Draft federal fuel economy report doesnt adjust 2025 targets, but says fleet CAFE will fall short of 54.5 mpg

Draft federal fuel economy report doesnêt adjust 2025 targets, but says fleet CAFE will fall short of 54.5 mpg

The draft midterm report from EPA, NHTSA and CARB on 2025 fuel economy targets says that automakers have the technical ability to meet the targets. But the report acknowledges that consumersê increasing preference for SUVs and light trucks means fleetwide fuel economy will not reach the 54.5 mpg target.

That target is a goal, not a mandate, administration officials told reporters in a conference call, reports Automotive News. The actual fleetwide number will likely be 46.3 mpg, officials said. The current combined average for cars and light trucks is 34 mpg.

The report says the fuel economy standards can be largely met through improved gasoline engines rather than alternative fuel vehicles. There are already more than 100 models on the market that meet 2020 or later standards, the regulators said. In fact, a NHTSA statement said, –auto manufacturers over-complied with the standard for each of the first three years of the program and in 2014 outperformed the standards by 1.4 miles per gallon.”

So far, the regulators do not appear inclined to lower the targets. But there is a 60-day comment period when automakers, NADA and environmental groups will all try to make their case. The Auto Alliance said –it will be a daunting challenge” to meet the requirements. –Absent a vigorous commitment to focus on marketplace realities, excessive regulatory costs could impact both consumers and the employees who produce these vehicles,” the group said.

NADA plans to focus its comments on consumer acceptance and willingness to pay for fuel economy and new technologies, and on vehicle affordability and safety. –Ever-escalating standards that price hardworking Americans out of the new car market is not a reasonable or realistic approach, and it will ultimately lead to Washington denying our customers the choices they deserve,” the association said.

The new administration must write final regulations by April 1, 2018.

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