Sunday, June 9, 2024

"The Biden administration on Friday tightened vehicle fuel mileage standards..."

From The New York Times, June 7:

U.S. Tightens Car Mileage Rules, Part of Strategy to Fight Climate Change
The new measure requires automakers to achieve an average of 65 miles per gallon for all the car models they sell by 2031.    

The Biden administration on Friday tightened vehicle fuel mileage standards, part of its strategy to transform the American auto market into one that is dominated by electric vehicles that do not emit the pollution that is heating the planet.

The new mileage standards announced by the Transportation Department are among several regulations the administration is using to prod carmakers to produce more electric vehicles. In April, the Environmental Protection Agency issued strict new limits on tailpipe pollution that are designed to ensure that the majority of new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the United States are all-electric or hybrids by 2032, up from 7.6 percent last year.

In addition to the regulations, the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, championed by Mr. Biden, provides tax credits for buyers of new and used electric vehicles, along with incentives for charging stations and grants and loans for manufacturers.

The push for more E.V.s comes as the world’s leading climate experts say that retiring the internal combustion engine is critical to staving off the most deadly effects of global warming.

But Mr. Biden’s efforts have become a meaty target for former President Donald J. Trump and other Republicans who frame them as the federal government taking away consumer choice. The oil and gas industry is spending millions on advertising that falsely calls Mr. Biden’s policies a ban on conventional cars.

Mr. Trump has made attacks on electric vehicles a mainstay of his campaign to retake the White House, falsely saying they do not work, cannot travel far and will “kill” the American automobile industry. Mr. Trump has promised that if he is elected to a second term he will undo Mr. Biden’s climate policies, including federal support for electric vehicles.

But at a rally in Arizona on Thursday, Mr. Trump struck an uncharacteristically supportive note on electric vehicles as he heaped praise on Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla. “We want to get rid of the electric mandate for the cars,” he began, calling it the “green new scam.” Then he added: “By the way, I’m a big fan of electric cars, I’m a fan of Elon. I like Elon but, you know, I like him. I think a lot of people are going to want to buy electric cars. But if you want to buy a different kind of car, you’re going to, you have to have a choice. Some people need to go far. Some people don’t want their car built in China.”

China has heavily subsidized its auto industry, which has enabled its top automaker to produce electric cars priced as low as $17,000. Very few Chinese-made automobiles are sold in the United States, where President Biden has imposed a 100 percent tariff on Chinese auto imports to try to prevent them from undercutting domestic manufacturers.

The new standards require American automakers to increase fuel economy so that, across their product lines, their passenger cars would average 65 miles per gallon by 2031, up from 48.7 miles today. The average mileage for light trucks, including pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles, would have to reach 45 miles per gallon, up from 35.1 miles per gallon....