WASHINGTON — The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and the Tire Industry Association (TIA) are opposing two Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that would dramatically increase the number of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on the road.
"SEMA and its members have serious concerns with this proposal, which aggressively seeks to lower carbon emissions under timelines that effectively make electric vehicles the de facto choice option for auto makers to meet the requirements. Government shouldn't pick winners and losers," SEMA President and CEO Mike Spagnola said when he testified before the EPA May 11.
Calling the mandate "far too fast," Spagnola said SEMA believes it will create a "seismic shift for small businesses who don't have the capacity to make the shift this quickly, especially when they're not receiving billions in government funds like the large auto makers are to fund their electric vehicle programs."
The EPA disclosed April 11 it is seeking new emissions standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles — cars, trucks and vans weighing up to 14,000 pounds — that could require up to two-thirds of new-vehicle sales to be ZEVs in 2032.
Spagnola went on to say that one-third of consumer spending on performance and accessory products — nearly $17 billion of the $51 billion specialty aftermarket industry — goes toward upgrading internal combustion engines (ICE) and drivetrains.
TIA has joined with the American Highway Users Alliance to voice its opposition to the mandate. TIA will submit comments against both proposed rules and already has had multiple conversations with members about their potential impact, Roy Littlefield IV, TIA vice president of government affairs, said.
The agency also announced Phase III of its greenhouse-gas regulations, which would set increasingly stringent emissions standards for 2027-32 model-year trucks and buses.
TIA said the EPA is singularly proposing the new rules as the agency had worked previously with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on truck and bus greenhouse gas rules for corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) standards for vehicles.
Because of this, the proposed rules on light- and medium-duty vehicles would not be considered new CAFE standards by the EPA but rather new emission standards for nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, ozone, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, TIA said.
Littlefield said TIA will urge the EPA to reconsider the proposed rules over concerns that the new standards could negatively impact the Highway Trust Fund.
"If implemented without addressing the funding structure, these proposed regulations could strain the already precarious state of transportation funding," Littlefield said.
"It is crucial to consider additional solutions, such as a low carbon fuel standard, to address the revenue lost by having fewer internal-combustion engines on the road."
The period for comments closes July 5.
The full proposed rule for light and medium-duty cars, trucks and vans can be viewed here.