The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to overturn proposed fuel economy standards as early as next week.
According to Reuters, the government agency will make the announcement at a Chevrolet dealership in Virginia on Tuesday. The announcement is expected to come directly from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and the event will reportedly be attended by an assortment of groups supporting automakers and dealers.
The specifics of the announcement remain unclear but Pruitt is expected to overturn fuel economy standards that were put in place by the Obama administration. The original proposal sought to increase the average fuel economy rating of new vehicles to approximately 50 mpg by 2025 but it was left open for review in April of 2018 to determine whether or not those targets were feasible.
By determining the proposal is no longer appropriate, the Trump administration can now lower the fuel economy standards to something more realistic. Several sources told Reuters the agency hasn’t determined what the new fuel economy standards should be but a proposal could be presented later this year. A May or June date is most likely but the Department of Transportation is reportedly pushing for a proposal to be introduced even sooner.
A number of automakers have been pushing for the original proposal to be overturned as consumers have embraced crossovers and trucks which would make hitting an average fuel economy rating of 50 mpg difficult. Of course, several states don’t want any changes and they are reportedly gearing up to battle any proposal that would lower fuel economy limits from the original plan.
According to EPA’s latest Light-Duty Vehicle CO2 and Fuel Economy Trends report, the 2016 model year adjusted fuel economy rating for new vehicles hit a record high of 24.7 mpg. The average for cars was 28.5 mpg, while trucks averaged 21.2 mpg.