NHTSA Issues New Vehicle Fuel Economy Standards


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued new vehicle fuel economy standards that will save Americans more than $23 billion in fuel costs while reducing pollution. This rule is in accordance with continuous energy security efforts that date back to the 1970s.

In this final rule, fuel economy will increase 2% per year for model years 2027-2031 for passenger cars, while light trucks will increase 2% per year for model years 2029-2031. These increases will bring the average light-duty vehicle fuel economy up to approximately 50.4 miles per gallon by model year 2031, saving passenger car and light-truck owners more than $600 in fuel over the lifetime of their vehicles.

Heavy-duty pickup truck and van fuel efficiency will increase 10% per year for model years 2030-2032 and 8% per year for model years 2033-2035. This will result in a fleetwide average of about 35 miles per gallon by model year 2035, saving heavy-duty pickup and van owners more than $700 in fuel over the lifetime of their vehicles.

“Not only will these new standards save Americans money at the pump every time they fill up, they will also decrease harmful pollution and make America less reliant on foreign oil,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These standards will save car owners more than $600 in gasoline costs over the lifetime of their vehicle.”

These improved standards will save almost 70 billion gallons of gasoline through 2050, preventing more than 710 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

“When Congress established the Corporate Average Fuel Economy program in the 1970s, the average vehicle got about 13 miles to the gallon,” says NHTSA Deputy Administrator Sophie Shulman. “Under these new standards, the average light-duty vehicle will achieve nearly four times that at 50 miles per gallon. These new fuel economy standards will save our nation billions of dollars, help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and make our air cleaner for everyone. Americans will enjoy the benefits of this rule for decades to come.”

The agency engaged with a broad set of stakeholders while crafting the final rule, including consumers, unions, automakers, states and environmental advocates.

NHTSA’s new fuel economy standards complement the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions standards for similar vehicle fleets. NHTSA worked closely with the EPA to optimize the effectiveness of its standards while minimizing compliance costs, consistent with applicable statutory factors.

The final rule sets increased standards that are consistent with Congress’ direction to conserve fuel and promote American energy independence and automotive manufacturing, while providing flexibility to industry on how to achieve those targets. Though NHTSA does not consider electric and other alternative fuels when setting standards, manufacturers may use all available technologies — including advanced internal combustion engines, hybrid technologies and electric vehicles — for compliance.

For more information, please see NHTSA’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy page.

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