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Cars Seen Missing U.S. Mileage Targets for First Time Since 2004
by Ryan Beene (Bloomberg) Regulator report shows U.S. fleet to fall below mileage target; Results may feed debate over Obama auto-efficiency standards -- Cars and light trucks from the 2016 model year will be the first to fall short of U.S. fuel economy targets in more than a decade, according to a new projection released by regulators that will feed a debate over efficiency standards between automakers and environmental groups.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
forecasts that the 2016 models will average 32.1 miles per gallon, below the target of 32.8. The agency forecasts another shortfall in model year 2017 of 31.8 miles per gallon compared to a projected target of 33.
The U.S. fleet has exceeded industrywide fuel economy targets every year since 2004, the oldest data available on NHTSA’s website for its Corporate Average Fuel Economy program.
"If this is accurate, it contradicts what prior reports have said about the industry’s ability to meet these standards and suggests that it might be more difficult to do," said Stephanie Brinley, a senior analyst at IHS Markit Ltd
.’s automotive group.
The Trump administration is expected to reopen a feasibility review of the EPA’s greenhouse gas standards for 2022-2025. Automakers have pressed to resume the review, which they argue was ended prematurely by the Obama administration.
Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign, says the fact that automakers have complied with the rule in each year since the current tougher standards took effect, despite booming truck sales, underscores how automakers have compliance flexibility.
"I think it buttresses the stand of environmentalists to protect standards that are flexible cost effective and save consumers money at the pump," Becker said. READ MORE