Law & Order

EPA Sets Stricter Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for New Vehicles

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized a rule to tighten the new-car emissions requirements for greenhouse gases. For model-year ’26, the fleetwide average for cars, SUVs and pickups will be 161 grams of carbon dioxide per mile. If expressed in miles per gallon (mpg) in real-world stop-and-go driving, the new rule translates into a fleetwide average of about 40 mpg for MY ’26 vehicles. The Biden administration originally proposed 38 mpg in August, which was a marked increase from the 32-mpg requirement set by the EPA under the Trump administration. The rule takes effect in MY ’23 and increases the requirements each year through 2026.

The EPA faced pressure from environmentalists and other groups that its initial proposal of this rule didn’t go far enough. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which represents the major OEMs and suppliers, has pushed back on the finalized rule saying the higher fleetwide fuel standards may not be possible without additional supportive government policies like consumer incentives and infrastructure growth in place. The EPA rule anticipates a gradual increase in the number of zero-emission cars and trucks on the road. The administration expects that EVs and plug-in hybrids will represent 7% of all new vehicles sold in 2023, and they are seeking to increase this figure to 17% of vehicles sold in 2026.

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