Appeals Court Backs EPA Decision on Allowing California to Set EV Standards

An American appeals court has backed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to allow the state of California to set its own electric vehicle emissions standards. A three-judge panel rejected a challenge issued by 17 GOP-led states and entities that produce or sell liquid fuels and ruled that California can establish its electric vehicle requirements and emission limits, per the EPA’s decision.

In 2019, former President Donald Trump revoked California’s ability to set its tailpipe emission limits and zero-emission car-sales mandates through 2025. The EPA reversed President Trump’s decision in March 2022, several months after President Joe Biden took office. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has now ruled in the EPA’s favor and supported its decision to reverse former President Trump’s decision.

According to a statement from California’s Governor Gavin Newsom, the appeals court “sided with common sense and public health” against Republican-led states and the fossil-fuel industry. Newsom added that the ruling reaffirmed the state’s “long-standing right” to deal with passenger vehicle and truck pollution.

California currently has one of the largest electric-vehicle fleets in the country and is home to most of America’s public EV-charging infrastructure. The GOP-led states behind the legal challenge argued that allowing California to set its own EV requirements granted the state an “unconstitutional regulatory power” that other states don’t have.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected this argument and said that revoking the EPA’s decision would only address the GOP-led states’ claims of California receiving an unconstitutional privilege if carmakers responded by lowering internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle prices or selling fewer electric cars. However, the court said there was no evidence to support this conclusion.

California first received the EPA waiver to set its emission standards internally in 1993. Another waiver was awarded to California in 2023 under the Clear Air Act and reinstated by the EPA in 2022. The agency also rejected a Trump administration decision to prevent other states from taking up tailpipe emission standards from California.

In August 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved a historic plan to end the sale of ICE vehicles in California by 2035 and set annual rising requirements for zero-emission cars in the state from 2026 onward. Nearly a year later, CARB asked the Environmental Protection Agency to approve a new Clean Air Act waiver for new electric vehicle rules slated to take effect in 2026.

As the emissions restriction timelines set by California come into force, more motorists are likely to buy EVs from startups such as Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN); in addition, other states could also copy those vehicle transition targets.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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