Applying the current traffic code from the media, the United States really panicked this time. Seeing that the most important environmental protection goal may not be achieved, the Joe Biden administration has successively launched several major measures, not only to ensure the completion of the previously formulated plan but also to increase the amount to achieve higher goals.
Electric car sales hit a record high
When Joe Biden ran for the presidency in 2020, he made environmental protection and climate his main program. After taking office, he formulated many climate-related policies. Electric vehicles accounted for half of the total.
Electric car sales in the U.S. are indeed hitting new highs. According to the statistics of Clean Technica, a US electric vehicle market research organization, the sales of pure electric vehicles in the United States increased by 65% year-on-year last year, reaching 763,000 vehicles. In the fourth quarter, the year-on-year growth rate even reached 72%, achieving growth for the seventh consecutive quarter, reaching 235,000 vehicles. If compared with the same period two years ago, the sales growth has reached an astonishing 147%.
Specifically broken down into brands and models, Tesla is still the unshakable leader in the US electric vehicle market, with sales increasing by 43% to 510,000 vehicles last year. After traditional car companies launched electric models one after another, Tesla’s share of the US electric vehicle market has declined, from 70% in 2021 to 66%. Sales of non-Tesla-branded electric vehicles jumped 269% in the fourth quarter of last year.
However, Elon Musk’s company’s dominance in the U.S. electric vehicle market is still unshakable. Model Y and Model 3 monopolized the top two best-selling electric models last year (84,000 and 54,000 respectively), while Chevrolet ranked third. Only 16,000 Bolts were built. Moreover, after Tesla’s continuous price cuts and promotions at the end of last year, its market share should increase significantly in the first quarter of this year.
Right now is a low point for the American auto industry. Due to many factors such as supply chain problems dragging down car production, limited supply of new cars pushing up prices, sharp declines in the stock market, and severe inflation dampening the willingness to buy cars, the total sales of cars in the United States last year were 13.7 million vehicles, a year-on-year decline of 8%, falling to 2011. lowest point ever. Before the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, new car sales in the United States had exceeded 17 million for five consecutive years.
After Joe Biden came to power, he introduced many policies to promote electric vehicles
The popularity of trams is far lower than in Central Europe
However, even with the overall decline in the U.S. auto market and the significant increase in electric car sales, the proportion of electric cars in U.S. new car sales last year was still only 5.8%. In the first quarter of this year, it may exceed 7%. It is expected that this year may increase to 8.8% %, a marked increase compared to the previous two years. EVs account for just 3.2% of new car sales in 2021 and 1.7% in 2020.
Obviously, the speed and status quo of the popularization of electric vehicles in the United States still has a clear distance from the popularization goals set by the government before. Not only has it not reached the average growth rate of the global electric vehicle market, but it is even farther away from the two major new energy vehicle markets in China and Europe. huge. Last year, global sales of pure electric vehicles rose 68% year-on-year to 7.8 million, and new car growth reached 10% year-on-year for the first time.
Although Tesla has become a global electric vehicle giant, China and Europe are far ahead of the United States in terms of the popularity of new energy vehicles. Sales of pure electric vehicles in Europe rose 29% year-on-year to 1.58 million. BEV market penetration in Germany, the UK and France reached 18%, 17% and 14% respectively. In Germany, Europe’s largest market, electric vehicle production will account for 25% of new car production in 2022, and more than 30% of newly registered vehicles will be electric vehicles.
In 2022, the production and sales of new energy vehicles in China will reach 7.058 million and 6.887 million respectively, a year-on-year increase of 96.9% and 93.4%, with a market share of 25.6%. The production and sales of new energy vehicles have ranked first in the world for eight consecutive years. Among them, the sales volume of pure electric vehicles was 5.365 million, a year-on-year increase of 81.6%. Electric vehicles account for more than 30% of new car sales in China.
