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Car dealers to Biden administration: don't finalize emission standards that accelerate EV transition

As the number of electric vehicles in Michigan increases, state lawmakers and local officials are debating how to tax them fairly for road use.
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EVs at charging station

The U.S. EPA is likely to issues final standards for vehicle emissions within weeks.

The expected standards would slash by nearly half the air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars and trucks by 2032, and accelerate the country's transition to electric vehicles.

Car dealerships across the country urged the Biden administration to tell the EPA to hold off on issuing the standards, calling them an "EV mandate," that would take choice away from consumers.

"[Dealers] have 73 billion reasons to try to fight electric vehicles, which is how much money they made last year on car repairs," said Kathy Harris, director of clean cars for the Natural Resources Defense Council. "But the future is here and it's time to get on board."

Harris called EVs a "quadruple win."

"They're good for air quality, they're good for human health, for drivers' pockets, and the environment."

Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed new fuel economy standards. Those would closely conform with the EPA's tailpipe emissions standards, and increase average fuel economy from the current requirement of 49 mpg by the year 2026, to 58 mpg by 2032.

A group of Republican members of the U.S. House have urged the traffic safety administration to withdraw the proposed fuel economy standards, saying they "threaten to raise costs and restrict consumer choice, harm U.S. businesses, degrade our energy and national security and hand the keys of our automotive industry over to our adversaries, especially China."

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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