EPA Proposes To Freeze Fuel Economy Standards At 37 MPG

The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have unveiled their new proposal for fuel economy standards following the scrapping of the Obama-era plan which called for a corporate average fuel economy rating of 54.5 mpg (65.4 mpg UK / 4.3L / 100km) by 2025.

Officially named the “Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks,” the proposal would freeze fuel economy standards at 2020 levels. NBC News reports this would mean companies would only need to hit an average of 37 mpg (44 mpg UK / 6.3L / 100km).

That’s a pretty sizable difference and the government claims the proposal “reflects a balance of safety, economics, technology, fuel conservation and pollution reduction.” A number of states aren’t buying it and 19 have joined forces to sue over the proposal.

The lawsuit is being lead by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra who said “The Trump Administration has launched a brazen and unlawful attack, no matter how cloaked, on our nation’s Clean Car Standards.” He added “The California Department of Justice will use every legal tool at its disposal to defend today’s national standards and reaffirm the science behind them.”

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler

California has a lot riding on the lawsuit as the government is also seeking to eliminate the state’s ability to set its own vehicle standards. As EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler explained, “Our proposal aims to strike the right regulatory balance based on the most recent information and create a 50-state solution that will enable more Americans to afford newer, safer vehicles that pollute less.”

As expected, the government claims the new fuel economy standards are “anticipated to prevent thousands of on-road fatalities and injuries as compared to the standards set forth in the 2012 final rule.” The government also said the proposal will save consumers $2,340 (£1,796 / €2,017) since automakers won’t have to increase prices to offset the costs of building more efficient vehicles.

The proposal will be open to 60 days of public comment, but the rule is expected to be finalized this winter.

Most automakers haven’t had time to react to the proposal, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said the “proposed rule recognizes that assumptions made in 2012 about consumer preferences have fundamentally shifted in 2018.” The company went on to say the “proposal includes a range of options, and we will carefully evaluate how each aligns with FCA’s goals of continuous improvement in vehicle efficiency.”

  • Michael_66589

    These standards are from Space – 37 MPG – 6.3 l/100 km is sometimes hard to reach in Skoda Fabia 1.0 on
    highway in Europe in real conditions. 4.3 l/100 km /54 mpg is hard to get with 1.3 diesel in Europe. Normal car in USA with 3.5- 3.6 V6 engine can get normal fuel efficiency sometimes around 12 l/20 MPG. So maybe 22 MPG should be real standard, but not 37 or 54.

    • S3XY

      Volt – 53+ miles of EV range = $2.40 on my electric bill per charge

      1 gallon of gas here in LA is ~$3.70.

      If you get 22 MPG that’s less than half of the miles I get using a sustainable means of energy and a dollar more than I pay.

      That’s absolutely terrible.

      • danno

        When you start paying your fair share of road use taxes (and other taxes), as is included in the price of gasoline and diesel, than you can crow, until then …..

    • Alex87f

      You’re missing an important point: the 54.5 mpg target is under the CAFE testing procedure. That translates to about 35-36 mpg “window sticker” rating. That’s not unrealistic a target for 2025, most new cars can already get this type of mileage.

      The new target of 37mpg CAFE equates to about 27 real world mpg, which is hardly an improvement.

      Oh and you can get 37mpg in a 1 liter hatch all day long. I averaged more than than in an Ecoboost Fiesta, despite a lot of city driving.

      • Michael_66589

        27 MPG in real world is 8.71 liter. So still real world subcompact economy for cars from Europe like Seat Ibiza 1.2, but less than under powered Toyota Corolla 1.4., which use 9-10 liters. Normal US cars with V8 achieve not more than 17-18 mpg so the difference is big.

        • Alex87f

          You’re not correct on a few key points here.
          -A corolla 1.4 does not do 9-10l/100km. I have a larger engine on my car (2 litre petrol) and average about 8-8.5, a corolla will get better economy than this.
          -There are almost no V8 new cars anymore in the US. Most are 4 cylinders now. Even with trucks, v8s are less than a third of the market share.
          -With the low American speed limits (you rarely drive over 75mph) and the modern engines and gearboxes, you can actually get rather great mileage. I had two long term rentals in the US (2-3 weeks each), a Kia Optima with a 2.4 engine which averaged over 30mpg, and a Chrysler 200 2.4 liter which got even more (31-32mpg). And both these figures are real world mileage, with several people in the car, the A/C running, etc.

          • Michael_66589

            Yes, It everything depends from driving conditions and speed. But I owned 2010 Toyota Corolla 1.4 and never get better fuel efficiency than 9 l, average 10 liter, going fast – 170- 180 km/h I got fuel efficiency around 11-12 l/100 km in this car. Maybe V8 is not too popular now, but there is plenty of V6 too. I also owned and rented couple cars in USA and Canada (where are similar driving conditions to USA) and never get better economy than 12 liters in mixed city/highway conditions. I am saying about cars like Chrysler 300, Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Impala.

  • Afi Keita James


  • FactChecker90803

    Even 37mpg is pie in the sky, I have a 2016 GMC Sierra Denali 2400 Crew Cab Turbo Diesel, my wife drives a 2018 GMC Yukon Denali and our kids drive 3 Jeep Wranglers and 2014 Ford Raptor 6.2L V8. But we do have a 201pp

    • Julien Lachemoi

      Fasicm. No less.

      • mforty

        Fascism is actually Corporatism because it’s the merger of government and corporate power….Fascism is a rightwing ideology

  • danno

    Cars last forever in California. California needs to get rid of the 1960, ’70, ’80 and 1990 cars still driving around if they want a measurable positive reduction in auto pollution.
    It’s easier for politicians to put all the burden on new cars being made.

    • S3XY

      Seriously. All those cars smell absolutely disgusting. I spot old cars a mile away and have my finger ready to roll the window up before gruesome toxic fumes induce my interior and nostrils



  • S3XY

    My Volt gets 250+ MPG and Tesla gets 0 MPG.

    Every year that goes by is another year that gas becomes even more of a thing of the past.

    2018? MPG we off that. How much you get on a charge?

  • karmat

    The climate change believers could all make a real difference by driving sub compacts that get 40mpg, but they don’t. My 2008 Yaris got 39mpg in city/hwy mixed driving. My 2009 Mini Cooper s does 36mpg. Most people choose SUVs and crossovers though.

    • Climate change is not a belief, that’s for people who read one book only.

  • PB

    Antifa scum

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