These figures dwarf the current status of the popularity of trams in the United States, and embarrass the Joe Biden administration, which previously claimed to lead the “global climate crisis and new energy transition.” According to the current rate of popularization of electric vehicles, even by 2032, electric vehicles will account for only 45% of new car sales in the United States.
Even in California, which has the highest penetration rate of electric vehicles in the United States, the proportion of electric vehicles in new car sales is not as high as that of China and Europe. Sales of zero-emission vehicles, including electric and hydrogen vehicles, were 346,000 in California last year, up only 38% year-on-year, accounting for 18.8% of new vehicle sales. Forty percent of U.S. sales of zero-emission vehicles are in California.
U.S. government plans to target two-thirds of new cars by 2032
Putting pressure on car companies to push the curve to push the tram
Against this background, the Joe Biden administration has to formulate additional policies to accelerate the promotion of the US electric vehicle industry. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has introduced the “most stringent” new regulations on vehicle exhaust emissions, requiring automakers to cut exhaust emissions by 56% from 2027 to 2032.
In other words, the Environmental Protection Agency does not stipulate how many electric vehicles car companies must sell each year, but directly limits the total amount of greenhouse gases they can emit, and uses this curve to further pressure traditional car companies and force them to accelerate electrification transformation. In fact, the 2023-2026 tailpipe emissions formulated after the Joe Biden administration came to power in 2021 have already been reduced by 25% compared with the previous Trump administration period, and now the pressure has been increased.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency predicts that if the new regulations are implemented smoothly, electric cars will account for 60% of new car sales in the United States in 2030, and more than two-thirds (67%) in 2032; Reached 46%. That means the EPA’s new goal is a step up from the 2030 half-car goal set by the Joe Biden administration two years ago.
Transportation is the second largest source of carbon emissions in the U.S., responsible for 27 percent of U.S. greenhouse gases in 2020. The EPA also expects the new rules to reduce total U.S. carbon emissions by an additional 10 billion tons by 2055, which is twice as much as last year’s total U.S. carbon emissions. At the same time, reducing emissions will also help the United States save 200 barrels of oil imports and reduce health and medical costs for the public by up to 1.6 trillion US dollars.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement that the new exhaust emissions standards will help accelerate America’s transition to a clean vehicle future, address the pressing climate crisis, and improve America’s air quality, which is critical for children, the climate And the future is historic big news. The new rules will undergo public comment and are expected to be finalized next year.
Reagan called the 2032 target of 67 percent electric vehicle sales “ambitious but achievable.” He mentioned that the federal government’s $7,500 tax rebate for the purchase of electric vehicles and the $5 billion investment in the infrastructure bill to build 500,000 new charging stations will jointly drive up consumer demand for electric vehicles.
According to the statistics of the White House, there are currently about 130,000 public charging stations in the United States, and the number of electric vehicles is about 3 million. It is planned that the number of electric vehicles will reach 13 million by 2030. However, the total number of cars in the United States is about 270 million, and the proportion of electric vehicles is still negligible.
The California government has always been at the forefront of US environmental policy. According to the “Advanced Clean Car Act II” (ACC2) previously promulgated by the California government, the sales of electric vehicles in California will account for 68% of new car sales in 2030, and 82% in 2032. In 2035, sales of new cars with internal combustion engines will be banned. .
Obviously, compared with the aggressive policies of the California government, the new environmental protection regulations of the Joe Biden administration do not have provisions to ban the sale of fuel vehicles. Although the Joe Biden administration has repeatedly expressed its support for the California government’s environmental protection measures, considering the different acceptance levels across the United States, it is unlikely that the federal government will set such a goal.
Traditional car companies complain that they are too aggressive
Such a policy would obviously be welcomed by the EV industry and environmental groups. Rivian, an electric car company, issued a statement saying that it welcomes the new exhaust emission standards of the Joe Biden administration, which will be a key supplement to the US government’s climate change policy. Thomas Pyle, chairman of the American Energy Alliance, believes that the Joe Biden administration’s activities are actually to ban the sale of internal combustion locomotives.
