April 2, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) unveiled today landmark final rules to improve vehicle fuel economy and cut global warming pollution. The new standards, which are based on the clean cars program first developed by California and later adopted in 13 other states, are the first-ever federal limits on global warming pollution - from any source.
Starting with 2012 model year vehicles, the rules require automakers to improve fleet-wide fuel economy and reduce fleet-wide greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 5 percent per year. DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) established fuel economy standards that strengthen each year reaching an estimated 34.1 miles per gallon for the combined industry-wide fleet for model year 2016.
Because credits for air-conditioning improvements can be used to meet the EPA standards but not the NHTSA standards, the EPA standards require that by the 2016 model year, manufacturers must achieve a combined average vehicle emission level of 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile. The EPA standard would be equivalent to 35.5 miles per gallon if all reductions came from fuel economy improvements.
Specifically, the new program reduces carbon dioxide emissions by about 960 million metric tons over the lifetime of the vehicles regulated, equivalent to taking 50 million cars and light trucks off the road in 2030, and conserves about 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles regulated.
More information is available at www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/regulations.htm