April 25, 2008
April 25, 2008 -- Fuel efficiency standards for passenger vehicles and light trucks would increase by 4.5 percent a year over the five-year period ending in 2015, a 25 percent total increase, under a new proposal announced this week by U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters.
For passenger cars, the proposal would increase fuel economy from the current 27.5 miles per gallon to 35.7 miles per gallon by 2015. For light trucks, the proposal calls for increases from 23.5 miles per gallon in 2010 to 28.6 miles per gallon in 2015.
As required by Congress, the proposed rule allows for automakers to earn credits for exceeding Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAF?) standards. This will serve as an incentive for companies to exceed these goals while giving manufacturers flexibility to meet the standards without compromising their economic vitality. The Department of Transportation has projected that this rule will save nearly 55 billion gallons of fuel and effect a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions estimated at 521 million metric tons.
The rules were designed to push companies to boost fuel efficiency across their entire lineup of vehicles. Manufacturers will have different requirements for cars and trucks of different sizes based on vehicle sales. Collectively, the fleet of new vehicles will need to meet the rules.
The new rules would only apply to new car models. Because less than 7 percent of the cars on the road are new, it will take a while for the average fuel efficiency of all cars on the road to increase significantly. If signed into law, the proposed rule would take effect in 2011.
A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has been completed but still needs to be published in the Federal Register. Once it is published, comments will be accepted for 60 days. Additional information is available at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Web site, www.nhtsa.gov/portal/site/nhtsa/menuitem.43ac99aefa80569eea57529cdba046a0/
. Staff contact: Dustin Bryant, 202-484-7134