July 18, 2016

In Technical Assessment Report, EPA and NHTSA Show Feasibility, Importance of Strong Fuel Efficiency Standards

Statement by David Cooke, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON (July 18, 2016)—Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released a report on the technologies that made possible groundbreaking improvements in vehicle efficiency. This report shows that the national program of fuel economy and emissions standards is succeeding, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by David Cooke, Senior Vehicles Analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“The national fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards are a vital program to cut oil use and reduce the risk of climate change. Today’s report shows that automakers have the technologies to meet these standards, today and in the future.

“The national standards were designed with the cooperation of automakers, and they’ve spurred innovation that has made vehicles more efficient across classes. From compact cars to SUVs, today’s vehicle models are more efficient than ever. Automakers are ahead of today’s targets and they can continue to improve. If we keep standards strong and continue the progress we’ve made, these standards will save 2.4 million barrels of oil a day in 2030 and save each driver more than $3,000 over the lifetime of a new vehicle.

“Today’s report on the status of the industry compiles a significant amount of data—the EPA has taken a robust, scientific approach to this review.  They’ve invested millions of dollars in lab research to study the impacts of technologies on the road today and their deployment in the years to come. They’ve further commissioned tear-down studies to get the technology costs right, costs that generally have come down faster than originally anticipated. This report is thorough and the message clear—these standards are a success, and manufacturers have an even broader portfolio of technologies to meet the standards in 2025 than initially assessed.

“As the standards undergo midterm review next year, the federal government must keep them strong so that cars continue to get more efficient and drivers continue to save money at the pump. We can’t accept rollbacks or loopholes that erode these standards. Automakers can, and must, fulfill the promises they made—and this report shows just how they can do it.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.