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US unveils strictest car emission norms to boost EV offtake

Image: Shutterstock

US President Joe Biden announced the country's strictest vehicle exhaust emissions regulations as part of attempts to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.

The new norms tighten vehicle emissions by placing increasing year-by-year limits on permitted levels of vehicle exhaust, with stiff fines as deterrent for companies that do not meet the prescribed standard.

Among the regulations: a target for 56 percent of all new US vehicles sold by 2032 to be EVs. That's down from 67 percent proposed in the policy draft, but the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates even achievement of the 56 percent target will help prevent 7 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions over the next 30 years.

Despite its tightening, the US approach remains more moderate than Europe or the UK. Car companies will be able to make petrol-driven vehicles, but must ensure they are a shrinking percentage of their product line. In contrast, Europe and the UK have ordered complete halts to sale of petrol-powered cars by 2035.

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation (AAI), a US trade group representing the car industry, welcomed the policy, especially since the 56 percent target is a cut from the 67 percent proposed in the policy draft. The slower rollout came in for praise, but AAI called the goal "extraordinarily ambitious".

EVs accounted for just under nine percent of all new car sales in the US last year, according to data with AAI. In comparison, the global EV penetration rate was 17.1%, according to technology analyst firm Canalys.

Image: AAI

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