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Pressure From The UAW And Absent EV Sales Are Pressuring The Administration To Walk Back On Its Ruling

President Joe Biden GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 GM Factory Zero General Motors
President Joe Biden and the GMC Hummer EV Edition 1. Image via GM.

In a potential shake-up, the Biden Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering delaying its stringent emissions mandates that require unrealistic EV sales targets to meet. According to Washington Post sources, the EPA is considering extending the deadline for automakers to ramp up EV sales, potentially pushing requirements beyond the year 2030.

The proposed shift in policy arises amid mounting pressures on the Biden Administration to recalibrate its electrification objectives. Factors contributing include sluggish EV sales and concerns surrounding the infrastructure for public EV charging stations. This delay would be a major event for the automotive industry, and is happening just ahead of November, where Biden seeks re-election in the face of alarmingly low approval ratings.

According to The Washnigton Post, this potential alteration signals a significant concession to automakers and labour unions, particularly in an election year. The Biden administration is attempting to balance between climate advocacy and labour support.

Ford F-150 Lightning Rolling Out
A trailer full of Ford F-150 Lighting electric pickup trucks. Image via Ford.

The United Auto Workers (UAW), in particular, has voiced apprehensions regarding the rapid transition to EVs, citing potential job losses and unfavourable conditions for unionization. The union’s concerns echo broader anxieties within the automotive workforce about the implications of EV proliferation on employment opportunities. Nevertheless, the UAW have endorsed Biden for president.

The EPA’s proposed rule, unveiled in April, aimed for EVs to constitute 67 percent of all new passenger car and light-duty truck sales by 2032. However, the UAW’s reluctance to endorse Biden’s reelection campaign underscored lingering reservations within labor circles.

While the EPA is yet to finalize its decision, stakeholders await clarification on the potential ramifications of this policy shift. Critics caution against delaying the transition to EVs, citing environmental imperatives and the urgent need to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

However, a move like this would provide automakers with breathing room to respond to market dynamics and buyers who may not share the same ambitious goals as the government. A gradual approach lessens. the financial burdens on manufacturers and would ensure a smoother transition for consumers.

Tesla, a key player in the EV market, has advocated for even more ambitious targets, calling for a faster transition to EV dominance. This divergence in perspectives reflects the complexity of navigating competing interests within the automotive landscape.

Ultimately, the EPA’s decision will shape the trajectory of the automotive industry, impacting not only environmental outcomes but also the future of iconic muscle cars. As stakeholders await further developments, the debate over EV mandates underscores the broader challenges and opportunities in the transition towards sustainable transportation.

2023 2024 Dodge Charger Banshee SRT Daytona EV Electric Muscle Car
Image copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks

Written by Michael Accardi

Michael refuses to sit still, he's held multiple hands-on automotive jobs throughout his career. Along with being an investigative writer and accomplished photographer, Michael works for several motorsports organizations.

He was part of the Ford GT program at Multimatic, oversaw a fleet of Audi TCR race cars, has ziptied Lamborghini Super Trofeo cars back together, been over the wall in the Rolex 24, and worked in the cut-throat world of IndyCar.

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