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EPA approves emission targets for 2027-2032 light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles in the US

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Deep Dive: EPA approves emission targets for 2027-2032 light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles in the US

EPA emission targets for cars and vans 2027-2032

🇺🇸 US: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the 2027-2032 emission targets for cars and vans. (link to EPA press release, the Rule summary (link) and the full 1,181-page rule pdf).

These targets should be able to “avoid more than 7 billion tons of carbon emissions and provide nearly $100 billion of annual net benefits to society, including $13 billion of annual public health benefits due to improved air quality, and $62 billion in reduced annual fuel costs, and maintenance and repair costs for drivers.”

These targets were weakened compared to earlier proposals, but only at the earlier part of the model years covered – with the final target remaining similar, reducing CO2 per mile by 49% in Model Year 2032 (compared to 2026). The earlier proposal stated a 56% reduction. The manufacturers must remain below a total light-duty fleet average of 170 grams of CO2 per mile in 2027, and reach a target of 85 grams per mile in 2032.

The EPA assumes that the regulations will lead to 30 to 56% of new car sales being electric between 2030 and 2032.

EPA emission targets for heavy-duty vehicles 2027-2032

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also published the final emission “Phase 3” standards for trucks and buses for the model year 2027 to 2032 on March 29th, building on the “Phase 2” greenhouse gas standards established in 2016. (link to EPA press release; link to Rule summary (link), and the full 1,115-page rule pdf).

The Phase 3 standards are up to 60% stronger by Model Year 2032 for heavy-duty vocational vehicles (such as delivery trucks, refuse haulers, and public utility trucks) and up to 40% stronger for tractors such as day cabs and sleeper cabs on tractor-trailer trucks.
Here’s the % reduction from the Phase 2 emission CO2 standards:

EPA states that around 30% of heavy-duty commercial vehicles would have to be emission-free by 2032 in order to achieve these targets. The estimate is 40% for short-haul tractor units and 25% for long-haul trucks.

EPA says the new rules setting standards for 2027-2032 model years will avoid 1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions through 2055 and provide $13 billion in annualized net benefits to society.

Overall, the standards tighten requirements at a slower pace than initially planned, and delay the start of new rules for day cab tractors and some heavy-duty vocational vehicles. To compare, the tougher proposed rules last year would have prevented 1.8 billion tons of emissions per EPA’s estimations.

EPA emission targets for medium-duty vehicles 2027-2032

The new medium-duty vehicle standards are also covered in this new EPA rule, for vehicles with gross vehicle weight of 3.8 to 6.3 tonnes. These targets start at 461 grams of CO2 per mile in 2027 and gradually drop to 274 CO2 per mile in 2032.

Other news regarding EPA and emission regulations: an US Appeals Court has upheld the EPA decision to allow California to set its own tailpipe emissions limits and EV requirements, rejecting a challenge from 17 Republican-led states and entities that sell or produce liquid fuels to reinstate the Trump regulation to take the state’s rights to emissions regulation away. (link)

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