New EPA Ruling Will Make It Difficult to Buy Gas-Powered Vehicles in Only 7 Years

The Environmental Protection Agency is ready to enact major cuts to emissions from internal combustion engines tomorrow. While this EPA ruling is meant to decrease what is partially causing climate change, there are ramifications that will create other problems. Based on what the EPA has telegraphed about the proposed changes, it appears it will result in automakers producing many more EVs than the market demands to hit the strict EPA emissions numbers

Are there unintended issues with the EPA ruling?

Climate change
Climate change and emissions | Getty

That’s partially why the EPA is lowering the number of carbon emissions from ICE vehicles. But the unintended result is that they’ll have to produce a larger block of EVs to help lower its combined emissions across entire brands starting in 2027. Estimates are that by 2030, over 50% of vehicles across the country will be either plug-in hybrids or EVs. 

These changes are in line with the Biden administration’s goals for emissions. What President Biden has pushed back on is banning new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. There is concern that federal mandates will lead to more drastic moves like California’s ban on new vehicles powered by internal combustion engines, or ICE, by 2035.

Can this EPA ruling happen this quickly?

Tailpipe emissions
Tailpipe emissions testing | Getty

That concern also comes from the Alliance for Automotive Innovation. It’s a trade group that most car manufacturers are members of. What’s being voiced is, “The question isn’t whether it can be done, it’s how fast can it be done.” One of the main concerns is as automakers dive further into technology to make their ICE vehicles cleaner in the short term, means less is put into zero carbon technology. 

But the EPA isn’t the only federal agency ready to issue stricter emissions mandates. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also set to propose fuel economy numbers. So the walls are closing in on ICE vehicles across the country.

Car companies can ramp up EVs, but are car buyers ready?

Los Angeles, cars
Los Angeles, cars, and smog | Getty

EPA Helping California Kill Diesel Trucks

As for California’s ICE ban, the Biden administration must approve any action around this first. And the state has not submitted its proposal to the administration yet. But toward that end, Tesla has championed banning ICE vehicles in California by 2030. Of course, it has.

General Motors, on the other hand, is shooting for 2035 to end gas-powered vehicle sales and manufacturing. Whether one or the other, the days of the gasoline-powered vehicle are coming to an end. Granted, there will be millions of them plying the highways and byways for another 20 or 30 years. 

But manufacturing them is winding down. When that time will actually come is anyone’s guess. And there remains one more hurdle. Is the electric grid also gearing up for the EV reality? If it can’t keep up with the enormous demands all of these EVs will add, then it is questionable if the EPA’s and California’s bans can work.