Nat Keohane on proposed vehicle standards and EV targets

Statement of Nathaniel Keohane
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

August 5, 2021

On the expected U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) draft rules on vehicle standards for passenger vehicles and light trucks, and President Biden’s executive order setting a goal of making 50 percent of new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles.

The draft rule would require automakers to improve the average fuel economy of their fleets to reach about 52 mpg-equivalent by 2026, up from the 44 mpg required by the current rule

“Dramatically reducing climate pollution from transportation, and ultimately moving to a zero-emissions fleet, are vital steps to achieving our climate goals and maintaining America’s global competitiveness. The administration’s draft proposed car standards are an important step in the right direction. They demonstrate that President Biden, the EPA, and NHTSA recognize the importance of eliminating harmful transportation pollution, and point the way toward the increased ambition we will need through the end of the decade.

“Our success in cutting vehicle emissions and building an American clean energy economy will depend not only on the standards we set, but also on the investments we make. The 50 percent EV sales target reflects the direction that leading automakers are already going, with many committing to making 100 percent of new car sales electric by 2035. Congress must play its part and enact the policies needed to support those efforts, including rapid expansion of EV charging infrastructure, credits for EV sales, and offering rebates for consumers purchasing them.”

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About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Our mission is to advance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. Learn more at