Monday, February 14, 2005

CAFE Review Update

You may or may not remember that I complained about not hearing anything from NHTSA about changes to CAFE Standards. Rick Popely of the Chicago Tribune gets some comments from a NHTSA spokesperson
NHTSA has been mum on what might change since it began its review. One reason is that it has had to digest more than 66,000 comments from interest groups, manufacturers and consumers last year on how to remake CAFE.
'It's an issue that resonates,' Tyson said of the avalanche of opinion. 'We asked for comments. We sure got them.'
NHTSA's timetable is to propose new truck CAFE rules this year, brace for another round of comments, and issue a final rule by April 2006 to give manufacturers time to make changes for the 2008 model year.
Before the current review was announced, NHTSA boosted truck CAFE for 2005 to 21 m.p.g. from 20.7, the standard since 1996. Next year, the standard rises to 21.6 m.p.g. and in 2007 it goes to 22.2. Because NHTSA is looking only at trucks, CAFE for cars should remain 27.5 m.p.g.
Each manufacturer has to meet those standards with the fleet of vehicles it sells, using a sales-weighted average, or pay fines that can run into the millions.
What makes a vehicle a car or truck is a major part of NHTSA's review.

I wonder if there was a press conference or this was some legwork done by the Tribune reporter? Interesting times ahead.


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