Manish Bapna, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group, said the EPA’s new tailpipe rules are the right move toward ending vehicle exhaust pollution and will help reduce pollution. Oil dependence, creating more domestic jobs and reducing consumers’ fuel bills.
But for traditional car companies, the new emission regulations will bring them more troubles. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation (Alliance for Automotive Innovation), an industry association representing traditional automakers, issued a statement directly complaining that the new policy of the Joe Biden administration’s EPA is “really too aggressive (Aggressive by any measure).”
The industry association explained that various manufacturers are already vigorously developing electric vehicles, and plan to invest a total of 1.2 trillion US dollars to promote electrification transformation before 2030. Ford Motor and other manufacturers have also set the goal of stopping the sale of traditional internal combustion locomotive vehicles in 2040, but the new Exhaust emissions standards will only disrupt the stated goals of automakers.
Among the traditional car companies currently selling in the U.S. market, General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot Group), Toyota Motor, and Honda Motor all account for 40%-50% of their electric vehicle sales in 2030. Only a few manufacturers such as Daimler and Volvo have higher 2030 goals than the Joe Biden administration’s previous plan.
This means that it was difficult for these car companies to meet the Joe Biden administration’s 2030 goals, and now they are forced to accept higher requirements. GM and Ford have not publicly opposed the EPA’s new rules, but signaled they need more policy support from the government.
On the one hand, traditional car companies are complaining, but on the other hand, radical environmental organizations feel that this is not enough. After the introduction of the new exhaust emission standards, the environmental organization Center for Biological Diversity (Center for Biological Diversity) believes that the Joe Biden administration should require a direct reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by at least 75% in 2030, forcing automakers to increase sales of electric vehicles, forcing them Reduce sales of millions of internal combustion engine vehicles, especially polluting SUVs.
Policy risk and public wait-and-see
However, next year’s U.S. election results will also bring many policy uncertain risks to the new U.S. electric vehicle policy. Whether Trump or DeSantis comes to power, the Joe Biden administration’s environmental protection New Deal efforts in the past few years may be in vain. The current polls of the Republican Party in the United States show that Trump’s support rate is much higher than that of DeSantis. According to the current situation, he is expected to be nominated for the presidency again.
As we all know, Trump and the Republican Party have an extremely close relationship with the traditional energy industry in the United States. After Trump took office in 2016, he directly led the United States to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, appointed Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of the oil giant Exxon Mobil, as the Secretary of State of the United States, and even appointed a coal company that denies climate change. Andrew Wheeler, a lawyer, became the head of the EPA.
In addition, more than 10 conservative states such as Texas are suing the Federal Environmental Protection Agency. If federal judges in conservative areas issue an injunction, the new electric vehicle regulations of the Joe Biden administration will have to be shelved. Support conservative states, then this new regulation may even be withdrawn directly.
On the other hand, the high price of electric vehicles also hinders the popularization of electric vehicles in the United States, which is not solved by the new EPA regulations. According to statistics from the industry organization KKB, the current average price of electric vehicles in the United States before subsidies is as high as $58,600. Even with the $7,500 in federal tax rebates, electric cars remain high.
LMC Automotive, an information organization for the automotive industry, believes that since the price of electric vehicles is significantly higher than that of internal combustion vehicles, even by 2032, the proportion of electric vehicles in new car sales in the United States will only reach 49%, and it is impossible to reach a higher level. In the future, it will completely replace internal combustion vehicles. A locomotive is even less likely.
Can the U.S. government still meet its 2030 target for a share of electric vehicle sales? It seems that the American people are also skeptical and wait-and-see. According to a joint poll released this month by the Associated Press and the Energy Policy Institute of the University of Chicago, only 19% of people currently say that they are very likely to buy an electric car for their next car, while 22% say they might consider it. In addition, a whopping 47% even said they were less likely to buy an electric car for their next car.