Tag Archive for 'NHTSA'

President Obama Announces Historic 54.5 mpg Fuel Efficiency Standard


Consumers will save $1.7 trillion at the pump, $8K per vehicle by 2025 

President Obama today announced a historic agreement with twelve major automakers to pursue the next phase in the Administration’s national vehicle program, increasing fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025. The President was joined by GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, BMW, Volvo, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Jaguar – which together account for over 90% of all vehicles sold in the United States – as well as the United Auto Workers (UAW), and the State of California, who were integral to developing this agreement.

“This agreement on fuel standards represents the most important step we’ve ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said President Obama. “Many of these companies were part of an agreement we reached two years ago to raise the fuel efficiency of their cars over the next five years. By 2025, the average fuel economy of their vehicles will nearly double to almost 55 miles per gallon.”

Building on the Obama administration’s agreement for Model Years 2012-2016 vehicles, which will raise fuel efficiency to 35.5 mpg and begin saving families money at the pump this year, the next round of standards will require performance equivalent to 54.5 mpg by 2025.

These programs combined with the model year 2011 light truck standard represent the first meaningful update to fuel efficiency standards in three decades and span Model Years 2011 to 2025. Together, they will save American families $1.7 trillion dollars at the pump, and by 2025 result in an average fuel savings of over $8,000 per vehicle. Additionally, these programs will dramatically cut oil consumption, saving a total of 12 billion barrels of oil, and by 2025 reduce oil consumption by more than 4 million barrels of oil a day – more than America currently imports from the Persian Gulf, Venezuela, and Russia combined.

The standards also curb carbon pollution, cutting more than 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas over the life of the program – equivalent to an entire year’s worth of carbon dioxide emissions from the United States. The oil savings, consumer, and environmental benefits of this comprehensive program are detailed in a new report, Driving Efficiency:  Cutting Costs for Families at the Pump and Slashing Dependence on Oil, which the Administration released today.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have worked closely with auto manufacturers, the state of California, environmental groups, and other stakeholders for several months to ensure these standards are achievable, cost-effective and preserve consumer choice.  The program would increase the stringency of standards for passenger cars by an average of five percent each year. The stringency of standards for pick-ups and other light-duty trucks would increase an average of 3.5 percent annually for the first five model years and an average of five percent annually for the last four model years of the program, to account for the unique challenges associated with this class of vehicles.

“This is another important step toward saving money for drivers, breaking our dependence on imported oil and cleaning up the air we breathe,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “American consumers are calling for cleaner cars that won’t pollute their air or break their budgets at the gas pump, and our innovative American automakers are responding with plans for some of the most fuel efficient vehicles in our history.”

“These standards will help spur economic growth and job creation, protect the environment, and strengthen our national security by reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Working together, we are setting the stage for a new generation of clean vehicles.”

A national policy on fuel economy standards and greenhouse gas emissions provides regulatory certainty and flexibility that reduces the cost of compliance for auto manufacturers while addressing oil consumption and harmful air pollution. Consumers will continue to have access to a diverse fleet and can purchase the vehicle that best suits their needs.

EPA and NHTSA are developing a joint proposed rulemaking, which will include full details on the proposed program and supporting analyses, including the costs and benefits of the proposal and its effects on the economy, auto manufacturers, and consumers. After the proposed rules are published in the Federal Register, there will be an opportunity for public comment and public hearings. The agencies plan to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by the end of September 2011. California plans on adopting its proposed rule in the same time frame as the federal proposal.

Truck Fuel Consumption And GHG Regulations Proposed

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a joint notice of proposed rulemaking calling for both fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction standards applicable to medium- and heavy-duty trucks. This rulemaking was mandated by a 2007 law passed by Congress and an Executive Order issued by President Obama earlier this year. Public comments on the proposal are due to the agencies January 31, 2011.

The NTEA has been very active throughout the development of this proposal, and the unique concerns of final-stage manufacturers of work trucks have been significantly addressed.

