EPA releases ‘strongest-ever’ carbon rules for cars

By Jean Chemnick | 04/12/2023 05:00 AM EDT

The agency proposed stringent regulations that aim to transform American roadways within nine years.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan speaks in Jackson, Miss., last year.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan, pictured last year, will unveil stringent car rules Wednesday to limit greenhouse gases. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

EPA will propose tailpipe emissions rules Wednesday that could exponentially increase the number of electric vehicles on the nation’s roads within a decade.

The regulations to reduce smog, soot and climate pollution from cars and trucks aim to make up to 67 percent of new cars sold in the U.S. carbon-free by 2032, agency officials said Tuesday, outlining a plan that could plunge the country into a transformative era in which gasoline-powered vehicles are largely replaced by cars that are refueled with an electric cord.

The rules, to be released Wednesday morning, promise to ignite political battles ahead of President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign and court challenges over the federal government’s power to lower carbon emissions from fossil fuels. The plan would also electrify roughly 46 percent of new medium-duty vehicles, such as landscaping and delivery trucks, by 2032.


A separate proposal for heavy-duty trucks would transform between 25 and 50 percent of large rigs into EVs, depending on the subcategory. It will also be released Wednesday.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan told reporters on a Tuesday call that the rules for model years 2027 to 2032 would be “the strongest-ever federal pollution standards for cars and trucks.”

“Together, these actions will accelerate the ongoing transition to a clean vehicles future, tackle the climate crisis and improve our air quality for communities across the country,” he said.