WASHINGTON -- Is the Obama administration preparing to more than double the corporate average fuel economy standard for cars and lights trucks over the next 14 years?
A preliminary regulatory analysis released last week showed that the administration may try to raise the CAFE standard to between 47 mpg and 62 mpg by the 2025 model year.
The standard currently is 27.3 mpg for the 2011 model year. This year, the administration boosted fuel economy standards to an average of 35.5 mpg by the 2016 model year.
"Advanced technologies can be used to achieve substantial reductions in fuel consumption" and greenhouse gases, the regulators said in a 245-page preliminary analysis.
Last week's so-called technical assessment is the first step in a lengthy regulatory process to set targets leading up to the 2025 model year, partly in an attempt to offer more certainty to automakers.
A second regulatory analysis is due by Nov. 30 after discussions with the representatives of the auto industry, environmental groups and consumer advocates.
The administration won't submit an actual proposal for public comment until September 2011, an EPA spokeswoman said. Only after comments to that formal proposal are reviewed will the agencies adopt standards.