Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed rule making, the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for model years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks (SAFE Vehicles Rule), to correct the national automobile fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards to give the American people greater access to safer, more affordable vehicles that are cleaner for the environment.
The SAFE Vehicles Rule is the next generation of the Congressional mandated Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards. This Notice of Proposed Rule making (NPRM) is the first formal step in setting the 2021-2026 standards that must be achieved by each automaker for its car and light-duty truck fleet.
In the proposal, NHTSA and EPA are seeking public comment on a wide range of regulatory options, including a preferred alternative that locks in 2020 standards through 2026, providing a much-needed time-out from further, costly increases. The agencies’ preferred alternative reflects a balance of safety, economics, technology, fuel conservation, and pollution reduction. It is anticipated to prevent thousands of on-road fatalities and injuries as compared to the standards set forth in the 2012 final rule. The joint proposal initiates a process to establish a new 50-state fuel economy and tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions standard for passenger cars and light trucks covering 2021 through 2026.