EPA: U.S. initiative for 54.5 mpg CAFE target called to an end

Remember a few years back when the Obama Administration seemingly made enemies with car enthusiasts from things like “Cash For Clunkers,” the mandate for more than one million electric vehicles on U.S. roads by last year, and the famous CAFE goal of 54.5 mpg? Me too, but since a few years passed since those programs were first implemented, hindsight has been able to set in, and as the saying goes, hindsight is always 20/20.

That’s apparently the consensus between the EPA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the California Air Resources Board, towards the “54.5 mpg goal,” following the release of their Technical Assessment Report, according to AutomotiveNewsThe report pretty much overviews and analyzes various issues in the automobile industry, varying from cost analyses, highlights in tech advancements, and safety and emissions.

The 54.5 mpg was an initiative for Corporate Average Fuel Economy targets, pressuring automakers to innovate and produce more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly automobiles.

But after several years it seems the initiative isn’t playing out as anticipated and thus, are literally abolishing the “54.5 mpg” plan.

In the official statement for the report, the agencies acknowledged that automakers did well to find ways to improve fuel economy ratings and reduce carbon emissions and that “the technology is there.” But the biggest inhibitor for the plan is the current lack of demand, stemming from cheap oil and gas prices, as well as elevated demand for SUVs and crossovers.

The report also points out that automakers were able to meet the current regulations at the projected cost when the initiative was first implemented in 2012.

With current data, officials project the overall average fleet fuel economy should be around 50 to 52.6 mpg by 2025, rather than 54.5.

By releasing this preliminary draft of the report, the EPA plans to leave it open for public comment for up to 60 days, which will help the parties determine what goals  and regulations to set for 2022 to 2025 model-year vehicles. The official decision will be made on April 1, 2018.

No, we don’t know if that’s an early April Fool’s joke or not. But we doubt it.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: EPA, AutomotiveNews


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