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New US fuel economy rules could dramatically increase EV adoption and mortally wound ICE pickup trucks

New US fuel economy rules could result in an increased adoption of more compact EVs, like the Hyundai Ioniq 5. (Image source: Fiat)
New US fuel economy rules could result in an increased adoption of more compact EVs, like the Hyundai Ioniq 5. (Image source: Fiat)
The new US fuel economy rules proposed by the Biden administration would likely see EVs occupy 66% market share — an almost tenfold increase — by 2032, if passed. What's more, the new rules impose stricter regulations on pickup truck fuel economy, which have thus far been given more lenient rules under CAFE requirements thanks to “light truck” classifications.

While electric vehicle adoption has been steadily increasing over the last few years, the Biden administration appears adamant to increase that adoption rate even further over the next decade, according to The New York Times. The federal government hopes to do this by tightening of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rules, which mandate manufacturers meet certain fuel economy requirements or face financial penalties.

The new US fuel economy regulations proposed by the Biden administration, via the NHTSA, would require automotive manufacturers to improve average fuel economy by 2% per year between 2027 and 2032 for passenger vehicles. Light trucks, which often includes SUVs and pickup trucks, would need to improve by 4% per year.

According to analysts, the new changes to the CAFE standards would mean that automakers may have to convert up to 66% of their annual sales to electric vehicles if they want to keep up. If implemented — which is by no means a sure thing — the average new-car fuel economy would have to reach 58 mpg (25.6 km/l) by 2032.

The side-effect of these new rules may also include a return to smaller, more efficient vehicles in the US market, which has steadily been overrun by behemoth SUVs and pickup trucks since the late 1970s.

Consider also the proposed EV weight levies that have been popping up, and suddenly it doesn't seem unreasonable to imagine that the US might eventually get access to vehicles like the upcoming Renault 5 EV, Volkswagen ID.2, or the compact Fiat 500e and 600e.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 07 > New US fuel economy rules could dramatically increase EV adoption and mortally wound ICE pickup trucks
Julian van der Merwe, 2023-07-29 (Update: 2023-07-29)