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Fuel Economy Standard Update Delayed Until 2020

The Trump administration has delayed the release of its expected federal fuel economy standards until the first quarter of 2020 at the earliest. The rule, which being updated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT), was expected to be released before the end of this calendar year. It is expected to reverse some of the strict standards set by the Obama administration, including requiring only a 1.5% annual increase in fleet-wide efficacy of new automobiles starting in 2021, a reversal of an earlier proposal which would have frozen requirements through 2026.

Under the current rule, a fleet-wide mile-per-gallon average of roughly 50 miles per gallon is required by 2025. In 2018, the Trump administration drew back the rigorous standard by proposing only a 37-miles-per-gallon average after 2020.

The delay has automakers waiting to plan future vehicle developments until the rule is released. Regarding the delay in rulemaking, Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications and Policy at EPA said that “The Trump Administration is focusing on finalizing the SAFE rule, which when finalized will deliver one national standard to the American auto market, will save lives and promote economic growth and job creation by reducing the price of new vehicles and helping more Americans purchase newer, cleaner and safer cars and trucks,”

Once the final federal fuel economy standards are released in 2020, ASME will report on the updates here in the Capitol Update newsletter.

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