Fuel Economy Penalties Won’t Be Increased Until 2019


2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

According to The Detroit News, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now postponing increased fines for fuel economy violations. Traditional automakers are surely elated over this development, but it’s a slap in the face for EVs. The ruling was supposed to come into play now, retroactive to the 2015 model year, but will not be enforced until 2019.

Nissan LEAF

Nissan LEAF

The current fine is archaic at this point, having not been changed since 1998. It says that for every 1/10 mile a vehicle is over the limit, the automaker pays $5.50. This is then multiplied by every car sold.

The upcoming change would have made this dollar amount $14. Some automakers pay tens of millions already, so they are looking at well over double that, if changes aren’t made. Since the $5.50 has been in place for years, and many automakers have made little effort, the $14 was a way to initiate more marked change. Fortunately for them, they now have another four years to figure it out.

What made the NHTSA change its mind?

The Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers have been lobbying against the new policies, trying to “encourage” the NHTSA to reconsider. The argument was due in part to the fact that automakers had already planned models through the 2018 model year, prior to the changes. Also, lobbyists found the retroactive nature of the new plan to be unfair.

This is all very interesting, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of trying to finalize the Corporate Annual Fuel Economy (CAFE) numbers for 2025. The target is now tentatively set at 54.5 mpg. Of course, lobbyists believe that that number is unfair as well, even though they have years to comply. With all of the lobbying, added to the new administration taking office soon, it is going to get even more “interesting.”

Source: The Detroit News

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36 Comments on "Fuel Economy Penalties Won’t Be Increased Until 2019"

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Sour tase… 🙁

Bad decision

Back peddling already and Trump isn’t even in office yet.

Don’t tel him that.

IMHO, making it retro to 2015, even I think that’s unfair…..lol

They should’ve left that clause out.

as for the “Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers”, take a look at the members fighting to stall/stop it….


I will vote with my wallet and not buy a product from any of those members.

Everyone buying a Bolt/Volt or LEAF (range sucks anyway) is financing the lawyers fighting the battle to reduce CARB/EPA standards and allows them to sell more OPEC swallowing ICE garbage as well as this.

I know, some will say “if you buy a Tesla, they sell the CARB credits blah blah blah yak yak yak….”

It would be an expense to the buyers and NOT revenue from me.

Perhaps instead of Tesla selling CARB credits for cash, Tesla could work out a deal with ICE auto manufacturers where they would fund a fast charger network in exchange for Tesla’s CARB credits. This would be in line with Elon’s stated goal of advancing EV adoption.

can tesla afford that at this point mr problem solver?

The time has since past when the technological challenges of EVs prevents their widespread adoption and the rules governing automakers should reflect that by tightening the CAFE mpg and ZEV requirements.

“it’s a slap in the face for EV”

What? You’re saying EV are doomed if big brother doesn’t impose its muscle? This is why many right wingers hate EV, and based on Dump election, that’s roughly half the US population.

Fact is, old days when EV sucked are disappearing (or gone in case of Tesla S and SparkEV). We are at a point where EV are becoming better than gas cars. Bolt is a step forward and other makers will follow soon. If not, they’ll get creamed by those that do make compelling EV.

Besides, companies never pay the fine, consumers do. No one would care if their $30K gas guzzler cost $500 more. It’s baked in, not a separate line item.

Going forward, be prepared for more of these kinds of things to fall out. Unfortunately, that could also mean higher taxes (ie, EV tax credit expire/removal).

why would the EV tax credit be removed? It was signed into law by a republican president (George W. Bush). Why would Trump remove it?

Trump campaigned on changing business as usual. Why would you expect him to repeat Bush’s choices, after the epic Trump vs. Bush family smack-down, where ex-Presidents Bush and Bush didn’t even attend Trump’s nomination, and reportedly voted against Bush in the election?

Trump repeatedly bashed prior Bush decisions. Where do you get the idea that Trump will just rubber stamp a bill just because Bush signed it?


The reality is that there were only a total of 3 Republicans to voted for that bill, and it passed on Democratic majorities in both houses.

