EPA Chief Says “We Don’t Have an EV Mandate” Months After Finalizing Rules That Mandate More EVs

July 10, 2024   |   Tags:

DCNF(DCNF)—Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan said on Wednesday that the Biden administration has not imposed an electric vehicle (EV) mandate despite recently finalizing policies that will effectively require large increases in EV production.

Regan made the remark during a Wednesday appearance in front of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee on Capitol Hill as he was questioned by Republican Michigan Rep. Lisa McClain about the administration’s EV policies. However, Regan’s agency has finalized stringent tailpipe emissions standards for light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in recent months that will effectively require significant increases in the share of EVs sold in the U.S. over the next decade.

“I want to shift our focus a little bit to our dependency on China. Simply put, I have a concern that the EV mandates make us more dependent on China, and that’s what I’d like to talk about today, is our dependence on China,” McClain said to begin her questioning. “Do you believe that the EV mandates make us more dependent on China?”


As McCain suggested, China dominates many of the world’s supply chains for raw mineral extraction and the refining capacity for those materials, which are essential for building EVs. This fact has prompted concerns that federal regulation and subsidies designed to proliferate EVs could end up being a boon for China.

“You know, we don’t have an EV mandate. We have a rule that offers…,” Regan said, before McClain interjected with a follow-up.

“Are you familiar with the Biden administration’s mandate that 70% of all vehicles produced by 2030 need to be EV?” McClain asked, misstating the specifics of EPA policy.

After a brief back-and-forth, Regan defended his agency’s regulation.

“Very quickly, there are a combination of technologies that can meet an environmental standard, and the regulation suggests that up to 60% could be met with EVs,” Regan said. “But that rule could also be met with plug-in hybrids, hybrids and other things.”

Specifically, manufacturers can comply with the standards EPA finalized in March for light- and heavy-duty vehicles if their new car sales consist of 56% EVs and 16% hybrids by 2032, according to The New York Times. Critics of the rule have specifically called it an “EV mandate,” despite the administration’s insistence that a regulation effectively requiring increased EV sales is not a mandate.

Moreover, EPA also finalized tough emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles in late March. Those rules — which have been blasted by critics and industry stakeholders as “entirely unachievable” given the costly and unproven nature of zero-emissions trucks — could require zero-emission vehicles or EVs to make up 25% of new long-haul trucks sold and 40% of all new medium-sized truck sales by 2032, according to the Times.

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