EPA and NHTSA Finalize  Historic
National Program  to Reduce
Greenhouse Gases  and  Improve
Fuel  Economy for Cars and Trucks
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the
    Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) are finalizing a joint rule to establish a
national program consisting of new standards for model year 2012
through 2016 light-duty vehicles that will reduce greenhouse gas
emissions and improve fuel economy. EPA is finalizing the first-ever
national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards under the Clean
Air Act, and NHTSA is finalizing Corporate Average Fuel Economy
(CAFE) standards under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.
The new standards apply to new passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-
duty passenger vehicles, covering model years 2012 through 2016. The EPA GHG
standards require these vehicles to meet an estimated combined average emissions
level of 250 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per mile in model year 2016, equivalent
to 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg) if the automotive industry were to meet this CO2 level
all through fuel economy improvements.
These final rules were developed in response to President Obama's call for a strong
and coordinated federal greenhouse gas and fuel economy program. At the same
time, the national program allows automobile manufacturers to build a single light-
duty national fleet that satisfies all requirements under both Federal programs and the
standards of the State of California and other states that have adopted the California
standards. The national program therefore provides critical nationwide environmental
and energy benefits while ensuring that consumers have a full range of vehicle choices.
United States
Environmental Protection
                               Office of Transportation and Air Quality
                                                      April 2010

Need to Reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions and Improve Fuel
Economy from  Passenger Cars and Light Trucks
The rules will simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy security, increase
fuel savings, and provide clarity and predictability for manufacturers.

Climate change is one of the most significant long-term threats to public health and the global
environment. It is caused by an excess of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which effectively
trap some of the Earth's heat that would otherwise escape into space. Greenhouse gases are both
naturally occurring and anthropogenic. Greenhouse gases emitted as a result of human activities
include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and
sulfur hexafluoride.

The key effects of climate change observed to date and projected to occur in the future include,
but are not limited to, more frequent and intense heat waves, more severe wildfires, degraded
air quality, heavier and more frequent downpours and flooding, increased drought, greater sea
level rise, more intense storms, harm to water resources, continued ocean acidification, harm to
agriculture, and harm to wildlife and ecosystems.

Improving energy security by reducing our dependence on oil has been a national objective
since the first oil price shocks in the 1970s. Tight global oil markets led to prices over $100 per
barrel in 2008, with gasoline reaching as  high as $4 per gallon in many parts of the U.S., causing
financial hardship for many families. The light-duty vehicles subject to this national program
account for about 40 percent of all U.S. oil consumption.

Mobile sources emitted 31 percent of all U.S. GHG emissions in 2007 (transportation sources,
which do not include certain off-highway sources, account for 28 percent) and have been the
fastest-growing source of U.S. GHG emissions since 1990.1 Mobile sources addressed in the
recent endangerment and contribution findings under CAA section 202(a)--light-duty vehicles,
heavy-duty trucks, buses, and motorcycles—accounted for 23 percent of all U.S. GHG in 2007.2
Light-duty vehicles emit four GHGs-CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons-and
are responsible for nearly 60 percent of all mobile source GHGs and over 70 percent of Section
202(a) mobile source GHGs. For light-duty vehicles in 2007, CO2 emissions represent about 94
percent of total greenhouse emissions (including HFCs), and the CO2 emissions measured by EPA
fuel economy compliance tests represent  about 90 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.3'4
Benefits and Costs of the National Program
Over the lifetime of the vehicles sold during 2012-2016, this national program is projected to
reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 960 million metric tons and save 1.8 billion barrels of
oil. In total, the combined EPA and NHTSA 2012-2016 standards will reduce GHG emissions
from the U.S. light-duty fleet by approximately 21 percent by 2030 over the level that would
occur in the absence of the national program.