And the 3 Republicans that voted for it have all either been successfully primaried by the Tea Party, or forced out of office by their own political party redistricting their seat out of existence. Every single R who voted for that bill have now been removed from the Republican party.

Even the Wall Street Journal it talking about how “The surprise Republican win in November’s elections could call into question the future of that tax credit.”


Thanks for the WSJ link, Nix. Today is last to comment on EPA CAFE:
http://www.regulations.gov to Docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0827

Trump is looking to lavish an economy, not give U.S. borrowing a break. That’s why the tax-credit will stay, to live out its brief life, and new discussions of a $35/ton CO2 tax-credit are being discussed in the Senate. Apparently, many won’t give up on carbon capture and this latest carbon price, for each ton successfully captured, is about as lavish as it gets.

ArkansasVolt asked:

“Why would Trump remove it?

He won’t have to. He already appointed someone who will be quite eager to do that for him. Someone to head the EPA who wants to… if not destroy it, then at least seriously weaken it.

We’re well past the point at which it’s meaningful to debate what Trump wants on any “green” issue. Actions speak louder than words, and Trump has already taken action with this appointment.


Uh, Trump lost by nearly 3 million votes, so less than 50% aka not-a-majority.
Seems many people forget Trump lost and need a periodic reminder of this.

Nope, Trump won fair and square – even his arch enemies admit this, but they’ve tried everything like ‘friendly coercion’ *** of electors to change their minds, which totally backfired as 2 electors didn’t vote for Trump when they should have, but FIVE did the same to Clinton.

Younger people are told the United States is a Democracy, but our founding fathers had a very dim view of such a type of government, Benjamin Franklin memorably stating: “A Democracy is 2 Wolfs and a Sheep voting what is for Luncheon”.

I have no problem with the fact that a voter in Wyoming has triple the weight that my vote did, since I want to live in a Republic, which is what we Pledge Allegiance to.

Ok put that quote aside for the moment because of historical revisionism I cannot find it. But here’s some other views:

“…“Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” -John Adams, 1814

“The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind.” -Thomas Jefferson, 1790…”

“Democracy is much too important to be left to a popular vote.”
Kevin Thomas Cowgill

The original intent of the Electoral College was NO winner takes all. Those are state laws that violate the Equal Protection clause.

I think the electoral college was also designed to be check on the uneducated public. That they could decide to go against the state’s choice if the state chose really poorly.

But at this point, we really should just eliminate the electoral college. They have never been anything but a rubber stamp. If they won’t vote against an obvious demagogue that lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes and was aided by long-time foreign adversary then it is obvious that they will never do anything but rubber stamp.

“I have no problem with the fact that a voter in Wyoming has triple the weight that my vote did, since I want to live in a Republic, which is what we Pledge Allegiance to.”

Uh, you realize that we could eliminate that blatant unfairness and still be a Republic, right?

Are you also suggesting we revamp the senate? The founding fathers were very clever and deliberate in their choices for how our government officials are elected.

That’s the spirit. I suppose next they will allow the return of clean diesel.

Hmmm.. but meanwhile, Michigan decided to penalize EVs $135 to register their vehicles, which ends up being more than just burning gas and paying the taxes.

lol, part of the enacting bill is to impose onto EV’s a “Gas Tax”.

WTF are they smoking there?!?!?!?!?

And, be prepared for even more anti-ev/clean tech ALEC-style legislation being pushed by the Big Oil/Fossil Fools now that they own the National Government in the United States of Trump

Yup, and their plan isn’t simply to end subsidy programs, their plan is to actually make it more expensive to own solar panels and charge your own electric car than it is to drive a gas car.

Their plan is multi-level.

1) Remove green energy incentives and tax breaks, while increasing tax breaks for fossil fuels.

2) Remove MPG and pollution regulations for burning oil, all the way from drilling to refining to the ICE cars themselves.

3) Punish existing EV drivers with highway taxes that greatly exceed how much they would ever pay if they burned gas, and charge PHEV’s double, with a flat highway tax plus gas taxes when they run on gas.

4) Punish Solar buyers by killing net metering, charging monthly grid connection fees, and even charging people for NOT buying electricity!!

