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Consumer Reports: New EPA rule sets practical standards to deliver cleaner cars and trucks, with more fuel-cost-saving choices for consumers 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a final rule for new standards to reduce emissions and pollution from new cars and light-duty trucks.  Today’s rule follows nearly a year of hearings, public comments, and feedback from consumers, automakers, labor unions, and other stakeholders. 

These standards for new vehicles are technology neutral. Automakers can meet them by using  a variety of technologies, including plug-in hybrids and conventional hybrids, in conjunction with growing numbers of battery electric vehicles.

One of the organizations that provided analysis and recommendations to EPA was Consumer Reports. According to a preliminary analysis by the nonprofit consumer research, testing, and advocacy organization, the standards will save consumers more than $1 trillion over the next 20 years.

CR said today’s standards represent a positive and significant step forward for consumers, who will have more choices for a wider range of cars and trucks that can save them money on fuel, while producing fewer harmful emissions.  

Chris Harto, senior policy analyst for transportation and energy at Consumer Reports, said, “This rule will lead to cleaner cars that cost less to fuel, and people can be confident they’ll continue to have a large number of choices that meet their individual needs. While the rule isn’t as stringent as EPA’s original proposal, there’s real progress here to reduce emissions and help people save money. 

Harto noted: “Over the past year, it’s been debated whether the rule would be too strong or too weak, and whether consumers could see popular choices like pickup trucks and 3-row SUVs fade away.  In the end, those concerns were unwarranted. These are practical standards that will eventually result in more vehicle choices that can save people a lot of money, because they use less gas, or no gas at all.  Plus, these standards will reduce the emissions that lead to extreme weather, and the air pollution that can harm human health.   

“This is clearly not an ‘EV mandate,’ or a one-size-fits-all rule.  Shoppers will have a diverse selection of cars and trucks.  We expect fewer pollutants and fewer trips to the gas pump,” Harto said. 

Last year, Consumer Reports’ advocates and members testified at federal hearings about the EPA proposal.  CR filed formal comments and more than 18,000 consumer petition signatures with EPA in support of strong standards to benefit consumers.