 EPA estimates that the lifetime cost of 2012-2016 model year vehicles under the national
program are less than $52 billion, well below the expected benefits, which are expected to be
approximately $240 billion. The monetized benefits include the effects of the program on fuel
savings, CO2 reductions, particulate matter (PM2.5) benefits, improved energy security, and
other impacts such as the value of less frequent refueling, the value of increased driving, and
the monetized impact of increased traffic congestion, motor vehicle crashes, and noise. There
are also potential impacts of the rule that are not quantified and monetized in the model  year
analysis, including the health and environmental impacts associated with changes in ambient
exposures to toxic air pollutants and ozone, and the benefits associated with avoided non-CO2
GHGs (methane, nitrous oxide, HFCs).The national program is comprised of the two agencies'
standards, and this discussion of costs and benefits of EPA's  GHG standards does not change the
fact that both the CAFE and greenhouse gas standards, jointly, are the source of the majority of
the program's benefits and costs.
Benefits to Consumers
Together, EPA and NHTSA estimate that the average cost increase for a model year 2016
vehicle due to the national program will be approximately $950.  U.S. consumers who pay for
their vehicle in cash will save enough in lower fuel costs over the first three years, on average,
to offset these higher vehicle costs. However, most US consumers purchase a new vehicle using
credit rather than paying cash. Consumers using an average 5-year, 60'inonth loan would see
immediate savings due to their vehicle's lower fuel consumption in the form of reduced annual
costs of $130-$ 180 a year throughout the duration of the loan (that is, the fuel savings will out-
weigh the increase in loan payments by $130-$ 180 per year).

Whether a consumer takes out a loan or pays for their vehicle in cash, consumers would save
more than $3,000 over the lifetime of a model year 2016 vehicle (that is, the $4,000 saved on
fuel easily offsets the increased cost of the vehicle). To calculate these fuel savings, fuel prices
(including taxes) were estimated to range from $2.61/gallon in 2012, to $3.60/gallon in 2030, to
$4-49/gallon in 2050, based on Department of Energy projections.
EPA's Standards
EPA is finalizing a set of fleet-wide average carbon dioxide (CO2) emission standards for cars and
trucks. These standards are based on CO2 emissions-footprint curves, where each vehicle has a
different CO2 emissions compliance target depending on its footprint value (related to the size
of the vehicle). Generally, the larger the vehicle footprint, the higher the corresponding vehicle
CO2 emissions target. As a result, the burden of compliance is distributed across all vehicles and
all manufacturers. Manufacturers are not compelled to build light vehicles of any particular size
or type, and each manufacturer will have its own fleet-wide standard which reflects the vehicles
it chooses it produce.

Table 1 shows the projected fleet-wide CO2 emission level requirements under the footprint-based
approach. The car requirements are projected to increase in stringency from 263 to 225 grams
per mile between model year 2012 and model year 2016. Similarly, fleet-wide CO2 emission

level requirements for trucks are projected to increase in stringency from 346 to 298 grams
per mile. EPA projects that the average light vehicle (combined car and truck) tailpipe CO2
compliance level in model year 2012 will be 295 grams per mile while the average vehicle
tailpipe CO2 emissions compliance level for the model year 2016 standard is projected to be
250 grams per mile, corresponding to 35.5 mpg in model year 2016, if all reductions were made
through fuel economy improvements,

  Table 1 - Projected Fleet-Wide Emissions Compliance Levels under the Footprint-
       Based CO2 Standards (g/mi) and Corresponding Fuel Economy (mpg)
                                        2012    2013    2014    2015    2016
Passenger Cars (g/mi)                     263
Light Trucks (g/mi)                       346
Combined Cars & Trucks (g/mi)           295
Passenger Cars (mpg)                     333
Light Trucks (mpg)                       25.7
Combined Cars & Trucks (mpg)           30.1
Figures 1 and 2 show the actual footprint curves for cars and trucks. It is important to note that
for the car standard curves shown in Figure 1 most model year 2012 - 2016 vehicle footprints are
between 40-55 square feet. For the truck standard curves in Figure 2 most model year 2012 - 2016
truck footprints are between 45-65 square feet. Example footprint targets for popular vehicle
models are shown in Table 2, illustrating the fact that different vehicle sizes will have varying
CO2 emissions and fuel economy targets under the footprint-based standards. Vehicle CO2
emissions will be measured over the EPA city and highway tests.
   Figure 1 - CO2 (g/mi) Car Standard Curves
               45   50   55   60   65   70

                   f ooipfim (tq fool)
Figure 2 - CO2 (g/mi) Truck Standard Curves
            45   50   55   60   65    70