None of this is a conspiracy theory. Every single one of these has either already been passed into law, or has already been put into legislation.

“Punish Solar buyers by killing net metering, charging monthly grid connection fees, and even charging people for NOT buying electricity!!”

They call that a ~Connection Fee~ and it’s already been done. Recently they doubled it but can’t remember where, I wanna say Nevada or Florida.

I said before that Bolt looks better than Leaf, but when looking at those pics I’m not sure anymore.

I’ve started to grow accustomed to the solid fronts on the refreshed Model S, and the Model 3. The Bolt EV concept also had this. I wish they would have kept it. I’m not a fan of the grill on the Leaf. I believe it was referred to “catfish” when it first came out.

Yeah, neither of them is very attractive.

Do companies design economy cars ugly on purpose? I think they do as part of a market segmentation strategy. The profitable expensive cars won’t look good unless the economy cars definitely look ugly.

I, having installed solar panels, am benefiting from previously enacted STATE and FEDERAL laws giving me income tax breaks – as I say, I consider Income Taxes a legalized theft for reasons I won’t get into here.

The EPA merely allowing cars for the next few years to use more gasoline simply allows people to have a CHOICE as to the size of vehicle they own.

Of course, many EV’ers HOPE this will FORCE the development of more PHEV’s to make the mileage figures improve, but even though I own 2 of them currently, FORCING my neighbor to buy something he doesn’t want to I have a big problem with.

I’m not in favor of any ruling that arbitrarily removes Freedom of Choice to my neighbor, most of which, living in Poor Buffalo NY, cannot afford even a cheap used EV let alone a brand new one.

Delaying the EPA enforcement will also contribute to the rise in gasoline prices since more of it will be used, and people will VOLUNTARILY make the choice to take a gamble on BEV’s or PHEV’s.

That scenario I have no complaint with.

It is great that you are for your neighbor having freedom of choice to buy some “American Tank”, but how about your neighbor paying his own expenses and costs that his tank on road imposes on society? Should I pay for his garbage collection as well too now?

I don’t want to pay for all the “commercial” vehicle tax breaks, raising auto insurance costs due to non-standard bumper height and ever increasing car mass, pushing everybody else to heavier cars just for safety reasons, more road taxes as bigger cars demand more space, more billions for patrolling oil export route in Persian Gulf to preserve international oil commodity market, more medical care subsidies due to pure air quality, and so on.

What are you advocating is no different from this entitled leaching with tax & CARB credits for $100k vanity cars forever and entitled “free” backup service from ratepayers for random few hour electricity generation at noon.

I directly and indirectly, pay for all of that and more right now.

But I’m sick of paying for the murder of all kinds of people, and the contamination of nice places such as Falujah, Iraq for the next hundred years, as well as being in any way responsible for all the deformed babies – dead and alive.

I don’t want to be constantly attacking other countries on false pretenses.

That is why I am glad that for the first time in decades, there won’t be someone in charge who is a member of the Bush/Clinton crime families or a sycophant to their policies.

Some issues are more important than a narrow interest in electric cars, and I can say that since I’ve bought 4 of them.

I will be quite surprised if we do not end up in some stupid war over the next 4 years. Trump is notoriously thin-skinned. What do you think Trump will do if we get hit with another major terrorist attack? That is a likely scenario.

For purposes of this web sight, my summary would be that I disagree, and in general I disgree with the premise.

My basic point is, that by purchasing solar panels for my roof(s), and purchasing EV’s is very definitely a minority position.

If put to a ‘Democratic Vote’ as to whether I should be ‘allowed’ to do this, I’m sure most people in my area would say “NO!”, especially if there was something extra in it for them.

I’m not a big one for FORCE of any kind. Thats why people like George Washington compared FORCE to Fire – in that it must be severely constrained to do any good.

You can basically boil down civilization and harmonious behavior to Two Laws (incidentally all religions can agree on them):

1). Do ALL you have Agreed to Do. (Basis for Contract Law).

2). Do not encroach on another person, or his property. (Basis for Tort Law).