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Automobile fuel economy : potential effects of increasing the corporate average fuel economy standards
  • Published Date:
    2000-08-01
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-483.00 KB]


Details:
  • Publication/ Report Number:
    GAO/RCED-00-194
  • Resource Type:
  • Geographical Coverage:
  • TRIS Online Accession Number:
    807051
  • NTL Classification:
    NTL-ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT-ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT ; NTL-ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT-Environment Impacts ; NTL-ECONOMICS AND FINANCE-Economic Impacts
  • Format:
  • Abstract:
    Between 1981 and 1999, the average price of gasoline, adjusted for inflation, declined more than 60 percent. During the same period, the U.S. transportation sector's consumption of oil rose from less than 10 million to nearly 13 million barrels per day. However, recent gasoline price increases, in some areas to more than $2.00 a gallon, have redirected attention to the costs and benefits of improving passenger vehicle fuel economy. These price increases have come at a time when light trucks have become much more popular. As the proportion of light trucks has increased and other shifts have occurred in the automotive fleet, the average fuel economy of new passenger vehicles has fallen to 23.8 mpg-a weighted average of 28.1 mpg for cars and 20.3 mpg for light trucks 1 -for model year 1999, the lowest level since 1980 and 8 percent below the peak of 25.9 mpg for model year 1988. These overall fuel economy trends have prompted some energy conservationists and environmentalists to call for increasing corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards. Those supporting an increase in the standards often cite energy security and environmental benefits that would result from improved fuel economy. However, others opposed to raising the standards often cite decreased automobile safety, which they contend could result from producing smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

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