Biden Administration Strengthens Fuel Economy Standards for New Cars and Passenger Trucks

June 7, 2024
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – June 7, 2024) The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced updated and more protective fuel economy standards for the nation’s new cars and passenger trucks. 

The strengthened Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards will save American families money on gas and strengthen U.S. energy security while helping to reduce harmful pollution. 

“The CAFE standards announced today will save people hundreds of dollars of hard-earned money at the gas pump and will help make our nation less reliant on foreign oil, all while reducing air pollution and helping us address the climate crisis,” said Alice Henderson, Director of Transportation and Clean Air Policy for Environmental Defense Fund. “Together with other actions like EPA’s recent clean cars and clean trucks standards, the CAFE standards keep us moving down the road to a safer, healthier, and more affordable clean transportation future.”

NHTSA today announced finalized standards for new passenger cars and light trucks for model years 2027 to 2031 (and projected standards for model year 2032), and for new heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans for model years 2030-2035.

The CAFE standards were issued under the 1973 Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which was enacted in response to the 1973 energy crisis. The law requires NHTSA to set standards for the “maximum feasible” average fuel economy levels that car and truck manufacturers can achieve in their fleets in a given model year, prioritizing energy conservation. Today’s standards, together with other important measures the Biden Administration has rolled out including the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent pollution protections for cars and passenger trucks and heavy-duty trucks and buses, will advance American leadership on transportation sector policy.

Today’s updated CAFE standards will increase fuel economy by 2% each year for new cars in model years 2027 to 2031 and for new passenger trucks in model years 2029 to 2031. The standards will increase fuel efficiency standards for new heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans by 10% each year from 2030 to 2032 and by 8% each year from 2033 to 2035.

The standards will:

  • Result in an average of 50.4 miles per gallon for new cars and passenger trucks sold in 2031
  • Result in an average of 35 miles per gallon for new heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans sold in 2035
  • Save car and passenger truck owners an average of $600 on fuel costs over the life of their vehicle, and save heavy-duty pickup truck and van owners an average of $700 of fuel costs over the life of their vehicle 
  • Save more than 70 billion gallons of gasoline through 2050 
  • Keep more than 710 million metric tons of climate pollution out of our air – the equivalent of taking more than 230 million vehicles off our roads through 2050

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