What Fuel Economy Standards Work In the United States?

What Fuel Economy Standards Work In the United States?

There has been plenty of debate surrounding how fuel economy standards work in the United States. Many car manufacturers have been trying to build electric vehicles or more efficient cars to meet these rules. But the specific rules that are to work have remained unclear.

Original Plans

The Obama administration originally planned fuel economy standards that would require passenger cars and trucks to run at 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. But many car companies have argued that these standards are too lofty and impossible for them to reach.

Fuel economy standards
Fuel economy standards

There had also been standards where the fuel economy total was to rise by 5 percent each year. The effort was to encourage car companies to develop electric vehicles or other alternative solutions. The work includes reducing emissions and easing the country’s dependency on oil from other countries.

New Changes

The new fuel economy rules from the Trump administration state that fuel economy standards are to rise by 1.5 percent per year. The new position comes from the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule. Fuel economy limits would also stay at 2020 levels for at least the next five years.

The freeze on fuel economy rules is to help improve upon how well car companies can plan their vehicles. There is also the belief that it is easier for these companies to produce cars that fit these standards. The general goal of many companies is to reach 50 miles per gallon or more in the future, but current technology makes it hard to get to that total.

Trump’s plan would entail cars reaching about 40 miles per gallon in 2026. The total is significantly lower than the Obama value.

Pollution Concerns

While the fuel economy laws in the United States have suggested a desire to produce more efficient vehicles, the Trump administration is not willing to move forward as much as the Obama administration was. The point has led to concerns among people about air pollution levels rising around the country. There are worries that air quality could become worse for people with breathing issues. These include people with asthma.

California Could Be the Key

A deal made between many auto manufacturers and the state of California could prompt many car companies to continue working under the fuel economy standards that the Obama administration wanted. Last year, a few car companies struck a deal with the California government to stick with the Obama rules over the Trump ones that were in the works.

Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, and BMW all signed onto an agreement in California to stick with the 50 mpg standard that was to be reached in 2026. The companies have been working to make their cars more efficient, with Honda promoting its vehicles as having the lowest carbon dioxide emissions in the world.

Volkswagen has also expressed a desire to become a carbon-neutral company by 2050. The German company is also a strong supporter of the Paris Agreement that the Trump administration abandoned. Volkswagen is also aiming to produce an all-electric vehicle fleet in the future, possibly as a response to the company having been fined for having its diesel vehicles cheat emissions tests.

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