What does the EPA’s announcement on fuel efficiency standards mean for EVs?
04.05.2018 - by Katherine Stainken
What does the EPA’s announcement on fuel efficiency standards mean for EVs?

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency took a huge step backwards by weakening fuel efficiency standards. What does this mean for the electric car market?

First, this announcement will set off a new round of collecting evidence, comments, and hearings through a public stakeholder process, which will take some time and cause uncertainty for automakers and consumers.

As this long regulatory process unfolds, automakers will likely decide to not invest in and research new technologies that will increase the fuel efficiency of the cars. This means that consumers will be stuck with the current fuel efficiency that cars get for the foreseeable future. In short, consumers who aren’t choosing to drive electric will still be dependent on the pump and will continue to pay more for the gas that the cars guzzle because the fuel efficiency remains the same. This is only a win for the oil companies – not for consumers or for the environment.

For the electric car market, those automakers who see that the future is electric will still move forward with the manufacturing of new makes and models of EVs. But the rest of the automakers who are only paying lip service to EVs to comply with California and northeast state regulations will no doubt slow their research into new batteries and will hang on to their current business model of producing gas cars for as long as they can. This will frustrate consumers who want to buy EVs.

No doubt we have a big battle ahead, especially if the EPA reviews the waiver that allows California to set its own fuel efficiency standards. Automakers’ trade associations have been pushing for the softening of fuel efficiency standards, but it’s time for them to stand up for consumers, the environment, and an electric future.

20 comments on “What does the EPA’s announcement on fuel efficiency standards mean for EVs?”
  1. Gary E. Duerr says:

    I bought 2 Volts, a 2012 & 2016. I bought the 2016 primarily for more range & Carplay. I won’t own an exclusively ICE car again, unless cars aren’t available that are battery augmented or propelled. It is too little, too late to play with milege standards now that prople like me are driving these vehicles around,

  2. Bud Ensley says:

    I see many comments/questions about paying for roads. The trend as has been seen in Minnesota and few other state is a yearly tax on EVs when you pay for your car license.

  3. dgate says:

    Bobby Bucher wrote…Will the same be said 50 years from now about my 2016 Fiat 500e or my wife’s Mercedes B250E?
    Probably yes since they will become the classics of tomorrow that were at the beginning of the electric revolution.

  4. Robert Anderson says:

    I see it another way.. I agree with Andrew Biviano this could help the EV to become viable more quickly. Keep the gas guzzlers at low efficiency and the EV will be a better choice sooner. Anyway the rest of the world is going ahead with or without us. So again we will be left behind and need a bailout of the US auto companies if they stall.

  5. Rhaman68 says:

    The view from my windshield when driving is of drivers of all ages and genders in all sorts of cars zooming by at 75 mph plus which negates any semblance to the EPA mpg estimates. When in city traffic the same people run around gleefully speeding and braking, speeding and braking gleefully wasting fuel negating any EPA mpg estimates. Setting CAFE standards has been a pie in the sky thing. Only EVs have efficient systems that impose limits to drivers but they do not idle, do not leak fluids, do not have exhaust and belts and O2 sensors, etc. that makes for very low cost operations.

  6. Stan J says:

    The rest of the world is going electric. We can close our eyes, build walls, generate alternative truth and science but the car industry is global. Even if they continue to market old technology in the USA, they have to continue R&D to meet high standards elsewhere. When the US administration reverts to normal, so will the regulation and car makers will have to be prepared to switch.

  7. Steve Sears says:

    There is no real environmental Scientist who can justify lowering the Fuel Efficiency Standard (PES). The EPA program to lower the Fuel Efficiency Standard takes us in the WRONG direction relative to the current speed at which the Man Made Climate Changes is happening. Lowering the FES would obviously be a reward for the Auto Industry & a downer for our planet’s survival. Doesn’t the “P” in EPA stand for “Protection”.

  8. Varma says:

    EPA needs to be more informed of new technologies that save the planet and leaves money in the pockets of citizens. I disagree with EPA initiative of helping the oil industry by allowing vehicles that guzzle gas and spew carbon dioxide.
    Instead EPA Administrator should form worthwhile policies to encourage the use of electric cars and those that use renewable energy. US needs to create EV charging infrastructure throughout the country.

  9. Bobby Bucher says:

    I don’t think the product has been on the market long enough to say its superior or cheaper. Myself like many others lease their EVs because of the high cost of replacement parts IF something goes wrong. My lease covers the entire car for the length of the lease.

    Not until these cars start showing up in the used car market, and people have to start maintaining them on their own $$ will we really know if they are superior or not.

    I can tell you this – my 1967 Ford Mustang still runs fine, parts are readily available and its easy to work on. Will the same be said 50 years from now about my 2016 Fiat 500e or my wife’s Mercedes B250E?

  10. Richard Wirth says:

    If we can’t get the oil lobby out of it’s influence on our government officials there will be hardly any effort to change the status quo for ICE vehicles. This hundred year old technology has already been proven inferior to new electric vehicle technology.

  11. Charlie Garlow says:

    Don’t forget that the CA standards may well remain intact, along with the other states that follow California. If so, then it is likely that the American auto companies will produce one car, the CA car, rather than 2 kinds of cars, one for CA and one for Trump/Pruitt.

  12. Charlie Garlow says:

    If gas sales decrease, so will gas taxes. Where will the money come from for road repair? It could come from higher gas taxes on each gallon which would provide another incentive to buy electric. Good. It could come from a tax on electric cars, which would be bad.

  13. Charlie Garlow says:

    EPA and NHTSA jointly put out the emissions/fuel efficiency standards.

  14. ken yamamoto says:

    stupid americans leading the way into extinction

  15. Andrew Biviano says:

    Honestly, I’m not too concerned. The only way that EV’s were ever going to succeed in replacing ICE vehicles was by being a superior product that consumers prefer, not by government force. That is the only way permanent changes have taken place throughout history–the car beat out the horse, electricity beat out whale oil, and cell phones beat land lines. The tax breaks and subsidies have been helpful to make EVs more price competitive at the outset, but I don’t think they are essential anymore. There are enough EV’s out there to show people they are a far superior product and less expensive to own, and they should be able to win market share on merit. Consumers will drive this change, not the government.

  16. Jamie says:

    Road funding currently does not come only from gasoline taxes. And if revenue from gas taxes goes down too much, they can just raise the gas tax. It’s too low right now anyway.

  17. Henri Fennell says:

    Question: If gas sales decrease, where will funding for roads come from? Will electric rates increase to cover this change? Just curious, I drive an EV.

  18. Mark C says:

    I thought the EPA set standards for emissions and the NHTSA set the fuel economy standards, or did I miss something?

    I’m cautiously optomistic that the setback in fuel economy will be short-lived and not too deep.

  19. Ron Nelson says:

    Solar panels and EVs and electric heating and cooling are the only way to go to save the Planet and save me tons of money! We consumers must go to the auto dealerships and demand EVs or we won’t buy!

  20. Eric Strid says:

    Automakers should recognize the largest transportation disruption since the Model T. With more ridesharing services, EVs, and automated vehicles decreasing demand for the number of vehicles, the shakeout will be epic. Chinese companies may dominate, because China is aggressively pushing the EV portion in new sales. Trump is just surrendering to China…

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