Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Administration Adopts Final MY2025 54.5 MPG CAFE Standards

Aug 28: The Obama Administration finalized the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards that will increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025. When combined with previous standards set by the Administration, the move will nearly double the fuel efficiency of those vehicles compared to new vehicles currently on our roads. In total, the Administration's national program to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions will save consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gas pump and reduce U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels. The final rule will become effective 60-days following publication in the Federal Register.

    President Obama said, "These fuel standards represent the single most important step we've ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. This historic agreement builds on the progress we've already made to save families money at the pump and cut our oil consumption. By the middle of the next decade our cars will get nearly 55 miles per gallon, almost double what they get today. It'll strengthen our nation's energy security, it's good for middle class families and it will help create an economy built to last."

    The standards issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. EPA build on the Administration's standards for cars and light trucks for Model Years 2011-2016. Those standards, which raised average fuel efficiency by 2016 to the equivalent of 35.5 mpg, are already saving families money at the pump.

    Last year, 13 major automakers, which together account for more than 90 percent of all vehicles sold in the United States, announced their support for the new standards. By aligning Federal and state requirements and providing manufacturers with long-term regulatory certainty and compliance flexibility, the standards encourage investments in clean, innovative technologies that will benefit families, promote U.S. leadership in the automotive sector, and curb pollution. President Obama announced the proposed standard in July 2011, joined by Ford, GM, Chrysler, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota, and Volvo, as well as the United Auto Workers. The State of California and other key stakeholders also supported the announcement and were integral in developing this national program. 

    DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said, "Simply put, this groundbreaking program will result in vehicles that use less gas, travel farther, and provide more efficiency for consumers than ever before -- all while protecting the air we breathe and giving automakers the regulatory certainty to build the cars of the future here in America. Today, automakers are seeing their more fuel-efficient vehicles climb in sales, while families already saving money under the Administration's first fuel economy efforts will save even more in the future, making this announcement a victory for everyone." EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said, "The fuel efficiency standards the administration finalized today are another example of how we protect the environment and strengthen the economy at the same time. Innovation and economic growth are already reinvigorating the auto industry and the thousands of businesses that supply automakers as they create and produce the efficient vehicles of tomorrow. Clean, efficient vehicles are also cutting pollution and saving drivers money at the pump."

    According to a release from the agencies, the Administration's combined efforts represent the first "meaningful update" to fuel efficiency standards in decades. Together, they will save American families more than $1.7 trillion dollars in fuel costs, resulting in an average fuel savings of more than $8,000 by 2025 over the lifetime of the vehicle. For families purchasing a model Year 2025 vehicle, the net savings will be comparable to lowering the price of gasoline by approximately $1 per gallon. Additionally, these programs will dramatically reduce our reliance on foreign oil, saving a total of 12 billion barrels of oil and reducing oil consumption by more than 2 million barrels a day by 2025 -- as much as half of the oil we import from OPEC each day. The standards also represent historic progress to reduce carbon pollution and address climate change. Combined, the Administration's standards will cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks in half by 2025, reducing emissions by 6 billion metric tons over the life of the program – more than the total amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the United States in 2010.

    The Administration said that major auto manufacturers are already developing advanced technologies that can significantly reduce fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions beyond the existing model year 2012-2016 standards. In addition, a wide range of technologies are currently available for automakers to meet the new standards, including advanced gasoline engines and transmissions, vehicle weight reduction, lower tire rolling resistance, improvements in aerodynamics, diesel engines, more efficient accessories, and improvements in air conditioning systems.
    The program also includes targeted incentives to encourage early adoption and introduction into the marketplace of advanced technologies to dramatically improve vehicle performance, including: Incentives for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cells vehicles; Incentives for hybrid technologies for large pickups and for other technologies that achieve high fuel economy levels on large pickups; Incentives for natural gas vehicles; and Credits for technologies with potential to achieve real-world greenhouse gas reductions and fuel economy improvements that are not captured by the standards test procedures.
    Access a release from EPA (click here). Access the complete 1994-page final rule (click here). Access the EPA CAFE website for background information (click here). Access the DOT CAFE website for background information (click here). [#Transport/CAFE, #Climate, #Air]
32 Years of Environmental Reporting for serious Environmental Professionals

No comments: