Washington, D.C. — ACEEE believes Congress should provide additional funds to allow the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) program to continue operating through this month’s recess despite the serious flaws in the design and implementation of the program. “This program appears to be helping lots of people trade gas guzzlers for pretty efficient vehicles, if DOT’s statements about the vehicle transactions occurring under CARS are accurate,” said ACEEE Transportation Program Director Dr. Therese Langer.
In March 2009, President Obama pledged to have 1 million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) on the road by 2015. While the penetration of electric drive vehicles in the American automobile market could significantly reduce petroleum use, vehicle emissions, and fuel expenditures countrywide, there are several challenges to implementing the President’s 2015 goal.
The Obama Administration announced a key decision to bring national vehicle standards for fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions up to levels adopted in California, resolving a longstanding battle between the auto industry and state regulators. While the standards represent a quicker pace of improvement than the target of 35 miles per gallon by 2020 set in EISA 2007, auto manufacturers supported the move, saying that it provides the level of certainty and uniformity the industry needs.
ACEEE Applauds President’s Announcement of New Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Vehicles
Washington, D.C. — The Obama Administration today announced automobile fuel economy and emissions standards that represent a critical step toward reduced oil dependence and greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. The new standards will require that cars and light trucks achieve an average of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, up from about 26 miles per gallon today.
Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats have announced agreement on a vehicle scrappage program that would offer vouchers of $3,500 or $4,500 for consumers to retire their vehicles and purchase new ones. Unlike the scrappage bill introduced in January, which aims to accelerate the modernization of the U.S. fleet to a more fuel-efficient one, the program just announced aims primarily to clear Detroit’s unsold inventory from the storage lots.
Washington, D.C. — ACEEE commends the intent of Representative Sutton, sponsor of the CARS Act, to help the U.S. auto industry emerge successfully from the current crisis while reducing oil dependence and global warming emissions. Unfortunately, the vehicle scrappage program outlined by the bill as introduced would not achieve its energy and environmental objectives.
The most serious shortcomings of the bill are:
Washington, D.C. — The Department of Transportation today announced new fuel economy standards averaging 27.3 miles per gallon for model year 2011 cars and light trucks. The standards are disappointing. They are weaker than the standards proposed last spring, and those were based on an unrealistically low gasoline price forecast. A reasonable price forecast should have led to higher standards, not lower ones.
Washington, D.C. — With the auto industry in turmoil and energy prices in flux, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy today released environmental ratings for model year 2009 vehicles. This is the twelfth year ACEEE has published its rankings as part of ACEEE’s Green Book® Online, the organization’s environmental guide to cars and trucks, available at greenercars.org.
Washington, D.C. — The Accelerated Retirement of Inefficient Vehicles Retirement Act of 2009 (ARIVA), introduced in the House and Senate this morning, will help consumers dissatisfied with their gas guzzlers to retire those vehicles and replace them with fuel-efficient vehicles. ARIVA is designed to speed up the transition to a low-consuming vehicle stock in the U.S. “Unstable gasoline prices, tight household budgets, and signs of global warming are causing many consumers to rethink their vehicle preferences,” said ACEEE Executive Director Steven Nadel.
The energy bill provides tax credits for heavy-duty hybrid vehicles in the period January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2009. The credit amount depends on the weight class of the vehicle, its fuel economy relative to a comparable conventional vehicle, and the incremental cost.
A hybrid vehicle's incremental cost is defined as the amount by which the manufacturer's suggested retail price of the hybrid exceeds that of a "comparable" vehicle; but it is capped by class: