The Biden administration is continuing to push the transition to electric vehicles, with yet another new set of standards released late last week.
On Friday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed a new proposal that would have stricter standards for fuel economy, essentially as a way to speed up companies’ transition away from gas-powered and over to electric vehicles.
According to the proposal, automakers would be required to improve their average gas mileage of all passenger cars that are sold from 2027 to 2032 by a mark of 2% per year. For light trucks, the benchmark would be 4% per year.
The New York Times reported that this would mean that the average fuel economy would have to be 58 miles per gallon by 2032. To achieve that goal, the Times’ report said that two-thirds of all new cars that automakers sell in the U.S. would need to be powered by electricity.
If it’s passed as proposed, the Transportation Department said that more than 900 million tons of emissions of carbon dioxide would be averted.
The NHTSA doesn’t have the authority to take electric vehicles into account when they are setting their standards for fuel economy. However, automakers do have the ability to make electric vehicles so they can comply.
This newest proposal means that the White House is doubling down on its efforts to change the type of new vehicles that are being sold in America. Back in April, the EPA announced new rules that would reduce the emissions of pickups and passenger cars by 50% through the years 2026 and 2032.
Some experts in the legal field have commented that the White House is taking this two-angled approach at EVs just in case one of the sets of rules ends up getting blocked in court.
As Columbia Law School environmental law professor Michael Gerrard told the Times:
“To a certain extent, this is belt and suspenders. The fact that we have two different rules from two different agencies under two different statutes increases the odds that at least one will survive.”
While liberals are touting the overwhelming environmental benefits of switching to electric vehicles, automakers aren’t doing very well in their attempt to keep pace with that transition.
For one, it’s still very expensive to acquire the minerals that are needed to produce the batteries that run electric vehicles. Two, the infrastructure isn’t currently in place to shift production from gas-powered vehicles to electric vehicles in the quick timeframe that the Biden administration is wanting.
And even if those two things could be overcome, there still aren’t enough charging stations available throughout the country to support all those extra electric vehicles on the road.
Not surprisingly, Republicans immediately came out to criticize the new proposal. Republican Senator Ted Cruz from Texas said the rules were part of the Biden administration’s continuing “war on affordable gas-powered cars and trucks.”
This de facto EV mandate will dramatically raise car prices, weaken energy security, and is likely contrary to the law.”