The agency says the proposal would save people money because automakers wouldn't need to introduce new emissions technology.
Confirming a leak from yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed not to change average fleet fuel economy standards at their 2020 levels from 2021 through 2026. This means that automakers would need to maintain a fleet average of 35 miles per gallon, rather than achieving the previous proposal of reaching 50 mpg in 2025, according to Automotive News.
The proposal still needs to go through a public comment period before it can go into effect.
The Auto Alliance, a lobbying group representing BMW Group, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota, Volkswagen Group, and Volvo Car USA released a statement supporting the EPA proposal.
“Automakers support continued improvements in fuel economy and flexibilities that incentivize advanced technologies while balancing priorities like affordability, safety, jobs, and the environment. With today’s release of the Administration’s proposals, it’s time for substantive negotiations to begin. We urge California and the federal government to find a common-sense solution that sets continued increases in vehicle efficiency standards while also meeting the needs of America’s drivers.”
According to the EPA's estimates, leaving fuel economy regulations are their current levels would prevent $1,850 in higher vehicle costs due to mitigating increases in technology costs. In addition, automakers would save roughly $252.6 billion from reduced regulatory costs through the 2029 model year.
The EPA also took a step further in previous plans to challenge the California Air Resources Board's ability to set the state's standards for vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. CARB has been able to decide on the regulation there since the 1970s, and several other states have been following the group's decisions.
California governor Jerry Brown took to Twitter to voice his dissent with the EPA's plan.