The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Proposes New Federal Fuel Economy standards for Light-Duty Vehicles Sold in MY2027 and Beyond

Pasadena, CA: Since the start of his presidency, Joe Biden and his administration promised to uphold cleaner vehicle emissions and fuel economy standards for passenger cars and trucks. Today, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced proposed rules designed to improve fuel economy for new cars sold in the United States beginning in MY2027. If the rules are finalized, the proposal will result in a reduction of vehicle pollution that will protect public health and lead to cost-savings for drivers at fuel pumps nationwide.  

A 2022 Consumer Report survey found that seven in ten American drivers place fuel economy as one of the leading factors when shopping for cars to buy or lease; and approximately 85 percent of them feel that automakers should continue to improve fuel economy for all vehicle types. Given that 70 percent of car sales are used-car sales, and gas prices continue to be ever-changing, having efficient options available to consumers becomes even more significant for low- and moderate-income drivers who spend a higher share of their total income on gasoline.  

The NHTSA’s primary objectives are to make America less dependent on fossil fuels and achieve energy conservation. By improving the fuel efficiency in motor vehicles and working with organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency to help regulate such standards with effective emissions and air- pollution control measures, they are creating strong pathways together for true energy security.  

The agency is taking public comment on several options, but the preferred alternative mentioned in the proposal includes a 2 percent per year improvement in fuel efficiency for passenger cars and a 4 percent per year improvement for light trucks beginning in MY2027 and ramping up through MY2032. The potential fleet fuel economy would be 58 miles per gallon by 2032. It also includes a 10 percent improvement per year for commercial pick-up trucks and work vans (with gross vehicle weight ratings of more than 8,500 pounds and less than 14,001 pounds) beginning in MY2030 and ramping up through MY2035. 

“Better fuel economy in passenger vehicles is what the American people value and what they want to see from vehicle manufacturers and sellers. The proposed rules will help spur our economy, protect the health of those we love, and improve the environment,” said Jason Zimbler, Light-Duty Vehicle Director, CALSTART.  

Adopting fuel economy standards has been one of the most significant actions the United States has taken over the past 50 years to reduce oil dependency and help consumers save money at the pumps. According to NHTSA, if finalized as proposed, consumers would save more than $50 billion on fuel over the vehicles’ lifetimes; save more than 88 billion gallons of gasoline through 2050 and prevent more than 900 million tons of CO2 emissions.  



A nonprofit consortium with offices in New York, Michigan, Colorado, California and central Europe and partners world-wide, CALSTART works with 320+ member company and agency innovators to build a prosperous, efficient, and clean high-tech transportation industry. We overcome barriers to modernization and the adoption of clean vehicles. CALSTART is changing transportation for good.