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US unveils new, softened vehicle emissions targets

The US has revised its targets for future vehicle emissions after facing pushback from carmakers on more stringent original plans. Nevertheless, the government sought to tout the cuts that would still be made.

US  President  Joe Biden’s  administration announced new emission rules on Wednesday that officials say will accelerate the US auto industry’s shift to electric vehicles and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. 

The rules are revised pollution standards for cars and trucks, which set  emission reductions targets for 2032 but are nevertheless less stringent than the White House’s original proposals.  

Less exacting targets, but EPA says net effects will be similar

The Environmental Protection Agency slashed its target for US electric vehicle adoption from 67% by 2032 to as little as 35% after industry and autoworker backlash, particularly in the state of Michigan.

The Environmental Protection Agency instead adopted a “technology neutral” regulatory scheme that allows automakers far more freedom to meet emissions standards with gas-electric hybrids.

The agency also embraced advanced gasoline technologies to save fuel, such as turbo-charging, lighter vehicles or stop-start ignition systems.

“Let me be clear, our final rule delivers the same, if not more pollution reduction,” the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Michael Regan, said on Wednesday. “We designed the standards to be technology neutral and performance-based to give manufacturers the flexibility to choose which combination of pollution control technologies are best suited for their consumers.”

Biden had argued that US carmakers needed to take the lead in the expanding electric vehicle market.

Environmentalists and electric-vehicle makers such as Tesla have often blasted hybrids as a side-road on the way to the transition to fully electric vehicles.

Three years ago Biden set a target that 50 percent of new vehicles in 2030will be electric, although it’s not clear what the future of such plans would be if the Republican Donald Trump defeats Biden in  November US election

The emissions rules likely mark the last major environmental policy move Biden will make before he faces the voters in November.

Source: Dw

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