Press release

Draft Technical Assessment Report shows U.S. 2025 light-duty vehicle GHG/CAFE standards are firmly on track [press statement]

July 18, 2016—The technical assessment released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the California Air Resources Board broadly confirms the original projections of passenger vehicle technology trends, costs, benefits, and feasibility on which the U.S. 2025 CAFE and greenhouse gas emission targets for cars and light trucks are based.

The analysis, which is the first step in the formal midterm evaluation of the CAFE/GHG regulation, provides the basis of a compelling technical case in favor of keeping the 2025 fuel economy targets where they now are.

“The EPA and NHTSA have done a massive amount of research and analysis to assess the details of this regulation as it unfolds, a type and level of scrutiny we’ve never seen by any other government anywhere in the world,” said Drew Kodjak, executive director of the International Council on Clean Transportation. “As a technical foundation for realistic, effective, prudent public policy in an area that’s absolutely critical to both the climate and the U.S. economy, it’s hard to imagine anything more thorough or more rigorous.”

“Obviously it will take us some time to work through the draft in detail,” said Nic Lutsey, ICCT’s U.S. program director. “But on a very quick review, the main outlines are clear enough. The analysis looks at multiple technology pathways that can get the auto industry to the 2025 fuel economy targets even with changes we’re seeing in the market, and overall the costs are still about where the agencies projected them to be when the regulation was finalized in 2012—or possibly even a little bit lower. That’s the bottom line.”

The draft report, known formally as the Technical Assessment Report (TAR), is based on new laboratory and simulation analysis, updated vehicle testing data, and fleet compliance analysis, and includes evaluations of technology, costs, compliance pathways, and economic impacts. Overall, it indicates that the diffusion of efficiency technologies in the passenger vehicle fleet has been more rapid and far-reaching than the agencies had anticipated in 2011–2012, and technology costs lower than expected. The revised costs of compliance remain similar to what they had originally projected, and fuel-saving benefits still offer reasonable payback periods for consumers, even with today’s lower prices at the pump.

The release of the draft opens a sixty-day public comment period. Exact details on when the report will be finalized are not yet available.


Drew Kodjak, executive director (Washington DC),

Nic Lutsey, U.S. program director (San Francisco),

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