This morning President Biden put his pen to yet another executive order to try to force 50% of new vehicles sold in 2030 in the US to be zero-emission.
This seems to be news to the industry as the big 3 published a slightly different goal. – A “shared aspiration” to achieve 40% EVs by 2030—with EVs in their definition including battery electric, hydrogen fuel-cell, and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Actual compliance details for the standards, widely anticipated for weeks, still weren’t released at the time of writing this morning. Instead of picking up where the Obama rules left off, they’re expected to essentially build on a compromise worked out between California and a series of automakers starting in 2019.
Covering model years 2023 through 2026 and extending potentially to 2031, they’ll bring the fleet closer to the targets previously followed by the Obama administration, but it depends largely on some of the compliance particulars and credit framework as to whether the Biden rules might be more stringent in actual application or not.
“Auto manufacturers are committed to a net-zero carbon transportation future, and we look forward to working with the Administration as we evaluate EPA’s proposed changes to light-duty vehicle standards for Model Years 2023-2026,” said John Bozzella the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a trade group representing most automakers.
The coordinated announcement with automakers also appeared to be a necessary step, as much of electric-vehicle and green-energy emphasis expected in the infrastructure bill moving through Congress has been dropped. The President’s order expressed the importance of additional point-of-sale incentives and EV charging stations.
Weaker so-called SAFE standards for fleet emissions and fuel economy under the Trump administration, limited to a fleet improvement of just 1.5%, will have slowed such progress for the 2021 and 2022 model years. The Obama standards, which had targeted a 5% annual improvement, had been amounting to about a 3.7% annual improvement when considering the changing vehicle mix from cars to trucks.
It also seems that the White House did not bother to ask countries and the he world’s largest EV producer to attend the event. On Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the White House excluded the all-electric automaker, which has sold the majority of electric vehicles in recent years. According to 2018 data from IHS Markit, Tesla employed more than 20,000 and indirectly employed more than 31,000—not counting the Nevada Gigafactory. Its Texas factory is expected to add 5,000 direct jobs and about 4,000 indirect jobs.
Environmental groups had been set up for some level of disappointment, and over the past week several groups spelled out why the new rules need to be tougher than the Obama trajectory would have taken to make up for the Trump rollback.
“Looking ahead to the next set of standards, anything that falls short of ensuring a 60% reduction in emissions and a clear trajectory to 100% electric vehicle sales by 2035 at the absolute latest represents an enormous missed opportunity,” said Carol Lee Rawn, the senior director of transportation at the sustainability non-profit Ceres.
Transportation is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., and the Biden administration holds a goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Compared to UK and EC this plan is pathetic. Compare a total ban on ICE power in the UK by 2030 with a goal of 50% by 2030 in the US including Plug In Hybrids. Europe has a goal of 55% of all vehicles must be zero-emissions by 2030 and 100% by 2035.
Even China has a more aggressive plan that Bidens.
This shows the power of the US lobbying as GM, Toyota, Stallantis – the Fiat Chrysler team and Ford have spent big dollars in DC to slow change down.
Solution that Biden can’t see
There is a simple solution. The US price of petrol is so low that there is no benefit in having a high MPG vehicle. If Biden doubles the price of petrol with a higher tax, EV sales would take off.