The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are under attack for “abandoning” their Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles.
Citizens blindly trusted in the 163 grams/ mile or 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) estimate of carbon dioxide emissions by 2025 predicted by the EPA. A recent report generated by Automotive News casts doubt on the 54.5 mpg minimum after the EPA, NHTSA, and California Air Resources Board released the Technical Assessment Report draft.
The estimate cannot be easily reached because American consumers have increased their spending on trucks, crossovers, and SUVS. A more realistic estimate of a fleet average fuel economy would center around 50 to 52.6 mpg.
Despite that the U.S. government stated the 2025 estimate is not a mandate, but was based on the amount of new vehicles predicted to be sold in nine years, criticism spiked.
Dan Becker, the director of the Safe Climate Campaign complained, “There is no excuse not to improve efficiency and strengthen the standards.”
There are several reasons stated out of concern for a lack of government action. Individuals want to see what they view as an achievable safety level reached, even if such a standard cannot be accomplished within the established time frame. The CAFE standards would be applied from 2022 to 2025 should the EPA decide.
Harold P. Wimmer, the CEO of American Lung Association, stated, “Strengthening fuel efficiency standards will reduce carbon pollution, drive innovation and help protect public health.”
The EPA will not budge on taking action until the CAFE standards are decided upon, which is set for April 1, 2018. Perhaps of greater concern is how to monitor the automobile industries supplying the high-emission vehicles in the first place.