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Biden Administration Announces Ambitious Final CAFE Standards - Climate Group Responds

1 April 2022, 21:33 BST 2 min read

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration announced final Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which will improve gas mileage for new passenger vehicles sold in the United States between now and 2026.  

The new standards require a 49 mpg fleetwide average by 2026, a 33% increase over model year 2021 standards. Today’s announcement follows a September 2021 proposed rule and an October 2021 public hearing. Throughout this comment period, the public and NGO community demonstrated clear demand for increased ambition and stronger standards. Climate Group’s EV100 initiative and members advocated for stronger standards through various letters, stakeholder meetings and discussions, including a formal comment letter advocating for the strongest possible fuel economy standards  

Angela Barranco, Executive Director of Climate Group, North America said:  

“We’re pleased to see the Biden-Harris Administration adopt stronger fuel economy standards, which will improve fuel efficiency of gasoline vehicles and help accelerate the vehicle market towards zero-emission vehicles. However, we need stronger regulations if we are to meet the moment, halve emission by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050. The standards announced today will help drive down vehicle pollution, protect public health, and save consumers money at the pump. We look forward to the next round of stronger vehicle standards.”

Angela Barranco, Executive Director of Climate Group

Climate Group’s 2022 EV100 Progress and Insights Report continues to showcase increased corporate EV commitments, ambition, and deployments. EV100 has now reached 5.5 million vehicles committed to electric by 2030, with 209,000 vehicles deployed on the road now. However, major employers and private fleets continue to report that a limited variety of EV options remain a significant barrier to transitioning their fleets to electric. Stronger vehicle standards will help accelerate the deployment and advent of more EV options in the US.  

While these standards are ambitious, the US needs stronger standards across the board to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles and help meet our climate goals. Stronger CAFE standards will drive greater electric vehicle (EV) production and domestic EV supply chain growth, keeping competitive jobs in the US by pushing automakers to produce the safest, cleanest, and most fuel-efficient vehicles. Additionally, a recent report found that automakers will greatly benefit and can earn up to $1.6 billion more in pre-tax profits with stronger CAFE standards. 

CAFE standards, led by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), regulate how far a passenger vehicle must go on a single gallon of fuel. These standards operate in tandem with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) clean car standards, which US EPA finalized in December 2021 for Model Year (MY) 2023-2026.