U.S. Regulators Continue to Relax Electric Vehicle Standards

March 20, 2024
The original proposal would have lowered petroleum-equivalent fuel economy ratings for EVs and cost automakers billions, but revised rules have granted more flexibility.

An initial proposal from the U.S. Department of Energy that would phase out extra fuel-economy credits for automakers’ electric vehicles has been revised to allow them more time to comply, reports Reuters.

The announcement comes before other regulations set to be unveiled by the Biden Administration this week, including revised 2027-2032 vehicle emissions requirements from the Environmental Protection Agency that have also been altered to allow automakers more time to adapt.

The Energy Department has previously been criticized for the existing rules, which environmentalists argue assign fuel-economy values to EVs that are unrealistically high. Those numbers are figured into fleetwide averages under federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rules and serve to offset the value of ICE vehicles, as explained by Reuters.

Under the existing rules, the Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup had a petroleum-equivalent fuel economy rating of 237.7 miles per gallon. The new guidelines originally proposed by the Department of Energy would have altered that number to 67.1 mpg.

While the DOE’s first proposal would have lowered these mileage ratings for EVs by 72% in 2027, these revised rules will call for a 65% decrease by 2030, granting more flexibility to automakers. 

The original rules proposed were met with criticism from both automakers and the United Auto Workers union, who argued that it would result in $10.5 billion in CAFE fines being issued to auto manufacturers through 2032.

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