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EVs vs. Gas Guzzlers: EPA Report Exposes Stark Auto Industry Reality

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Especially cleaner vehicle production is a goal worth achieving. In this respect, it is worth noting recent findings from the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA’s Automotive Trends Report reveals a strange reality. The shift towards electric vehicles (EVs) and cleaner technologies is not keeping pace with expectations.

A marginal improvement in carbon emissions from new vehicles, with a reduction of just 10 grams per mile, a mere 2.2% from the previous year, is highlighted by the report. Fuel economy showed an increment of only 0.6 miles per gallon.

As compared to the promise made in 2012 by automakers for a 5% annual improvement, it is slow progress.

The report reveals a worrying trend of the dominance of gas-guzzling SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles) and pickups, which account for a significant portion of vehicle production.

With these larger vehicles making up 63% of the production in 2022, the data presents a shift from more efficient cars, marking the highest level of vehicle size, weight, and horsepower in history.

With a projected increase to 12% in 2023, EVs and plug-in hybrids will constitute only 7% of new vehicles in 2022.’

With over 90% of new vehicles relying on traditional fuel sources, the dominance of fossil-fueled vehicles remains unchallenged, despite the growth.

Critical questions about the commitment of automakers to environmental sustainability and the effectiveness of current policies are raised by the findings.

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A gap between industry promises and actual outcomes is suggested by the minimal improvements. The need for stronger regulatory standards and more aggressive actions from both the government and automakers is underscored by this situation.

The auto industry’s failure to meet its own targets and reliance on credits and loopholes is criticized by Dan Becker, director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Safe Climate Transport Campaign.

Six companies—Tesla, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Ford, and Subaru—met the standards according to the report.

Everyone, from consumers dealing with high gas prices to communities grappling with climate change, is impacted by the struggle to transition to cleaner vehicles. The progress of an industry as well as the challenges faced by society in moving towards a more sustainable future are charted in the report.

A comprehensive “5-cycle” test procedure, providing a more accurate representation of real-world fuel economy and emissions, is utilized by the EPA report.

Various driving conditions, like high speed, cold start, and air conditioning, are incorporated into the method. Light on the complexities of evaluating EVs and plug-in hybrids is shed by the report. A potential increase in the production of EVs and plug-in hybrids is suggested by the report.

This shift, however, needs to be accompanied by a broader transformation in the automotive industry. This forward-looking outlook emphasizes not only the production of EVs but also the overall reduction in vehicle emissions and increased efficiency.

In short, the Automotive Trends Report of the EPA offers a sobering view of the state of the automotive industry in its journey towards cleaner and more efficient vehicles.

There is a need for concerted efforts from automakers, policymakers, and consumers to accelerate the shift towards a more sustainable transportation future.

It is truly said: plan or perish. If we don’t plan our future, we will perish.

Govind Tekale

Embarking on a new journey post-retirement, Govind, once a dedicated teacher, has transformed his enduring passion for current affairs and general knowledge into a conduit for expression through writing. His historical love affair with reading, which borders on addiction, has evolved into a medium to articulate his thoughts and disseminate vital information. Govind pens down his insights on a myriad of crucial topics, including the environment, wildlife, energy, sustainability, and health, weaving through every aspect that is quintessential for both our existence and that of our planet. His writings not only mirror his profound understanding and curiosity but also serve as a valuable resource, offering a deep dive into issues that are critical to our collective future and well-being.

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