WASHINGTON (April 25, 2008) — Implementing a Congressional mandate for a 40-percent increase in corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) by 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed increasing the standard by 4.5 percent annually between 2011 and 2015, for a 25-percent increase altogether for the five-year period.
Under the tentative rule, fuel economy for vehicles would rise to 35.7 mpg from the current 27.5 mpg. NHTSA estimates the proposal will save nearly 55 billion gallons of fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 521 million metric tons.
Organizations such as the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) see opportunity in the proposal.
“We have a number of members who work on fuel-saving technology,” said Ann Wilson, MEMA vice president of government affairs. “We're trying to make sure that what happens is that we get money for research and development.”
The entire automotive supply chain will be affected by the mandate to increase fuel economy, according to an RMA spokesman. “It's probably fair to say that the many industries that supply the auto industry will be involved in discussions on how to achieve these fuel economy goals,” he said.