EPA May Slow Emissions Clampdown


After pushback from automakers and unions, the United States Environmental Protection Agency may propose slowing the pace of regulations that would require adoption of electric vehicles, according to recent news reports.

The New York Times, Washington Post and Reuters each reported that the agency may announce the proposal as soon as next month. The agency has declined to comment on those reports, which cited unnamed government sources.

Last April the agency proposed requiring greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger cars and trucks to decrease 56% by 2032 and to require 60% of new vehicle sales to be electric by 2030.

A number of automakers have since argued that those goals are not practical because the pace of growth in EVs has slowed and because battery charging stations are not being developed fast enough. The United Auto Workers also urged the government to phase in requirements more slowly.

Automotive emissions regulations have been a focal point environmental policy in President Joe Biden’s administration, but in an election year news agencies say the administration is listening to feedback.

Biden previously endorsed the aggressive timeline proposed by EPA. In January the agency submitted the final rule for inter-agency review, one of the last steps before adoption.

The shift to EVs is expected eventually to significantly reduce finished lubricant demand because vehicles powered solely by battery do not require engine oils, the industry’s largest product category. EVs do require multiple new lubricants and fluids, including lubes that tolerate the high electrical charges generated by the copper windings in EV motors and coolants to manage the high levels of heat generated by EV batteries.