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Biden administration considering delaying switch to electric vehicles: Report

The Biden administration is expected to loosen its rules for the country’s switch to electric vehicles (EVs), The New York Times first reported Saturday, citing three people familiar with the plan.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) change in its proposed rule would implement less stringent requirements for vehicle pollution in the short term — effectively allowing car manufacturers to have a smaller percentage of their fleet be electric in 2030 than under the Biden administration’s initial proposal, the Times reported.

The rule change would be a win for car manufacturers and labor unions, allowing the industry more time to boost its EV production and charging infrastructure before regulations encroach on the gas-powered vehicle market.

The EV market has swelled in recent years, but not as quickly as some had anticipated. More consumers turned to hybrid cars instead of fully electric vehicles in 2023. EV sales made up just 7 percent of the market last year, The Associated Press reported.

That pales in comparison to the Biden administration’s future projections, which anticipate EVs making up as much as two-thirds of sales by 2032. The Congressional Budget Office also increased its projected cost for the Inflation Reduction Act last week, citing a greater-than-anticipated number of Americans claiming EV tax credits.

A rule change could also smooth over political concerns from the United Auto Workers union about President Biden’s reelection campaign. The union finally endorsed Biden last month after months of politically challenging the president and warnings about pursuing a switch to EVs too quickly.

The EPA first proposed the strict tailpipe standards last year, so strict that they would effectively force manufacturers to sell mostly zero-emissions vehicles by 2030. The House GOP passed an effort to repeal the rule in December, and car dealers also put up mass opposition last month.

The Times reported that the Biden administration is expected to announce the change this spring.

Updated 8:05 p.m.


Source: The Hill

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