Light Duty Fuel Economy
Vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards are working well, but could fall short of climate goals
The latest news from the EPA on light-duty vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions is…complicated. There’s good news and not-so-good news, and the array of factors that figure into EPA’s accounts of these matters is mind-boggling for those not tuned into the fine points.
New fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles and engines, proposed this summer, have just run the gauntlet of public comment on their way to final adoption next year. As proposed, these Phase 2 standards would provide major gains in fuel efficiency for heavy-duty vehicles by 2027.
ACEEE executive director Steven Nadel made this statement on the report Cost, Effectiveness and Deployment of Fuel Economy Technologies for Light-Duty Vehicles released today by the National Research Council, the operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering:
Standards cutting greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks and raising fuel economy are among the biggest environmental achievements of the Obama administration. The standards are projected to save consumers hundreds of billions of dollars in fuel expenditures over the next decade. In the process, they are helping to shape the US and global auto industries by establishing an expectation of continuing technological progress toward high efficiency, low-emitting vehicles.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama rightly pointed to a thriving domestic auto industry as a bright spot in the U.S. economy. It’s a good time to recall that the government’s 2008-2009 intervention on behalf of GM and Chrysler played a big role in that outcome, as did energy efficiency.
As 2013 draws to a close, it's useful to reflect back on the past year and look forward to the coming one. Despite political and economic headwinds, the states and federal and local governments continued to make progress on energy efficiency policies in 2013. Among the states, Mississippi and Louisiana decided to begin utility programs, and Connecticut and Maine passed legislation to advance efficiency initiatives.
Today Is the 40th Anniversary of the 1973 Oil Crisis and the Midpoint on the Path to a Truly Energy-Efficient Economy
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Middle East Oil Embargo. On this day 40 years ago, Middle East oil ministers recommended an embargo against nations supporting Israel in the Yom Kippur war and mandated a cut in oil exports.
Freight movement is among the fastest growing energy uses in the world, yet fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for the heavy-duty vehicles that move freight are still in their infancy.
The Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency today finalized federal car and light truck fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards for model years 2017 to 2025. The standards, together with those previously adopted for model years 2012 to 2016, mean an 80 percent increase in fuel economy for the average model year 2025 vehicle from the 2011 CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) requirement of 27.6 miles per gallon.