Industry groups across the U.S. released their thoughts on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s recently proposed federal vehicle emissions standards to accelerate the ongoing transition to a clean vehicle future.
The proposed standards would avoid nearly 10 billion tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to more than twice the total U.S. CO2 emissions in 2022 while saving thousands of dollars over the lives of the vehicles meeting these new standards. They would also reduce America’s reliance on approximately 20 billion barrels of oil imports.
The first set of proposed standards announced, the “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium Duty Vehicles,” builds on EPA’s existing emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks for MYs 2023 through 2026.
The heavy-duty truck standards would apply to delivery trucks, refuse haulers, dump trucks, public utility trucks, transit, shuttle, and school buses, and trucks typically used to haul freight.
Clean Freight Coalition
Clean Freight Coalition executive director Jim Mullen issued the following statement.
“One of the core tenets of CFC’s Mission Statement is the commitment of its members to the transition to zero-emission heavy trucks that will deliver reliable and affordable transportation of the nation’s freight," Mullen said. "CFC members are investing billions of dollars to fulfill that commitment and have stood with EPA in support of stringent regulations that have delivered real-world emissions reductions in the heavy-duty truck industry."
CALSTART was another company that chimed in with its thoughts on the proposed standards.
“The rules proposed by the EPA today build on the historic investments of the Inflation Reduction Act, continuing the Administration’s leadership in supporting the transition to a zero-emission transportation future, improving public health, and addressing the climate crisis,” said John Boesel, president/CEO of CALSTART. “We applaud the EPA for taking this important step to chart a path to increased zero-emission vehicle adoption. CALSTART is committed to working with the agency and our industry partners to ensure the final rules provide the right market signal and support for transitioning the transportation sector.”
Climate Group welcomed the EPA's proposed new rules to strengthen vehicle emission standards.
“Transportation is the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US today. Heavy-duty trucks contribute a disproportionate amount of emissions and air pollutants that heavily impact community health," said Angela Barranco, Climate Group executive director for North America. "The proposed policies will energize the production and supply of electric vehicles, especially heavy-duty trucks. This will improve public health, boost corporate sustainability and fleet electrification plans, stimulate the next generation of EV investment, and put more money in the pockets of American consumers. EPA’s proposed rules are a great step forward and we call on them to finalize strong vehicle emission standards."
Sandra Purohit, director of federal advocacy for E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), said the EPA proposed standards "target the single largest US source of carbon pollution — transportation."
“By tackling carbon pollution, these standards will help curb the ballooning costs of climate change through clear healthcare savings and combating the worst impacts from weather disasters. The EPA should adopt the strongest achievable standards," Purohit said.
Alliance for Automotive Innovation
John Bozzella, president and CEO of Alliance for Automotive Innovation, saw both sides to the news proposed standards as he said "two things can be true."
"Yes, America’s transition to an electric and low-carbon transportation future is well underway. EV and battery manufacturing are ramping up across the country because automakers have self-financed billions to expand vehicle electrification," Bozzella said. "It’s also true that EPA’s proposed emissions plan is aggressive by any measure. By that I mean it sets automotive electrification goals in the next few years that are… very high."
Enivornmental Defense Fund
The Environmental Defense Fund supported the latest EPA news in its memo.
“The EPA clean air proposals announced today will slash billions of tons of climate pollution, along with health-harming pollution that causes thousands of premature deaths annually," said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund. "With these clean air standards, EPA estimates that in 2032 about two-thirds of the new cars and passenger trucks sold in America will be tailpipe pollution-free, and EPA’s proposal will ensure that up to half of new urban delivery and freight vehicles sold by 2032 will be zero-emitting."
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Todd Spencer, president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) didn't share the same sentinments as the other industry groups.
“The Biden-Harris EPA is continuing their regulatory blitz on small-business truckers. The latest proposal comes on the heels of a hurried NOx emissions rulemaking finalized in December along with a California waiver mandating sales of electric trucks," Spencer said. "The announcement is a blatant attempt to force consumers into purchasing electric vehicles while a national charging infrastructure network remains absent for heavy-duty commercial trucks. Professional drivers are skeptical of EV costs, mileage range, battery weight and safety, charging time, and availability. It’s baffling that the EPA is pushing forward with more impractical emissions timelines without first addressing these overwhelming concerns with electric CMVs. The pursuit of this radical environmental agenda in conjunction with an anticipated speed limiter mandate will regulate the safest and most experienced truckers off the road. “
American Trucking Associations
Finally, American Trucking Associations CEO Chris Spear issued the following statement.
“The trucking industry starts at ‘yes.’ We share the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving fuel efficiency and believe any regulation must be practical, achievable, and based on sound science," Spear said. "While these standards are directed at manufacturers, it is fleets – the customers and end-users of this equipment – who will ultimately determine their level of success.
Spear added that the Phase 3 standards have to account for the challenges and operating conditions facing motor carriers as "we manage the transition to a zero-emission future while simultaneously moving more than 72 percent of the economy’s freight."