The Trump Administration may be looking to relax Obama-era rules on fuel economy standards for automobiles.
According to Bloomberg, in a January 22 draft analysis provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government may consider lowering future efficiency targets, including a mandate for vehicles to achieve an average fuel economy standard from the Obama administration's 46.6 miles per gallon down to 35.7 miles per gallon, by 2026.
That would reduce the needed percentage of hybrid of plug-in electric vehicles on the roads.
Other scenarios dictate less strict standards and alternate years in which they would be imposed, with the possibility of new rules as early as 2021, with no word provided on what these measures are relative to the above proposal.
California, one of the more aggressive states in terms of fuel economy standards, has released a statement on its support of more electric cars on the roads.
"It's clear that in order to stay competitive globally, the U.S. auto industry needs to keep pace with the rest of the world. That's where California is moving," said Stanley Young, a California Air Resources Board spokesperson. "It is unwise for the federal government to set the clock of automotive technology back a decade."
As of this writing, the U.S. standards issue targets for the average fuel economy of all cars and trucks to hit 51.4 by 2025, up from 35.5 miles per gallon in 2016, with other goals governing tailpipe CO2 emissions and state-issued local percentages for new vehicles being zero-emissions.
Automakers who fail to comply would be met with fines or outright sales bans. Now, automakers are looking to reverse these Obama-era requirements, given the difficulty and production costs in meeting these rules.
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