EPA to Redo Fuel Economy Standards

By Doug MacGillivray posted 04-12-2018 12:26

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final determination of its mid-term evaluation for the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards for model years 2022-2025 light-duty vehicles. EPA Administrator Pruitt determined that the standards were not appropriate for those model years and should therefore be revised.
CAFE standards set fleet-wide fuel economy standards for a given vehicle class. In 2012, the EPA finalized a rulemaking procedure for fuel economy standards for model years 2017-2025. In late-November 2016, the EPA fast-tracked the process by releasing its proposed determination months ahead of schedule. This action did not allow sufficient review of scholarly and industry research and input on the effects a 54 miles per gallon standard would have on the automotive sector.

In March 2017, the EPA issued a Notice of Intent to reconsider the final determination from 2016. This action reopened the midterm review process and allowed the EPA to reconsider the prior proposed determination. In his action last week, Administrator Pruitt now set the EPA on a path to setting new 2022-2025 CAFE standards.

In the final determination, the EPA notes that vehicle trends did not meet assumptions made by proposed determination in 2016. Comments submitted to the EPA noted that many companies would struggle to meet the amount of assumed electric vehicle absorption and that many manufacturers would rely on the purchasing of credits and offsets to comply with the standards. The EPA also cites NGVAmerica and their request to provide an even playing field for NGVs.

Following the final determination, the EPA will next initiate a notice of proposed rulemaking and open a comment period. These will be forthcoming in the Federal Register. APGA will evaluate whether to submit a comment.

For questions on this article, please contact Doug MacGillivray of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-742 or by email at dmacgillivray@apga.org.