The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently voted unanimously to continue with the state’s tough vehicle emissions standards from 2022 to 2025. Those standards are followed by several other states, including New Jersey.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced it would reopen the midterm review of the 2025 standards and give interested parties more time to provide their input on the feasibility, benefits and drawbacks of the standards that were agreed to back in 2011.
The auto industry is concerned the standards will be tough to meet because people are buying more trucks and SUVs instead of fuel-efficient cars. The industry is also concerned about the impact meeting the standards will have on vehicle affordability.
If the EPA relaxes the standards at the federal level, California (and the other states that follow their standard) would likely keep the higher standard in place, unless the federal government revokes California’s ability to create its own standard, something the Trump Administration has said it would not pursue.
Since about 40% of the nation’s vehicles are in states that follow California’s rules, automakers would need to decide whether to build two different vehicles or conform to the higher standard, and make just one vehicle for the entire U.S. market.