The NTEA worked continuously to educate those writing the proposed regulations about the work truck industry. In doing so, the Association:

  • Stressed the vital nature of the work these trucks need to do and the process by which they are produced and sold.
  • Demonstrated how one chassis could be used to build numerous different trucks that may be used in very different ways.
  • Explained how body and equipment manufacturers interact with their distributors and the role of the chassis manufacturers in the production process.
  • Emphasized that vocational/work trucks need to be regulated very differently than long-haul tractors and that it would be unnecessarily complex and counterproductive to involve final-stage manufacturers and body/equipment manufacturers in the compliance process.

In their explanation of the just-published proposal, the EPA and NHTSA agree with the NTEA’s concerns and point out that involving body manufacturers and distributors in the compliance framework of this proposed rule would be too complex and that the widely divergent body styles and differing end uses of these trucks would make generalized body improvements of little value.

The proposed rule would create three categories with separate fuel consumption and GHG reduction regulations for each category. The categories are:

1. Combination Tractors 
2. Heavy-Duty Pickup Trucks and Vans 
3. Vocational Vehicles

Class 7 and 8 Combination Tractors Generally, these vehicles are meant for long-haul use and are manufactured in such a way that the engine and chassis manufacturers can control compliance with new fuel efficiency and emissions regulations. The EPA and NHTSA have concluded that achieving reductions in GHG emissions and fuel consumption from combination tractors requires addressing both the cab and the engine, and the EPA and NHTSA are each proposing standards that reflect this conclusion.

Heavy-Duty Pickup Trucks and Vans This category includes 8,501-14,000-lb. pickups and vans (excluding medium-duty passenger vehicles already regulated under corporate average fuel economy, known as CAFE). These vehicles will be subject to more of a CAFE-type regulation – a whole vehicle regulation expressed as grams/mile for GHGs and gallons per 100 miles for fuel consumption based on weight based measures such as payload and towing capacity and the presence of 4wd. The chassis manufacturers will be responsible for meeting an annual fleet average.

The EPA and NHTSA recognize that some of these vehicles will be used in the work truck industry and will be completed or altered by companies like NTEA members. As such, they propose to move any incomplete vehicles in this weight category to the vocational truck category and leave in this category cab-chassis that would also be completed by final-stage manufacturers in a manner similar to strip chassis.

In recognition of the NTEA’s concerns, the EPA and NHTSA propose that for those cab-chassis still subject to these CAFE-like regulations, the chassis manufacturers can treat these vehicles as equivalent to the complete van or truck product from which they are derived. The second-stage manufacturers would not be subject to any new requirements under this provision.

Vocational Vehicles The EPA and NHTSA point out that the diversity of body configurations and work uses of the trucks produced by companies such as NTEA members require regulations separate from standard pickup trucks or long-haul tractors.

The EPA and NHTSA propose that in this vocational vehicle category, the chassis manufacturers be the focus of the proposed GHG and fuel consumption standards. As they point out, a focus on the body manufacturers would be much less practical, since they represent a more diverse set of manufacturers and the part of the vehicle that they add has a very limited impact on opportunities to reduce GHG emissions and fuel consumption (given the limited role that aerodynamics plays in the types of lower-speed operation typically found with vocational vehicles.)

Summary Combination tractors would be subject to engine and full vehicle standards that begin in the 2014 model year. The proposed rules would require up to a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and fuel consumption by the 2018 model year.

Heavy-duty pickups and vans would be subject to separate gasoline and diesel standards affecting the engine and full vehicle. The proposed rules would phase in starting in the 2014 model year and require up to a 10% reduction for gasoline vehicles and 15% reduction for diesel vehicles by the 2018 model year. Second-stage manufacturers would not be subject to any new requirements.

Vocational vehicles would be subject to engine and tire standards starting in the 2014 model year that aim to achieve up to a 10% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by the 2018 model year. Second-stage manufacturers would not be subject to any new requirements.

Source: National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA)