ICYMI: Reversing harmful fuel economy standards will save money — and lives

Aug 6, 2018 by AFP

Americans for Prosperity Policy Manager Mary Kate Hopkins and Policy Analyst Martin Rodriguez | The Hill

The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a rule this week that would reform Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. The rule also would revoke California’s authority to enforce its Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate — a power that never should have been granted in the first place.

A study found that high fuel economy standards would cost Americans who want to buy a model year 2025 vehicle an extra $7,200. Analysts estimated that between 3.1 million and 14.9 million households would not have enough credit to purchase a new car under that standard.

The ZEV mandate is much more convoluted, which has allowed it to exist, for the most part, without scrutiny. California and nine other states that followed its lead require manufacturers that don’t sell a certain number of electric vehicles to purchase credits from a manufacturer that does sell them (such as Tesla) or face a $5,000 fine for every credit they lack, while mandating an increasing percentage of ZEV sales each year, regardless of cost and consumer preference.

But because many Americans don’t want those kinds of vehicles, most automakers don’t sell enough of them. … Tesla likely has made more than $700 million just by selling credits to other manufacturers.

A single mom in Ohio or a day laborer in Texas should not be forced to pay more for their cars just to subsidize a Californian’s Tesla. (Of course, these subsidies are in addition to the $7,500 from federal taxpayers to EV buyers, plus additional subsidies from state and local governments and utilities.)…

The EPA’s proposed reform is known as the SAFE Vehicles Rule. …

The EPA projects the SAFE Vehicles Rule will save consumers more than $2,300 in overall average ownership costs for new vehicles, including nearly $500 in costs related to financing, insurance and taxes. Manufactures also can expect to sell 1 million more new vehicles through model year 2029.

Most importantly, the EPA expects the SAFE Vehicles Rule to save up to 1,000 lives a year because more people will be driving newer, safer vehicles.

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