EPA Proposes Two Rules That Could Dramatically Increase EV Sales

On April 12, 2023, the EPA announced two proposed vehicle emission rules aimed to accelerate the transition to electric passenger and commercial vehicles.

The proposed standards do not require that manufacturers produce a certain number of electric vehicles, but instead set forth limits on greenhouse gas emissions that manufacturers must comply with for particular vehicle fleets. The EPA predicts such standards will result in a dramatic increase in new electric vehicle sales.

Read the full story on the Duane Morris LLP website.

Treasury Department Releases Proposed Guidance on New Clean Vehicle Provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act

By Elisa Walker

On March 31, 2023, the Treasury Department and the IRS released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the new clean vehicle provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act. The Notice will be published in the Federal Register on April 17, 2023. Comments and requests for a public hearing must be submitted by June 16, 2023.

Section 30D of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended by the Inflation Reduction Act, allows a credit of up to $7,500 on the purchase of qualified electric vehicles. To be eligible for the credit, the vehicle must be a new clean vehicle, manufactured in North American, and powered by a battery that complies with critical mineral and component sourcing specifications. The Notice provides guidance clarifying the new credit eligibility criteria.

We are currently reviewing the proposed guidance. Check back early next week for our assessment.

EU agrees last minute e-fuels exemption to future ICE vehicles ban

In a twist for EU leaders and Member States, it became apparent earlier this month that Germany was not going to approve a previously agreed deadline for the total phase-out of the sale of new vehicles with traditional internal combustion engines (ICEs).

Earlier this year in February, the EU Parliament voted in favour of a proposal to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles across the EU, with effect from 2035. That ban would have coincided with similar proposals from other jurisdictions, including the UK (proposed ban to come into effect from 2030), and plans from OEMs themselves to discontinue entire petrol and diesel product lines. However, an effort, spearheaded by Germany, has changed all that.

Read the full post on the Duane Morris London Blog here.

D.C. Circuit Upholds Drone Remote ID Rule, Dismissing Constitutional and Procedural Challenges

On July 29, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its opinion in RaceDayQuads, LLC v. Dickson, upholding the Federal Aviation Administration’s Remote ID Rule for drones.

The FAA had initially promulgated the Remote ID Rule as part of a package of sweeping updates to existing drone regulations in January 2021.  In terms of its effect, the Remote ID Rule requires that all in-flight drones use radio frequencies to continuously emit: (1) a unique ID number; (2) latitude, longitude, geometric altitude, and velocity; (3) the latitude, longitude, and geometric altitude of the drone’s control station; (4) a time mark; and (4) any applicable “emergency status” notification – which indicates issues such as low fuel or a low battery.   For these reasons, the Rule has often been referred to as a “digital license plate” requirement for drones, and it has been heralded as a means to further integrate drones into the national public airspace and, in turn, pave the way for expanded commercial uses.

In March of 2021, Tyler Brennan, a former Air Force pilot and drone enthusiast, along with his drone retail business RaceDayQuads, LLC, filed a lawsuit seeking to have the Remote ID Rule vacated on the grounds that it was unconstitutional.  These Plaintiffs broadly asserted that the Rule’s broadcast requirement would amount to “constant, warrantless governmental surveillance in violation of the Fourth Amendment.”  The Plaintiffs also advanced various procedural challenges to the method by which the FAA had promulgated the Rule.

Ultimately, the D.C. Circuit denied each of these arguments.  The Court reasoned that “drone pilots generally lack any reasonable expectation of privacy in the location of their drone systems during flight” – particularly considering that drone flights occur almost exclusively in public, open air  and thus are generally visible to the public.  On that basis, the Court denied Plaintiffs’ constitutional challenge, holding that the “limited, local, real-time information sharing the Rule requires,” which does not include any personal identifiers, but instead requires the disclosure of only a unique ID number and the location of operation, “is a far cry from the continuous surveillance the Supreme Court has held violates reasonable expectations of privacy.”  The Court also denied Plaintiffs’ procedural challenges, finding that the Rule was not “arbitrary and capricious,” as the Plaintiffs had alleged.

It remains to be seen whether the Remote ID Rule will face Supreme Court scrutiny.  If the Rule stands, it will represent a key step forward in terms of integrating drones into the national airspace, and open the door for businesses to expand the scope of how drones can be used in the commercial setting.

Insuring Commercial Drones: Liability or Opportunity?

Developments in drone technology are often heralded as having the potential to change the landscape of business operations, most prominently in the consumer goods shipping sector. Yet, the development of federal regulation and guidance on the commercial use of drones lags behind the pace of innovation. Meanwhile, litigation highlighting the common law tort risks inherent in drone operations has been percolating in jurisdictions around the country. It is no surprise, then, that users of the technology face major uncertainty in terms of their exposure to liabilities, both known and unknown.

To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris attorneys Holden Benon and Matthew Decker, please visit the Insurance Journal website.

Suez Canal Reopens, but Delay Damages Still an Obstacle

Shippers whose cargoes have been delayed by the grounding of the container ship Ever Given will likely face obstacles in recovering damages caused by the delay. The Ever Given, which is one of the world’s largest container ships at over 400 meters in length, ran aground on March 23, 2021, while transiting northbound in the Suez Canal, completely blocking all traffic. The 120-year-old Suez Canal is one of the world’s most transited waterways, and the consequences of the multiday disruption to ocean carrier traffic will be felt by shippers and consumers alike. To minimize the impact of delays caused by the Ever Given, some vessel operators with ships waiting to enter the canal rerouted ships around the Horn of Africa, which increases their operating costs and adds considerable time to each voyage, while other vessel operators stayed put, hoping the Ever Given would be refloated quickly.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

Walter Rand Transportation Center in New Jersey Receives $250M Redevelopment Funding

On February 17th, New Jersey Governor Murphy, Congressman Norcross, Senate President Sweeney and local and county officials announced $250 Million for the redevelopment of the Walter Rand Transportation Center (WRTC) in Camden, NJ. This will be the center’s first major renovation since opening in 1989.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris partner Brad Molotsky, please visit the Duane Morris Project Development/Infrastructure/P3 Blog.

FAA Issues Two Key Changes to Drone Regulations, Opening Door to Commercial Use

On December 28, 2020, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced two major changes to existing federal regulations governing the flight of Unmanned Aircraft (UA), better known as drones. These changes represent the latest in the FAA’s ongoing efforts to integrate drones into the existing National Airspace System, and, in turn, facilitate the implementation of drones in commercial settings. The new rules will become effective 60 days from the date of their publication in the Federal Register, which is anticipated to occur in January 2021.


To read more about this update see our recent Alert, which can be found at:


Auto Industry Implications for 3D Printing

For as long as cars have existed, three fundamental truths appeared to be eternal. First, every car contains safety critical components, second these components are mostly metal and third, they are manufactured by one of two methods—stamping or cold forming. These eternal truths always led to an equally durable legal reality, that if the safety critical component fails the manufacturer will be liable to the injured party. It’s hard to think of a more trite and dependable set of principles. But these timeless precepts are about to become disrupted as the automotive industry continues to explore the innovation of 3D printing.

To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris partners Sean Burke and Alex Geisler, please visit the 3DPrint.com website.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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