Bad for business? Move to cut vehicle emissions turns into key US election issue

Strict vehicle emission rules in the US are likely to push automakers to quicken move towards EVs. But are they being arm twisted by the US government
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Donald Trump
Donald Trump says Joe Biden administration is forcing automakers to dive deep into EVs. Supporters of the US President, however, say vehicle emissions need to go down drastically.
Donald Trump
Donald Trump says Joe Biden administration is forcing automakers to dive deep into EVs. Supporters of the US President, however, say vehicle emissions need to go down drastically.

The US Presidential Elections are scheduled to take place in November of this year with the Democratic Party and the Republican Party already training guns against each other. And one of the key friction points between the two formidable political rivals in the bi-party setup is President Joe Biden's recent move to slash vehicle emissions in the country in order to better fight against climate change.

Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA - an independent agency under the US government - sealed strict new rules pertaining to vehicular emissions that would prompt automakers to transition quicker towards electric vehicles (EVs). These rules could, as per EPA, see around 56 per cent of all new cars sold in the US to be electric between the years 2030 and 2032. This is expected to cut emissions from vehicles by 46 per cent by 2032 when compared to levels of 2026.

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While this is widely seen as one of the most crucial rules related to environment protection under the Biden administration, the Republican Party has launched a scathing attack.

Trump vs Biden battle

While Biden has been very vocal in his support for EVs, former US President Donald Trump has been equally open about pushing back. Trump, seeking to return to the White House once again, has even said he would reverse the rules announced by the EPA. The main argument made by Trump and his Republican party is that the Biden administration is arm-twisting automakers to move towards EVs. As many as 25 Republican-led states even sued EPA, stating that the new set of rules are ‘unlawful’ and ‘unworkable.’

But the Biden administration has found support from various sections, including automakers. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a trade group with the likes of Toyota, GM, Ford and Volkswagen as members, have supported some of the rules announced by the EPA.

With elections in the US coming up fast, the issue is likely to only gain further momentum.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published Date: 21 May 2024, 09:09 AM IST
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