The Biden administration, along with the EPA, has proposed a new set of emissions limits covering 2026-2032. The proposed limits would dramatically cut the allowed emissions levels. The goal over the new rules is a combination of further reducing emissions of cars but also accelerating the transition to electric cars. In fact, it’s predicated by 2032 67% of all new cars will need to be electric to comply with the tighter restrictions.
While here at ShiftAtlanta we’re not into politics, we do call it like we see it particularly when it comes to cars, emissions and the impact on enthusiasts. A reduction of emissions isn’t a bad thing, regardless of how to feel about climate change. Anyone who has inhaled enough smog in a big city would agreed, even without considering a larger climate picture, reducing emissions isn’t a bad thing.
Also, while electric cars are still finding their footing in terms of interactive experience of being a cars for enthusiasts, there is no questioning some of the performance numbers. We’re seeing a big up string in performance at the track as well. We aren’t ones to jump on the whole “true enthusiasts hate electric cars” either – we judge everything individually on it’s merits.
Despite this though, there are some potential huge negatives with these policies we see. Some are obvious, like the fact that this likely will accelerate the end of a number of enthusiast cars – either those with large engines, or those that simply don’t sell well enough to be worthy of further investment.
We certainly are concerned about anything that would further accelerate the demise of enthusiasts vehicles. We’d be even more concerned if there isn’t an opportunity for the car companies to bring replacements to market, even if they are hybrids or EVs. It wouldn’t sit well with us if rules force car companies to move their limited capital into speeding up mainstream cars. We’ve seen this play out before with the emissions changes and pushes of the late 90s and early 00s which accelerated the demise of that generations performance cars.
There are also economic considerations. There stands to reason that with limited precious metals to build electric cars that accelerating their rollout could extend supply chains issues. Even without this forced acceleration, car companies continue to struggle to meet the demand for new cars. This does everything from create artificial shortages to drive up used car prices.
These changes are not set in stone. The EPA will first open this up to public comment. Expect car companies to have input as well. Many have already made significant investment in EV cars and may feel there is little need for the government to make further demands when many predict 50%+ of cars sold will be EVs by the mid 2030s organically. There is also always the possibility that future elections could have an impact.
We’ll keep an eye on this story, and how it will impact car enthusiasts and emissions in Georgia in general.