Quality Magazine

New U.S. Fuel Economy and Emissions Standards Set

April 1, 2010

SANTA MONICA, CA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Transportation Department will sign a joint final rule establishing greenhouse gas emission standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for light-duty vehicles for model years 2012-2016.

“Automakers currently offer consumers a full menu of great fuel-efficient vehicles today – diesels, hybrids, electrics, small gas sippers and bigger vehicles -- that now get better fuel economy than ever before,” says Edmunds.com Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Anwyl. “But consumers generally aren’t interested, especially when gas prices remain relatively low and no incentives are available to purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles.”

Anwyl noted that in other countries a heavier tax is levied on vehicles with higher horsepower and bigger engines.

In addition to the EPA/DOT announcement, President Obama announced that 5,603 new hybrid cars and trucks have been ordered by the federal fleet to boost its fuel efficiency.

“While it is noble that the federal government is ordering a few fuel-saving vehicles, the consumer needs some kind of nudge to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles,” Anwyl says. “Yet CAFE does not address the demand side of the equation.”

For manufacturers to produce what the government demands -- but what the consumer doesn’t buy -- risks economic suicide, adds Anwyl.