President Biden is set to sign an Executive Order setting an ambitious target to make half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 zero-emissions vehicles, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell electric vehicles. The Executive Order also kicks off development of long-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards to save consumers money, cut pollution, boost public health, advance environmental justice, and tackle the climate crisis.
As well, consistent with the President’s Day One Executive Order, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will announce how they are addressing the previous administration’s harmful rollbacks of near-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards. Through these coordinated notices of proposed rulemaking, the two agencies are advancing smart fuel efficiency and emissions standards that would deliver around $140 billion in net benefits over the life of the program, save about 200 billion gallons of gasoline, and reduce around two billion metric tons of carbon pollution. For the average consumer, this means net benefits of up to $900 over the life of the vehicle in fuel savings.
From the White House’s Fact Sheet about the announcement:
These new actions – paired with the investments in the President’s Build Back Better Agenda – will strengthen American leadership in clean cars and trucks by accelerating innovation and manufacturing in the auto sector, bolstering the auto sector domestic supply chain, and growing auto jobs with good pay and benefits. That is why today, American automakers Ford, GM, and Stellantis and the United Auto Workers (UAW), will stand with President Biden at the White House with aligned ambition: supporting the President’s Build Back Better Agenda and the automakers’ need to invest in and grow good-paying union jobs in the United States.FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces Steps to Drive American Leadership Forward on Clean Cars and Trucks
In addition to announcing the President’s Executive Order, the Fact Sheet includes a voluntary pledge from US electric vehicle manufacturers to help the US meet the ambitious vehicle sales target, as well as the introduction of stricter emissions standards for gas and diesel-powered vehicles. Ford, General Motors, Stellantis – which makes Jeep, Ram and Chrysler vehicles – all issued statements expressing support for the 40% to 50% target. BMW, Honda, Volkswagen and Volvo also said they supported it.
Toyota’s North America CEO said his company will “do our part.”
Automakers said such a shift will require more than just them making different types of cars. EV OEMs insisted that the government will have to support incentives for car buyers to choose electric vehicles, money to expand electric vehicle supply chains, and enough funding to build sufficient charging stations across the country.
The White House’s Build Back Better initiative sets lofty qualitative goals for US electric vehicle manufacturing and adoption:
- Installing the first-ever national network of electric vehicle charging stations.
- Delivering point-of-sale consumer incentives to spur U.S. manufacturing and union jobs.
- Financing the retooling and expansion of the full domestic manufacturing supply chain.
- Innovating the next generation of clean technologies to maintain our competitive edge.
Currently, EVs make up around 2% of new car sales in the United States, making a 40-50% target by 2030 an ambitious reach. However, as many EV advocates have noted in recent months, the global auto industry has recently embraced electrification. Many automakers, though not all, had already announced similar or more ambitious targets independently — for example, Volvo plans to be entirely electric by 2030.
Read the White House’s full Fact Sheet about the August 5, 2021 announcement here.