NHTSA Sets New SUV Mileage Regs

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it will increase the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for light trucks and SUVs by 1.5 miles per gallon, starting with the 2005 model year.

The new regulations, NHTSA said, are a step toward reducing American dependence on imported oil and improving the environment. Under the new rule, the current standard of 20.7 mpg will increase to 21.0 mpg for the 2005 model year, to 21.6 mpg for the 2006 model year, and to 22.2 for the 2007 model year.

NHTSA estimates the higher standards for model years 2005 through 2007 will provide $249 million in benefits to society and reduce total fuel consumption by 1.5 percent over the next 25 years.

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