                 Footprint (sq. fwi)

Table 2 - Model Year 2016 CO2 and Fuel Economy Targets for
Various Model Year 2008 Vehicle Types
Vehicle Type
Example Models
Example Model
Footprint (sq. ft.)
Emissions Target
Economy Target

Example Passenger Cars
Compact car
Midsize car
Full-size car
Honda Fit
Ford Fusion
Chrysler 300
Example Light-duty Trucks
Small SUV
Midsize crossover
Large pickup truck
4WD Ford Escape
Nissan Murano
Toyota Sienna
Chevy Silverado
EPA is allowing auto manufacturers to earn credits toward the fleet-wide average CO2 standards
for improving air conditioning systems, such as reducing both hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)
refrigerant losses (i.e. system leakage) and indirect CO2 emissions related to the increased load
on the engine. Earning credits for these types of greenhouse gas reductions is conditioned on
demonstrated improvements in vehicle air conditioner systems, including both efficiency and
refrigerant leakage improvement. Other program flexibilities, such as flex-fuel vehicle credits,
temporary lead-time allowance, and advanced technology credits, will also be available to
qualified auto manufacturers and are explained more fully below,

EPA's and NHTSA's technology assessment indicates there is a wide range of technologies
available for manufacturers to use when upgrading vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
and improve fuel economy. These include engine improvements, such as use of gasoline direct
injection and downsized engines that use turbochargers to provide performance  similar to that
of larger engines, the use of advanced transmissions, increased use of start-stop technology,
improvements in tire performance, reductions in vehicle weight, increased use of hybrid and
other advanced technologies, and the initial commercialization of electric vehicles and plug-
in hybrids. EPA is also projecting improvements in vehicle air conditioners including more
efficient as well as low leak systems. All of these technologies are already  available today, and
EPA's and NHTSA's assessment is that manufacturers would be able to meet the standards
through more widespread use of these technologies across their fleet,

EPA is also setting standards to cap tailpipe nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) emissions
at 0.010 and 0.030 grams per mile, respectively. Even after adjusting for the higher relative
global warming potencies of these two compounds, nitrous oxide and methane emissions
represent less than one percent of overall vehicle greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles.

EPA's Program Flexibilities
EPA's and NHTSA's programs provide compliance flexibility to manufacturers, especially in the
early years of the national program. This flexibility is expected to provide sufficient lead time for
manufacturers to make necessary technological improvements and reduce the overall cost of the
program, without compromising overall environmental and fuel economy objectives,

EPA is establishing a system of averaging, banking, and trading (ABT) of credits integral to
the fleet averaging approach, based on a manufacturer's fleet average CO2 performance. This
approach would allow credit trading among all vehicles a manufacturer produces, both cars and
light trucks. Credit trading between companies will also be permitted. This program is similar to
ABT programs EPA has established in other programs for motor vehicles. EPA is also including
credits for improved air conditioning performance (both reduced leakage of refrigerant and
improved air conditioner efficiency),

EPA is also finalizing several additional credit provisions. These include credits based on the
use of advanced technologies, and generation of credits for superior greenhouse gas emission
reduction performance prior to model year 2012. These credit programs will provide flexibility
to manufacturers, which may be especially important during the early transition years of the
program. In addition, both NHTSA and EPA are continuing to offer credits for vehicles
designed to operate on alternative fuels, although these credits will no longer be available after
model year 2015 under the EPA greenhouse gas program,

