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This should have happened a long time ago.

From Automotive News:

Fuel economy is toughened for 2008-11 trucks

BALTIMORE -- It's official: Automakers must increase average light-truck fuel economy by more than 10 percent over the next five years.

The Bush administration adopted regulations on Wednesday that establish light-truck fuel economy standards for the 2008-11 model years. By the end of that period, trucks must average about 24 mpg.

The standard for 2006 is 21.6 mpg; and for 2007, 22.2 mpg. Those levels were set in early 2003. The car standard remains at 27.5 mpg.

As expected, the rules include a provision to vary the standards according to the sizes of vehicles. Bigger trucks will have less stringent standards. Smaller trucks will have tougher standards.

The size provision is the biggest structural change in the 30-year-old corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, program. The change is expected to reduce automaker incentives to downsize vehicles and potentially make them less safe.

It also means that by 2011, each car company will have its own fuel economy standard based on its product mix.

The provision is widely viewed as a break for General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler group, which rely more on larger trucks for sales and profit. But Toyota and Nissan have been expanding their offerings of larger trucks.

Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta announced the adoption of the CAFE rules at the Baltimore Ravens' football stadium. The stadium overlooks Interstate 395, a branch of the East Coast's most heavily traveled corridor.

"The new standards represent the most ambitious fuel economy goals for light trucks ever developed" in CAFE's history, Mineta said in a statement.

Among the key provisions:

By 2011, all automakers will use the size-based system.

For the first time, fuel economy standards apply to some trucks with gross weights of more than 8,500 pounds. Pickups of that size remain exempt.


During the public-comment period on the administration's new rules, automakers called them challenging. But some companies acknowledged they will be able to comply using available technology.

Environmental groups argued that much tougher standards are needed.
 

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moparman said:
As expected, the rules include a provision to vary the standards according to the sizes of vehicles. Bigger trucks will have less stringent standards. Smaller trucks will have tougher standards.

That seems a little backward to me.
 

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I go back and forth on this, but shouldn't it be left to market forces to determine what the MPG should be?

I can understand having emissions standards, but as far as MPG, as long as it's not polluting the air like crazy, I really don't care how much mpg so-and-so's truck gets.

I say, if your vehicle can be under a certain threshold for every 30 city miles travelled (just an arbitrary number) in terms of the pollutants it puts out, I really don't care how many MPG's gets.

There could be a crappy car that pollutes like crazy and gets 30 mpg while a truck only gets 15 mpg but hardly causes any pollutants. Double the pollutants that the truck makes (to travel 30 miles) and if it still is making less overall pollutants than the car, then that's wonderful!
 

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Ummmm, my car doesn't get 24MPG :p
 

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This 'act' is meaningless unless the fuel economy test is completely replaced with something representative of actual mileage.
The EPA said that a new test would come, so will this 24 mpg be under the current test (A little backdoor politics by big oil?) or under a realistic test.
 
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