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cars on highway

Despite Auto Rule Rollback, Fuel-Economy Improvements Will Likely Continue

cars on highwayEmissions and fuel-economy standards for new cars will likely be overhauled this week as the Trump administration is expected to announce an agreement with major auto companies to rollback the rules for model years 2022-2025 cars and light trucks.

The regulations, finalized by the EPA in January before President Donald Trump took office, require the industry to meet the target of 54 miles per gallon for vehicle fleets by 2025.

Car companies may take different approaches to less strict federal standards, the New York Times reports.

Some companies, for example, will continue to pursue electric car programs, while others may scale back their plans. And over all, the industry is likely to continue to make incremental fuel-economy improvements as new models are introduced, primarily as a selling point to consumers.

Ford, for example, in January announced a major push toward electrified vehicles: it will make seven new EVs available in the next five years. These include a fully electric SUV with an estimated range of at least 300 miles and two new electrified police vehicles. Ford has pledged to invest $4.5 billion in electrified vehicles by 2020.

And Toyota is investing millions in fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fueling stations.

Despite pursing their own low-emission-fleet strategies, automakers have told Trump that the Obama administration’s fuel economy standards are neither achievable nor cost-effective.

“Even under EPA’s optimistic estimates, the automotive industry will have to spend a staggering $200 billion between 2012 and 2025 to comply,” Mitch Bainwol, president of the Auto Alliance trade group, wrote in a letter to regulators last month.

In a separate letter, CEOs of General Motors, Ford, Toyota and 15 other major automakers urged Trump to reverse the regulations.

In late January Trump met with Ford CEO Mark Fields, General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne where the executives also raised the issue.

 

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