NHTSA Sets New MPG Standard for 2011 ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: NHTSA Sets New MPG Standard for 2011

Friday, March 27, 2009

NHTSA Sets New MPG Standard for 2011

As part of the CAFE increases, set for 35 mpg by 2020, the NHTSA is setting midpoint values for auto manufacturers to make in the time leading up to it.  As one of the first acts of the Obama administration, the NHTSA was ordered to set the federal fuel economy standards for model year (MY) 2011.

The NHTSA has responded by setting a new mpg standard for MY 2011 at 30.2 mpg for passenger cars and 24.1 mpg for light trucks.  Together, that means the fleet averages for the manufacturers need to average 27.3 mpg, 2 mpg higher than the 25.3 mpg set for 2010.

Further analysis will be used to update in the following years.

Some people are very disappointed in the new standards, while the Auto Alliance is using the new rules to call for the federal standard to be the only standard.

The finalization of the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for MY 2011 is an important first step. It is now important that the Department of Transportation provide automakers with the certainty and consistency needed by setting standards for MY 2012 and beyond.
We are hopeful that the Obama Administration can find ways to bridge state and federal concerns, and move all stakeholders towards an aggressive, national, fuel economy/greenhouse gas emissions program administered by the federal government.

According to autoblog, the truck standard will be tougher than the car standard, since automakers are currently at "2007 model year averages of 31.3 mpg for cars and 23.1 mpg for trucks"

The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) notes the new federal standard is higher than the one being proposed by the federal government.  (It seems to me the NADA statement is a little bit misleading although it is factual.  The standard may be higher in 2011, but the changes are being implemented for years to come.  California wants to set a 34.5 mpg standard by 2015, while the federal standard won't be fully implemented until 2020.)
"Now that the new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) law, passed by Congress in Dec. 2007, is at last being implemented, America's auto dealers call on all stakeholders, including the Obama administration and California regulators, to embrace a single, national fuel economy standard."
The EPA should be shortly deciding whether to change their decision and allow California (and all the other states that are waiting in line) to be granted a waiver to set their own fuel economy standards.

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