On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency released the strictest vehicle pollution standards to date.

The rules are meant to trigger a chain reaction that ensures two-thirds of new cars and a third of new trucks created by 2032 will be purely electric, cutting down on pollution and reducing the U.S. carbon footprint.

“By proposing the most ambitious pollution standards ever for cars and trucks, we are delivering on the Biden-Harris administration’s promise to protect people and the planet, securing critical reductions in dangerous air and climate pollution and ensuring significant economic benefits like lower fuel and maintenance costs for families,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan, per the EPA press release

Policymakers expect that by 2055 with the new requirements, 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions could be cut — thereby reducing negative health implications. Additionally, each average consumer would save $12,000 in maintenance during the lifetime of the car.

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And the country would reduce oil imports by 20 billion barrels, saving money and calculating the benefits to $1 trillion.

What are the new standards?

The “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium Duty Vehicles,” will retain the previous standards placed on their 2023 to 2026 counterparts and extend them into the indefinite future.

Restrictions will also tighten to include “advances in clean car technology,” which could include better filters to reduce smog and soot, and CO2-reducing technology — the goal being a zero-emission machine in the future.

For example, the particulate matter proposal for most light and medium-weight vehicles is 0.5 mg/mi, which is expected to reduce tailpipe PM emissions by 95%.

The second proposed change will apply to vehicles used on the job, from delivery drivers to school buses to dump trucks, called the “Greenhouse Gas Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles — Phase 3.” This regulation employs similar measures to light-duty and medium-duty vehicles but is conscious of the heavy-duty nature of the machines.

What are critics saying?

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While these changes are a result of the Biden-Harris administration pushing the country toward more electric vehicles, there are some potential problems seen by critics.

The New York Times reported that in 2022, only 5.8% of sold cars in the United States were electric and it would cost companies even more money than they’ve already dumped into developing these electric vehicles.

Others are worried about if the power grid is strong enough to support millions more cars charging and the too few charging stations that exist now, reported PBS.

New technology, such as the creation of car batteries that charge twice as fast, is beginning to change the game for electric vehicles. But Coral Davenport of The New York Times wrote, “The new rules would require nothing short of a revolution in the U.S. auto industry.”

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