Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States (U.S.) federal government, announced that they were preparing to release “the most ambitious pollution standards ever for cars and trucks,” with the stated goal of accelerating the growth of the electric vehicle (EV) market in the US. The proposal has been compared to the recently passed California Legislation that will ban the sale or production of any gas-powered vehicles within the state by 2035 and also limit the sale of these vehicles close to the year of that deadline. Both of these regulations have been scrutinized by the American auto industry, raising fears about the eventual ban of gas-powered vehicles in favor of electric vehicles. Many American automobile manufacturers have experienced sharp drops in their stock prices over the past years as the market for electric vehicles expanded and was expected to overtake the market for gas-powered vehicles within the next decade. With the expansion of the EV market came heavy investment from many large American companies like Ford Motor Company, Chevrolet, GMC, and etc. The most notable example of this heavy investment was Ford, which has started phasing in their production of EVs across several states.
A picture of the recently released Ford F-150 Lightning, which came out in 2023. (Tim Levin/Business Insider)
Ford, which announced in early February of this year that they would be investing in the construction of a $3.5 billion electric vehicle battery production facility in the city of Marshall, Michigan, has greatly expanded the size of its electric vehicle production within the last decade. Other companies have also begun to phase out production of gas powered vehicles, and some automobile manufacturers like Tesla were founded on the principle of producing solely renewable energy based vehicles, like Tesla’s popular EV and their (currently under field testing) newly released Tesla Semi, which is a battery powered class 8 commercial semi-truck. Similar commercial vehicle developments, like the failed Nikola Motors hydrogen powered semi-truck, have become more prevalent in states which are more favorable to pro-environment legislation, like California and Oregon. These vehicles are also being prioritized in the proposed EPA legislation, which aims to reach a projected goal of 46% “medium duty” vehicle sales being electrically (or renewable) powered by 2032, with a projected goal of 67% “light duty” vehicle sales also in the same year.
Photograph of current EPA Administrator Michael Regan (NBC News)
Environmental Protection Agency, “Biden-Harris Administration Proposes Strongest-Ever Pollution Standards for Cars and Trucks to Accelerate Transition to a Clean-Transportation Future”, 2023
Associated Press, “Ford to build $3.5B electric vehicle battery plant in Mich.”, 2023
Other sources linked throughout article.