Fuel Efficiency Standards to Nearly Double by 2025

The EPA and the NHTSA have finalized standards that will increase average fuel economy requirements for cars and light-duty trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. When combined with previous standards set for 2011-2016 models, this move will nearly double the fuel efficiency of those vehicles compared to new vehicles currently on the road.

The EPA and the NHTSA jointly proposed the rule in December 2011 with the support of Ford, GM, Chrysler, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota, and Volvo, as well as the United Auto Workers. Little changed from the proposed rule to the final.

The EPA set an average carbon dioxide limit of 163 grams per mile by 2025, which would equate to 54.5 miles per gallon if emissions are reduced primarily through fuel economy improvements.

The NHTSA will require automobile manufacturers to achieve a fleetwide average of 41 mpg in 2021. Prior to the 2022 model year, the NHTSA will complete a second review of standards, subject to a separate notice and comment period, that is projected to increase the fleetwide average to something between 48.7 mpg and 49.7 mpg in 2025.

The EPA and the NHTSA estimate the rule will increase the average price of a vehicle by $1,800 in 2025. However, consumers would save an estimated $5,700 to $7,400 in gasoline over the life of the vehicle.

The agencies predict the rule will save 4 billion barrels of oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2 billion metric tons.

The rule includes targeted incentives to encourage early adoption and introduction into the marketplace of advanced technologies to dramatically improve vehicle performance, including:

  • Incentives for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cells vehicles;
  • Incentives for hybrid technologies for large pickups and for other technologies that achieve high fuel economy levels on large pickups;
  • Incentives for natural gas vehicles;
  • Credits for technologies with potential to achieve real-world greenhouse gas reductions and fuel economy improvements that are not captured by the standards test procedures.

Additional information on fuel efficiency standards is available on this GLLF Regulatory Watch webpage.

This post originally appeared on the Great Lakes Legal Foundation’s Regulatory Watch blog.