NATIONWIDE — On April 12, President Biden unveiled strict new rules on emissions, proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Now there’s talk that this will spur the …
NATIONWIDE — On April 12, President Biden unveiled strict new rules on emissions, proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Now there’s talk that this will spur the electric-vehicle industry to new heights.
The proposed rule does not mandate production numbers of electric vehicles (EVs).
The EPA has recommended the implementation of new, stronger standards for “criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases” in light- and medium-duty vehicles. The new rule would phase in for model years 2027 through 2032.
The criteria pollutants include carbon monoxide, lead, ground-level ozone, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide.
Despite past changes in emissions, the EPA stated, transportation accounts for 27.2 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Within that, light-duty vehicles produce 57.1 percent of the emissions.
“GHG emissions have significant impacts on public health and welfare as evidenced by the well-documented scientific record and as set forth in EPA’s Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings” in the Clean Air Act, the EPA added.
The delay before the rule would take effect allows companies to change production and source materials. It also pushes the start date into the next presidential term.
If the rule stays in place, the stricter standards could improve sales of EVs. Although rising, EV totals are still a fraction of all new-car sales. Americans bought 258,882 EVs in the first quarter of 2023, according to Kelley Blue Book; that works out to about 7.5 percent of almost 3.46 million new cars sold.
It’s still a stunning change. EV sales increased by 44.9 percent over first-quarter 2022; Kelley Blue Book suggests Tesla’s price cuts could have been a significant factor. (Tesla reports vehicle production and deliveries, not sales.)
As with gas-powered cars, the cost of an EV varies. Prices range from $25,600 for a Chevy Bolt to over $100,000 for luxury models. And, of course, EVs can be purchased used.
In October 2022, Car and Driver found that maintenance costs for an EV are far lower than for gas-engine cars. But charging costs were harder to pinpoint, because some stations charge per minute rather than by the kilowatt hour, Robert Baldwin and others wrote.
Tax credits complicate the math too.
But if costs after purchase are important to you, the Department of Energy offers a worksheet to help you figure out the costs of ownership, based on driving habits and EPA data. Visit www.afdc.energy.gov/calc/.
But what are people actually planning? A Gallup poll from March found that four percent of Americans currently own an EV, 12 percent are “seriously considering” purchasing one, and 43 percent might consider a purchase in the future. Forty-one percent said they would never purchase an EV.
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