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Biden EPA blocks tough emissions rule for heavy-duty vehicles to fight climate change

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday finalized aggressive emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles that will require a huge increase in the number of electric or zero-emission trucks sold over the next decade.

The agency anticipates that the heavy vehicle emission standards For model years 2027 through 2032, electric or zero-emission vehicles (EVs) account for 25% of new long-haul truck sales and 40% of all new midsize truck sales by 2032, seconds in the New York Times. EPA's final emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles complement the agency's recent publication of final tailpipe emission standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles that have been characterized as an “EV mandate”.

Currently, electric trucks can cost up to three times more than diesel-powered models, and the size of their batteries limits the amount of freight a truck can carry, according to the Times. Electric trucks also need to use very strong chargers, which in turn may require upgrades to the power grid to handle recharging numerous trucks at once; There are currently about 5,000 electric truck chargers in the US, and it will take a million to keep up with EPA regulation.

In addition to buses and trucks, the regulation applies to vehicles such as ambulances, garbage trucks and cement mixers, according to The Times. while ecologist organizations applauded the rule, several trucking industry trade associations, including the American Trucking Associations (ATA), have harshly criticized it for imposing unrealistic compliance deadlines that threaten to damage the US economy.

“ATA opposes this rule in its current form because the post-2030 targets remain entirely unattainable given the current state of zero-emissions technology, the lack of charging infrastructure and constraints on the electricity grid” , said Chris Spear, ATA President and CEO. a statement. “Given the wide range of operations that our industry requires to keep the economy running, successful emissions regulation must be technology neutral and cannot be one-size-fits-all. Any regulation that does not the operational realities of trucking will cause America's industry and supply chain to fail.”

The ATA expressed concern that the regulation would disrupt supply chains and how goods move across the US to the detriment of consumers. The trade group also suggested that the technologies the EPA is counting on to replace diesel fuel, namely batteries and hydrogen power, are still “unproven.”

Currently, the proportion of all heavy-duty trucks sold in the United States that are electric or powered by zero-emission energy is about 2 percent, according to the Times. The Biden administration recently released a report detailing its plans to build a national electric vehicle charging network for truck transport on major U.S. commercial highways in the coming years; The administration's efforts to subsidize a national charging network for electric passenger vehicles have been rolled out slowly.

“This administration seems more focused on appeasing extreme environmental activists who have never been in a truck than the small business truckers who make sure Americans have food in their grocery stores and clothes on their backs Todd Spencer, president of the owner operator. Independent Drivers Association, said in a statement about the EPA's final rule.

The Biden EPA has now issued strict tailpipe standards for light, medium and heavy duty vehicles. The agency's rules for light and medium vehicles will effectively they require manufacturers to ensure that up to two-thirds of all new vehicles are sold by 2032.

Neither the EPA nor the White House immediately responded to requests for comment.

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