       Flex-fuel and Alternative Fuel Vehicle Credits - EPA is allowing Flex Fuel Vehicle or FFV
       credits in line with limits established under the Energy Independence and Security Act
       of 2007 during model years 2012 to 2015. After model year 2015, EPA will determine
       alternative  fuel vehicle emission values based on a vehicle's actual emissions while
       operating on gasoline as well as on the alternative fuel and a demonstration of actual
       alternative  fuel use. FFVs are vehicles that can run both on an alternative fuel and
       conventional fuel. Most FFVs are E'85 capable vehicles, which can run on either
       gasoline or  a mixture of up to 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Dedicated
       alternative  fuel vehicles are vehicles that run exclusively on an alternative fuel,

       Optional Temporary Lead-time Allowance Alternative Standards (TLAAS) -  Manufacturers with
       limited product lines that have traditionally paid fines to NHTSA in lieu of meeting
       Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards may find it especially challenging
       to comply with the greenhouse gas emission standards. Under the Clean Air Act,
       manufacturers of light duty motor vehicles cannot pay fines in lieu of complying with
       motor vehicle emissions standards. However, EPA is finalizing an optional, temporary
       alternative  standard provision, which is less stringent, to provide these  manufacturers
       sufficient lead time to meet the tougher model year 2016 greenhouse gas standards, while
       preserving consumer choice of vehicles during this time.

       There are two different groups of manufacturers to which this temporary  standard applies.
       Manufacturers that produce between 50,000 and 400,000 model year 2009 vehicles in
       the U.S. would be allowed to establish a separate averaging fleet comprising on average
       25,000 vehicles per year (and no more than 100,000 total vehicles during this four

year period). This separate, limited vehicle fleet would be subject to a less stringent
greenhouse gas standard of 125 percent of the vehicle's otherwise applicable foot-print
target level. The separate fleet could not generate credits for use by the remainder
of the manufacturer's fleet. Because of their more limited product lines and higher
baseline CO2 emissions compared with other TLAAS manufacturers, manufacturers
producing less than 50,000 model year 2009 vehicles in the U.S. would be allowed to
place up to 200,000 vehicles in the TLAAS program between model years 2012-2015
and an additional 50,000 vehicles in model year 2016. The manufacturers would need
to demonstrate that they have attempted to purchase credits from other manufacturers
in order to comply with the base TLAAS program, but that sufficient credits were not

In model year 2016 (or 2017 for manufacturers below 50,000 vehicle sales), the TLAAS
option ends, and all manufacturers, regardless of size, must comply with the same CO2
standards, while under the CAFE program companies would continue to be allowed to
pay civil penalties in  lieu of complying with the CAFE standards. However, because
companies must meet both the CAFE standards and the EPA CO2 standards, the
national program in effect means that companies will not have the civil penalty option,
thereby resulting in more fuel savings and CO2 reductions than would be the case under
the CAFE program alone.

Manufacturers selling fewer than 5,000 vehicles in the U.S. will be deferred from this
rulemaking. These manufacturers have extremely limited vehicle product lines across
which to average, have typically paid fines under the CAFE program due to the very
high CO2 emissions of their vehicles, and need additional lead time to bring their
vehicles into compliance with the GHG standards. EPA plans to set CO2 standards
for these smallest manufacturers through a separate rulemaking to be completed in the
next 18 months. EPA estimates that small volume manufacturers comprise less than 0.1
percent of the total light-duty vehicle sales in the U.S., thus the deferment will have a
very small impact on the GHG emission reductions from this rule,

Advanced Technology Credits - EPA is finalizing a temporary incentive program to encourage
the early commercialization of advanced greenhouse gas/fuel economy control
technologies, such as electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cell
vehicles. In this program, manufacturers who produce advanced technology vehicles will
be able to assign a zero gram per mile CO2 emissions value to the first 200,000 vehicles
sold in model years 2012-2016 (for PHEVs, the zero  gram per mile value applies only to
the percentage of miles driven on grid electricity), or 300,000 vehicles for manufacturers
that sell 25,000 vehicles or more in model year 2012. The CO2 emissions compliance
levels for advanced technology vehicles sold beyond these cumulative vehicle
production caps will account for the net increase in upstream CO2 emissions relative to
a comparable gasoline vehicle. EPA will reassess the  issue of how to address advanced
technology vehicle emissions in future rulemakings for MY2017 and beyond, based
on the status of their  commercialization, upstream GHG control programs, and other

