors Co., Stellantis NV, Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. As recently, The Alliance for Automotive Innovation said they are currently filing a motion in the District of Columbia District Court of Appeal in support of the EPA.
About why car companies joined the fight, car manufacturers declare they wanted to ensure that “critical regulatory provisions that support electric vehicle technology are maintained.”
Alliance for Motor Innovation (@autosinnovate) March 23, 2022
If adopted, the new regulations are expected to reduce emissions by 28.6% by 2026 – the regulations that will take effect from September. The regulations are part of the Biden administrations’ plans that require half of all vehicles sold in the U.S. to be able to drive free by the end of the decade.
Car manufacturers claim that to make the transition, government investments and regulations are necessary if electric vehicles are to be possible in the US
John Bozzella, President and CEO of the Alliance, named that if the US wants to achieve its goal, this EPA regulation is essential.
“The country needs a range of support policies and other tools in place to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles and to improve U.S. competitiveness, including regulatory components in this rule such as EV multipliers and zero upstream emissions,” Bozzella said.
With automakers supporting the EPA, the new regulations and the Biden administrations’ electric vehicle goals could have a chance to fight – at least hopefully. Currently, the US is the largest polluter of carbon emissions worldwide, so it is crucial that steps are taken to reduce pollution as soon as the climate crisis is ever to be overcome.
Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. – In the Exhibition Photo: Highway traffic lights on 12 August 2012. Source: an.yonghua, Flickr.