Wednesday, 18 August 2021 22:37

USDOT to Propose Improved Fuel Economy Standards


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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Aug. 5 it will soon propose robust new fuel economy standards.

The reconsideration of the fuel economy standards set in 2020 is in direct response to President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 13990 and the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to promote and protect public health and the environment. 


“This proposal would save drivers hundreds of billions of dollars on gas, reduce pollution and help counter the climate crisis we are seeing all around us,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “And by giving American car manufacturers a clear path forward, we will ensure that more of those clean vehicles, and jobs, are created right here.”


The new standards would also ensure consumers can benefit from increased fuel economy and save money on fuel, close to $140 billion in fuel savings for new vehicles sold by 2030 and $470 billion by midcentury. At the same time, the new standards would cut greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, reduce air pollution and reduce our dependence on oil.


The new standards would increase fuel efficiency 8% annually for model years 2024-2026 and increase the estimated fleetwide average by 12 miles per gallon for model year 2026, relative to model year 2021. 


NHTSA’s proposal comes as the automobile industry is retooling future models in response to market demand for cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Nearly all auto manufacturers have announced new electric vehicle models, and five manufacturers have voluntarily agreed with California to achieve stricter greenhouse gas requirements.


More robust fuel economy standards will encourage the industry to continue improving the fuel economy of cars powered by internal combustion engines as the transportation sector transitions to electrification.
“Our proposal reduces climate pollution by approximately the same amount as if we took more than 5 million of today’s vehicles off the road, while also saving Americans money at the pump,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator Dr. Steven Cliff. “This is important for the climate and also for public health. This proposal will help low-income areas and communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by these emissions, making it an issue of environmental justice as well.”


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