US reveals stricter exhaust emission standards for new vehicles

US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg today unveiled stricter fuel economy standards, which he said would save Americans money at the pump, as well as help reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change.

“Once those standards come into force, Americans who buy a new vehicle will spend less on gas than they would have done if we had not taken this step,” Buttigieg said at a Friday news conference in Washington, DC. “We estimate that today’s rule will prevent 5.5 trillion pounds of carbon dioxide from entering our atmosphere between now and 2050.”

By 2026, the average new vehicle in the United States will have 49 miles of travel per year. gallons of gasoline (mpg) below the revised Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, Buttigieg said. The new standards will increase fuel efficiency by 8 percent annually for model year 2024-2025 and 10 percent annually for model year 2026. They will also increase the estimated fleet average by nearly 10 miles per gallon for model year 2026 compared to model year 2021.

“That means if you fill up four times a month, it’s going to be three times a month by model year 2026 based on those averages,” Buttigieg said. “And that, of course, would save a typical American household hundreds of dollars.”

The new standards, first unveiled last year, are part of a larger effort by President Joe Biden to reverse the rules that Donald Trump has introduced and return to the Obama-era fuel economy standards of nearly a decade ago.

Last August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed new standards that would increase fuel efficiency by 8 percent annually for vehicle model years 2024-2026 and increase the estimated fleet average by 12 miles per gallon for model year 2026 compared to model year 2021. According to the new rules, car owners are estimated to save $ 140 billion in fuel savings for new vehicles sold in 2030 and $ 470 billion by the middle of the century.

The Environmental Protection Agency said in a set of parallel rules that passenger vehicles would be required to achieve an average of 55 miles of driving per hour. gallons of gasoline (mpg) by 2026 – slightly above Obama’s target of 54 mpg, but a big increase over the 38-mpg rule introduced by Trump. The EPA estimated that the new standard would prevent the release of 3.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2050 and would save car owners $ 420 billion in fuel costs.

Buttigieg also called on Congress to adopt Biden’s halted Build Back Better package, which would adopt a number of environmental initiatives, including tax breaks for the purchase of new electric cars. “It would take, for example, the American-made electric pickup trucks we saw a lot of ads for during the Super Bowl, from about $ 40,000 down into the 20s,” he said. “We could do that through policies that are available right now.”

The need for new tax deductions for electric cars speaks to the problem with cars on U.S. roads today, which is that many of them are old. There are about 280 million cars and trucks on the roads in the United States today, of which only 3 percent are electric.

Americans typically buy 16-17 million cars each year, which would mean that it would take about 16 years of sales for electric cars alone to replace all the gas cars that are currently on the road. We would also need a total ban on the sale and use of gas cars, and so far the Biden administration does not appear to be willing to do so.

Last year, Biden signed a decree requiring the federal government to spend billions of dollars to buy electric vehicles, upgrade federal buildings, and harness government power to switch to cleaner forms of electricity. And just this week, Biden relied on the Defense Production Act to increase mining and the processing of important minerals used in batteries for renewable energy and electric vehicles.

The rules would also maintain the so-called “loophole for light trucks”, where vehicles that are larger and heavier, such as SUVs and pickup trucks, are allowed to pollute more than smaller vehicles. The US automotive industry has largely stopped producing small vehicles and sedans in favor of large trucks and SUVs, which have higher margins and are more profitable for automakers. (An NHTSA spokesman did not immediately respond to a question about the loophole in the light truck.)

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