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Transportation and Climate

Midterm Evaluation of Light-duty Vehicle GHG Emissions Standards for Model Years 2022-2025

As part of the rulemaking establishing the model year (MY) 2017-2025 light-duty vehicle GHG standards, EPA made a regulatory commitment to conduct a Midterm Evaluation (MTE) of longer-term standards for MY 2022-2025. EPA is coordinating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in conducting the MTE.

Through the MTE, EPA will decide whether the standards for model years 2022-2025, established in 2012, are still appropriate given the latest available data and information. EPA’s decision could go one of three ways: the standards remain appropriate, the standards should be less stringent, or the standards should be more stringent. EPA is examining a wide range of factors, such as developments in powertrain technology, vehicle electrification, light-weighting and vehicle safety impacts, the penetration of fuel efficient technologies in the marketplace, consumer acceptance of fuel efficient technologies, trends in fuel prices and the vehicle fleet, employment impacts, and many others.

The MTE will be conducted through a collaborative, data-driven, and transparent process. To gather the most robust data and information to inform the MTE, EPA, in coordination with NHTSA and CARB, is conducting extensive outreach with a wide range of stakeholders – including auto manufacturers, automotive suppliers, NGOs, consumer groups, labor unions, automobile dealers, states, and others.

EPA’s regulations require several formal steps in the MTE process, including several opportunities for public input.

MTE Schedule

MTE is a 3-step process:
  1. Draft Technical Assessment Report (TAR) issued jointly by EPA/NHTSA/CARB (with public comment)
  2. Proposed Determination (with public comment)
  3. Final Determination by April 2018

Draft Technical Assessment Report (TAR) -- EPA, NHTSA, and CARB have jointly issued a Draft TAR for public comment. The Draft TAR is a technical report, not a decision document, and examines a wide range of issues relevant to the 2022-2025 standards. Public input on the Draft TAR, along with new data and information, will inform EPA’s Proposed Determination.

Highlights of the Draft Technical Assessment Report:

  • Automakers are innovating in a time of record sales and fuel economy levels. The results of the Draft TAR show that manufacturers are adopting fuel economy technologies at unprecedented rates. Car makers and suppliers have developed far more innovative technologies to improve fuel economy and reduce GHG emissions than anticipated just a few years ago.

  • Our new analysis shows that the standards can be met largely with more efficient gasoline powered cars – we continue to project that only modest penetration of hybrids and only low levels of electric vehicles are needed to meet the standards. The Draft TAR shows that manufacturers can meet the current standards for MY 2022-2025 with conventional gasoline vehicles that use internal combustion engines with well-understood technologies. This is consistent with what the National Academies of Science found in a comprehensive 2015 study. Manufacturers can meet the standards at similar or even lower costs than what was anticipated in the 2012 rulemaking with substantial fuel savings payback to consumers.

  • The National Program preserves consumer choice, even as it protects the environment and reduces fuel consumption. The National Program is designed to ensure that consumers can continue to buy the differing types of vehicles they need, from compact cars, to SUVs, to larger trucks suitable for towing and carrying heavy loads. Owners of every type of new vehicle will enjoy gasoline savings and improved fuel economy with a reduced environmental footprint.

Executive Summary -- Draft Technical Assessment Report: Midterm Evaluation of Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards for Model Years 2022-2025 – Executive Summary (PDF) (15 pp, 588K, EPA-420-D-16-901, July 2016)

Draft Technical Assessment Report: Midterm Evaluation of Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards for Model Years 2022-2025 (PDF) (1217 pp, 36.5MB, EPA-420-D-16-900, July 2016)

Appendices -- Draft Technical Assessment Report: Midterm Evaluation of Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards for Model Years 2022-2025 (PDF) (118 pp, 5.6MB, EPA-420-D-16-900app, July 2016)

For additional documents supporting EPA’s analyses for the Draft Technical Assessment Report, see the Advanced Light-Duty Powertrain and Hybrid Analysis (ALPHA) Tool and the Optimization Model for reducing Emissions of Greenhouse gases from Automobiles (OMEGA) pages.

60-day Comment Period – The comment period closes on September 26, 2016. For information regarding the comment period and how to submit comments on the Draft TAR, please see the Federal Register Notice:

Correction: The FR Notice includes an incorrect Website reference for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) under ADDRESSES. Since CARB is a joint author on the Draft Technical Assessment Report, the agencies are requesting that commenters, in addition to submitting comments to the EPA and/or NHTSA docket, also submit their comments directly to CARB at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/levprog/leviii/2016tar.htm

Proposed Determination – The Proposed Determination will be the EPA Administrator’s proposal on whether the 2022-2025 standards are appropriate under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act. The Proposed Determination will be available for public comment, as required by EPA’s regulations. If the Administrator’s proposal is that the standards should change (either more or less stringent), then this action will be a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), jointly with NHTSA’s CAFE NPRM. Public input on the Proposed Determination, as well as new data and information available, will inform EPA’s Final Determination.

Final Determination –The Final Determination will be the Administrator’s final decision on whether or not the 2022-2025 standards are appropriate, in light of the record then before the Administrator. Under EPA’s regulations, the Final Determination is required no later than April 1, 2018.  If the EPA determination is that the standards will not change, NHTSA will issue its CAFE final rule concurrently with the EPA Final Determination (77 FR 62652, October 15, 2012).  If the EPA determination is that the standards will change, the agencies will issue a joint final rule, which could be by April 2018 or a later date.   At the very latest, the agencies will complete the final rulemaking in sufficient time to promulgate final standards for MY 2022-2025 with at least 18 months lead time, but additional lead time may be provided (77 FR 62785, October 15, 2012).

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EPA Technical Projects Underway to Inform the Midterm Evaluation

In addition to these projects supporting the MTE, EPA issues two annual reports related to light-duty GHG emissions:

    - Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide, and Fuel Economy Trends Report details real-world fuel economy and tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions levels for new cars and light trucks since 1975.

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EPA Publications Informing the Midterm Evaluation

NOTE: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available as a free download, to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Acrobat Reader.

Throughout the MTE process, EPA’s goal is to publish as much of our research as possible in peer-reviewed journals. EPA staff have published the following peer-reviewed papers so far since 2013.

EPA staff are attending numerous technical conferences, and keeping abreast of hundreds of papers in the literature on the wide range of factors we’re considering for the MTE.

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EPA Presentations Regarding the Midterm Evaluation

EPA also has publicly presented information about our work in numerous forums (selected presentations below):

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This page is maintained by EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ).
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