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EPA tightens emission standards in US so now what?

This article appears on the GlobalFeet website.

28 Apr 2023

The United States environmental protection agency (EPA) has tightened up standards for greenhouse gas emissions for light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles, a necessary step to reach net-zero carbon emissions as set in the Paris Agreement.

Through 2055, the new rules will avoid nearly 10BNt of CO2 emissions all while generating $12,000 in savings from government incentives (see table below) and lower energy cost for the average consumer over the lifetime of a light-duty vehicle, according to the agency.

Depending on how automakers comply, the EPA projects that at least 60% of new passenger vehicles sold in the US would be electric by 2030 and up to 67% by 2032. For slightly larger, medium-duty trucks, the EPA projects 46% of new vehicle sales will be EVs in 2032.

This is more than the Federal Government’s goal stipulating that 50% of vehicles sales should be zero-emission models by the end of the end of the decade (2030).

Light-Duty Vehicles

By model year 2032, the new standard results in an industry-wide average target of 82g of CO2 created per mile traveled. That would be 56% lower than the model year 2026 standard set in 2021.

Back in 2018, the agency estimated that the average passenger vehicle emitted about 404g of carbon dioxide per mile. Although automakers may opt to meet the standards by offering EVs, some advancements in internal combustion engine technology are still expected.

Is it all about cars?

“What fleet and mobility managers really need to focus on is the exact type of light duty- vehicle they need to reach their sustainability targets and this means zeroing in on last-mile mobility solutions which may not be a four-wheel vehicle in some cases,” says eMobility transportation solutions expert Bill Klehm.

Of the 119 million rides made in the US every day, nearly half are less than seven miles and a fourth of them (29mn) are less than a mile, according to Mr. Klehm who is Chairman and CEO of recreational and commercial eMobility products and services company eBliss.

Over time, fleet managers will be looking at things differently when it comes to choosing their vehicles, evaluating their operations on a use-case basis by analyzing the work that each of their employees need to do. Besides four-wheeled vehicles like cars, this could result in using smaller vehicles such as modified golf carts, e-bikes, or other.

Automaker plans

•    Ford is investing more than $50bn through 2026 to develop EVs and seeks to build 600,000 per year by the end of 2023. The company sold 61,575 EVs in 2022.
•    GM said it will only sell zero-emission vehicles by 2035, starting with a plan to produce one million per year by 2025. The company sold 39,096 EVs in 2022
•    Stellantis (formerly Chrysler) seeks half of US sales to be BEV by 2030 and other automakers such as Honda and Volvo are also focusing on EVs.

EVs qualifying for IRA tax credits as of April 19, 2023

$7,500 tax credit

$3,750 tax credit

no longer eligible

Cadillac Lyriq

Ford E-Transit

Audio Q5 TFSI e Quattro

Chevy Bolt

Ford Escape PHEV

BMW 330e

Chevy Bolt EUV

Jeep Wrangler 4xe

BMW X5 xDrive45e

Chevy Silverado EV

Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe

Genesis Electrified GV70

Chevy Blazer

Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring PHEV

Nissan Leaf

Chevy Equinox EV

Mustang Mach-E

Volvo s60 PHEV, Extended Range and T8 Recharge (Extended Range)

Chrysler Pacifica PHEV

Tesla Model 3
(Standard Range RWD)


Ford F-150 Lightning



Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring PHEV



Tesla Model Y (AWD, Long Range AWD, and Performance)  



Tesla Model 3 (Performance)



Volkswagen ID.4(Standard, S, Pro, Pro S, Pro S Plus, as well as AWD Pro, AWD Pro S and AWD Pro S Plus)




Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles

For Medium-Duty vehicles by model year 2032, the target is 275g of CO2 per mile, a 44% reduction compared to model year 2026 standard.

Under the tougher standards, the agency projected EVs could account for 67% of new light-duty vehicles and 46% of new medium-duty vehicles sales by model year 2032, depending on how automakers choose to meet these standards.

For Heavy Duty Trucks and Buses by model year 2027, emission standards will become more rigid over time. For example, heavy-haul tractors will start at some 48g of CO2 per ton-mile in model year 2027 and drop to around 41g in 2032. Overall, CO2 emissions should be reduced by 1.8bn metric tons through 2055.

For more on what is taking place throughout North America, download your free copy of the Global Fleet eBook on the region.