Black smoke emissions from a vehicle’s exhaust are a key contributing factor to air pollution and climate change.
Emmanuelkwizera, BB SA 4.0.
The proposal aims to speed the transition to electric vehicles but could threaten to sour an alliance with U.S. automakers.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s planned auto emissions rules have been designed to ensure that all-electric cars make up as much as 67 percent of new passenger vehicles sold in the country by 2032, according to two people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss proposals that have not yet been made public.
However, that battle could determine how quickly and cheaply Americans can purchases EVs and grow what’s now just a small fraction of the country’s auto market, according to the Washington Post.
Michael S. Regan, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is expected to announce the proposed limits on tailpipe emissions on Wednesday in Washington. It was originally set for Detroit, but the agency cited scheduling conflicts in moving the location.
Transportation sector is biggest source of planet-warming gases
Everyone has seen the numbers, and it is a fact that motor vehicle emissions are a common source of air pollution and are a major ingredient in the creation of smog in some large cities.
A 2013 study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) indicates that 53,000 early deaths occur per year in the United States alone because of vehicle emissions
According to The BBC, another study from the same university found that traffic fumes alone cause the death of 5,000 people every year just in the United Kingdom.
Cars, trucks, and buses produce air pollution throughout their life cycle, including pollution emitted during vehicle operation and fuel production. Additionally, air pollution from cars, trucks, and buses is split into primary and secondary pollution.
Primary pollution is emitted directly into the atmosphere; secondary pollution results from chemical reactions between pollutants in the atmosphere. Fetuses, newborn children, and people with chronic illnesses are especially susceptible to the effects of air pollutants.
When the impacts of climate change, driven by global warming emissions, are added to the equation, it sets us up for impacts on our healthcare system, economy, and overall well-being.
Speeding up the adoption of electric vehicles
Now, while there are all kinds of reasons to jump into the mass production of electric vehicles, it should also be pointed out that it would require other significant changes nationwide.
First of all, the country would need millions of new electric vehicle charging stations. That task alone could be a construction nightmare unless it was handled sensibly.
A bigger task still would be a general overhaul of the nation’s electrical power grid to accommodate the power needs of those chargers, and that is only if we can secure the supplies of minerals and other materials needed for batteries.
It is a massive undertaking, and it will be met with resistance, including legal challenges. It could also become an issue in the 2024 presidential campaign, as a future administration could undo or weaken it.
“This is a massive undertaking,” said John Bozzella, president of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents large U.S. and foreign automakers. “It is nothing short of a complete transformation of the automotive industrial base and the automotive market.”
The new regulations would come on the heels of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which has helped stoke demand for electric vehicles by providing up to $7,500 in tax incentives for car buyers as well as billions in incentives for battery manufacturing and critical mineral processing and mining.