Off-Cycle Innovative Technology Credits - EPA is finalizing a credit opportunity for new and
innovative technologies that reduce vehicle CO2 emissions, but whose CO2 reduction
benefits are not captured over the 2-cycle test procedure used to determine compliance

       with the fleet average standards (i.e., "off-cycle"). Eligible innovative technologies include
       those that are used in one or more current vehicle models, but that are not yet in
       widespread use in the light-duty fleet. Further, any credits for these off-cycle technologies
       must be based on real-world greenhouse gas emission reductions not captured on the
       current 2-cycle tests and verified by test methods that represent average U.S. driving

       Early Credits - EPA is finalizing a program to allow manufacturers to generate early credits
       in model years 2009-2011. Credits may be generated through early additional fleet
       average CO, reductions, early A/C system improvements, early advanced technology
       vehicle credits, and early off-cycle credits. As with other credits, early credits are subject
       to a five year carry-forward limit based on the model year in which they are generated.
       Manufacturers may transfer early credits between vehicle categories (e.g., between
       the car and truck fleet). With the exception of model year 2009 early program credits,
       a manufacturer may trade other early credits to other manufacturers without limits,
       CAFE credits  earned in model years prior to model year 2011 will still be available to
       manufacturers for use in the CAFE program in accordance with applicable regulations.
Background on  EPA's Final Rule
EPA's final rule represents the second phase of its response to the Supreme Court's 2007 decision
in Massachusetts v. EPA, which held that greenhouse gases were air pollutants for purposes of
the Clean Air Act (CAA). The Court held that the Administrator must determine whether
or not emissions of greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles and new motor vehicle engines
cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public
health or welfare, or whether the science is too uncertain for EPA to make a reasoned decision.
The Court remanded the case back to the Agency for reconsideration in light of its holding.
The Administrator has responded to the Court's remand by issuing two findings under section
202(a) of the Clean Air Act.5 First, the Administrator found that the current and projected
concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide (CO2), methane
(CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs),  and
sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) -- in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of
current and future generations.  This is referred to as the endangerment finding. Second, the
Administrator found that the combined emissions of these well-mixed greenhouse gases from
new motor vehicle and new motor vehicle engines contribute to the greenhouse gas pollution
which threatens public health and welfare. This is referred to as the cause or contribute
finding. New motor vehicles and engines emit carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and

Specifically, the Administrator found, after a thorough examination of the scientific evidence
on the causes and impact of current and future climate change, and careful review of public
comments, that the science  compellingly supports a positive finding that atmospheric
concentrations of these greenhouse gases result in air pollution which may reasonably be
anticipated to endanger both public health and  welfare.

For More Information
You can access the rule and related documents on EPA's Office of Transportation and Air
Quality (OTAQ) Web site at:


For more information on this rule, please contact Tad Wysor at:

            U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
            Office of Transportation and Air Quality
            2000 Traverwood Drive
            Ann Arbor, MI48105

            (734) 214-4332
            E-mail: wvsor.tad@epa.gov
 'U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2009. Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2007.
 EPA 430-R-09-004. Available at:

 2U.S. EPA. 2009 Technical Support Document for Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases
 under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act.
 Washington, DC. pp. 180-194. Available at:

 3U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2009. Inventory of
 U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2007. EPA 430-R-09-004. Available at:

 4U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Regulatory Impact Analysis, Chapter 2. EPA-420-R-09-xxx. Available at:

 5See 74 FR 66496 (Dec. 15, 2009) for Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases
 Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act