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Biden Administration Finalizes Fuel Economy Standards

New light-duty cars and trucks sold in the U.S. will be required to average 50.4 miles per gallon by the 2031 model year, the Biden administration announced late last week (Law360, subscription).

What’s going on: In its final Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards rule out last Friday, the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration seeks to “require automakers to improve fuel efficiency by 2% per year for passenger cars in model years 2027 to 2031.”

  • Under the newly finalized rule, fuel efficiency for light trucks for model years 2027 and 2028 can stay the same “but must improve by 2% per year in model years 2029 through 2031.”
  • The regulation is less stringent than the one proposed last year, which sought a fleet average of 58 miles per gallon by 2032.

Partner regulations: The final rule follows the unveiling in March and April of two separate tailpipe emissions rules from the Environmental Protection Agency: one for passenger cars and light- and medium-duty trucks and another for heavy-duty trucks.

There’s more: The administration also finalized a fuel efficiency increase for heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans of 10% per year for model years 2030 to 2032 and 8% for model years 2033 to 2035.

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