ARLINGTON, VA – The American Consumer Institute (ACI), a staunch advocate for consumers through evidence-based analysis and data insights, vehemently opposes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) proposed Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for passenger cars and light trucks for model years 2027-31. We also raise concerns about the fuel efficiency standards for heavy trucks and vans for model years 2030-35, as presented in NHTSA’s rule.

Under this rule, NHTSA proposes a nominal annual increase of 2 percent for passenger cars, 4 percent for light trucks, and 10 percent for heavy trucks in CAFE standards. The predicted result would be industry fleet-wide averages of roughly 58 miles per gallon (mpg) for passenger cars and light trucks by model year 2032 and approximately 2.6 gallons per 100 miles for heavy-duty vehicles by model year 2038.

ACI asserts that these standards are impractical and not in the best interests of consumers. A vast shift from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles is required to achieve these goals, aligning with the Administration’s broader agenda of electrifying the vehicle fleet. We believe this rule pushes EVs into the market rather than addressing consumers’ needs.

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, which prioritizes consumer interests, must not be sacrificed for environmental agendas. EPCA amended in 2007 prohibited the consideration of EVs when setting CAFE standards to ensure compliance would not require automakers to sell EVs.

ACI underscores the financial burdens and impracticality of a sudden electrification of the vehicle fleet in the United States. The upfront cost of EVs is substantially higher than that of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Insuring EVs is more expensive, and the limited availability of charging infrastructure further complicates the transition. This shift disproportionately affects low-income and minority households, contributing to income inequality.

Furthermore, ACI highlights the challenges associated with the critical minerals required for EV batteries. Heavy reliance on foreign countries, especially China, for these minerals, poses significant supply chain vulnerabilities and national security risks.

In conclusion, ACI strongly recommends that NHTSA withdraw the proposed CAFE standards and work towards a more balanced, consumer-focused approach to vehicle efficiency standards.

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