The U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 6 passed the Choice in Automobile Retail Sales (CARS) Act (H.R. 4468) with bipartisan support, 221-197, as five Democrats and each Republican member voted for the bill.
If passed into law, the SEMA-supported bill would prohibit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from finalizing the agency’s proposed federal emissions standards for light- and medium-duty motor vehicles model years 2027 to 2032, which intends for electric vehicles to make up 67% of all new vehicles sales by 2032. The CARS Act also prevents future EPA motor-vehicle emissions regulations that would mandate certain technologies or limit the availability of vehicles based on engine type.
The passage of the CARS Act comes just days after the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) released the results of a national survey that found 60% of likely voters oppose the EPA’s proposed EV mandates. A further breakdown of likely voters found the majority of Republicans (87%) and Independents (61%) oppose the EPA’s de facto internal combustion engine (ICE) ban, while Democrats are split on the matter (41% support, 32% oppose, 27% undecided).
U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg, R-MI, introduced and championed the CARS Act to ensure the EPA’s push to decarbonize transportation remains technology-neutral and does not favor one vehicle technology over another. The specialty automotive aftermarket has a forward-looking vision that embraces new technology to make vehicles cleaner and more efficient, which includes hydrogen, electric, alternative fuels and continuing to improve the internal combustion engine.
If the CARS Act becomes law, it would block the most aggressive tailpipe emissions ever proposed. SEMA President and CEO Mike Spagnola and member companies have been vocal in opposing the EPA’s proposed rule. If the rule is finalized, the EPA estimates 67% of new sedans, crossovers, SUVs and light-truck purchases would be electric by 2032, while EVs would make up 50% of bus and garbage trucks, 35% of short-haul freight tractors and 25% of long-haul freight tractors.
U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo, R-ID, and Pete Ricketts, R-NE, introduced a bipartisan companion version of the CARS Act in the Senate, S. 3094. The bill has 33 co-sponsors and awaits consideration in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Click here to send your U.S. senators a letter asking them to support the CARS Act by co-sponsoring S. 3094.