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Biden gives Japan automakers cold shoulder on EV targets

US targets 50% of car sales being zero-emissions vehicles by 2030

U.S. President Joe Biden prepares to test-drive a plug-in-hybrid Jeep Wrangler at an Aug. 5 event for clean cars and trucks at the White House, where he signed an executive order on transforming the country’s auto fleet.   © Reuters

PALO ALTO, U.S. -- U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday set a goal for half of all new cars sold in the country to be zero-emissions vehicles by 2030, freezing out builders of conventional hybrids as the White House aims to accelerate America's sluggish transition to electrics.

Biden's executive order covers passenger cars and light trucks powered by batteries and fuel cells, as well as plug-in hybrids. But it does not mention regular hybrids, which cannot be plugged in to recharge, posing a challenge to Japanese carmakers like Toyota Motor and Honda Motor, which have made them a specialty.

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