Statement: New clean car standards are a win for consumers, health

Media Contacts
Lisa Frank

Executive Director, Environment America Research & Policy Center; Vice President and D.C. Director, The Public Interest Network

Andre Delattre

Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Program, The Public Interest Network

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new rules Wednesday that will cut soot (particulate matter) pollution from the average car by 95% compared to current standards. The vehicle emission standards are also expected to save Americans $6,000 over the lifetime of a new car or light truck when fully implemented. 

State and federal clean car standards have substantially improved vehicle efficiency and reduced smog and other air pollutants. The average fuel economy of new cars has more than doubled from 13.1 miles per gallon in 1975 to 33.3 mpg in 2022, helping save Americans more than 2 trillion gallons of gasoline. Consumer choices also are cutting back vehicle emissions: Americans bought a record 1.4 million plug-in electric vehicles in 2023, totaling 9.3% of all passenger vehicle sales.

Andre Delattre, the senior vice president and chief operating officer for program for U.S. PIRG Education Fund said:

“We’ve come a long way from the horse and buggy days. Today’s consumers can choose from multiple models of clean, reliable electric cars that don’t pollute the air or require trips to the gas station. This new rule will help us realize the promise of modern vehicle technology to bring about a safer, healthier and more secure America.”

Lisa Frank, executive director of Environment America Research & Policy Center’s Washington office, said: 

“For decades, the convenience promised by cars came at a high price to Americans’ health and the environment: air pollution choking our cities, asthma threatening our kids and an ever-warming climate. In 2024, it’s possible to power our cars, buses and even pickup trucks with clean electricity. A brighter future without dirty tailpipes is within reach and we applaud the Biden administration for helping to achieve it through investments in EV charging, tax credits and today’s actions.”