Americans could save over 1 trillion dollars on gas alone under tough new car pollution rules that would require a massive shift to electric vehicles. That’s according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, which on Wednesday proposed for cars, trucks and other light-duty vehicles.
“By proposing the most ambitious pollution standards ever for cars and trucks, we are delivering on the Biden-Harris administration’s promise to protect people and the planet, securing critical reductions in dangerous air and climate pollution and ensuring significant economic benefits like lower fuel and maintenance costs for families,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan in a statement.
The proposal would achieve “significant emissions reductions” that could produce long-lasting impacts on the environment, public health and welfare, the EPA said.
If the new rules are adopted, the EPA estimates, electric vehicles could account for 67% of new car sales by 2032. As of January 2022, EVs represented just 7% of new car sales.
So, just how much lower does the EPA expect fuel and maintenance costs to be for Americans? Here’s a breakdown:
- Through 2055, consumers could save an estimated $560 billion to $1.1 trillion on fuel.
- That’s not counting maintenance and repair costs; in that area, consumers could save an estimated $280 billion to $580 billion.
- Owners of fully electric sedans, wagons, crossovers or SUVs could save more than $9,000 on fuel, maintenance and repair costs over an eight-year period, the EPA said. Additionally, owners of fully electric pickup trucks could save an average of $13,000.
- There are other social benefits outside of saving consumers money on repair costs, fuel and maintenance. The program could also create $330 billion in climate benefits.
The EPA’s estimates might be appealing, but the agency’s ambitious plan faces hurdles. The average price tag for an EV currently remains high ($65,291 compared to $48,094 for a gas-powered car), and to the EV tax credit could mean fewer vehicles qualify for the $7,500 tax break. The US would also need to build a robust to support an influx of new electric vehicles.
The EPA didn’t give a timeline for the adoption of the new standards, which have to undergo a lengthy public comment period. It’s possible the final rules will be substantially revised, which would change the EPA estimates on cost savings.
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