The Senate Commerce Committee’s proposal for new federal fuel economy standards for sport utility vehicles (SUVs), pickups and minivans is expected in about two weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
The committee is expected to raise the corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, standard for “light trucks” to somewhere above 30 miles per gallon (mpg). Currently, the CAFE standard for light trucks, a category including SUVs, pickups and minivans, is 24 mpg.
However, the new CAFE standard would not become enforceable for 10 to 15 years, the WSJ reported.
One committee member, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), believes the auto industry should approach the situation by improving fuel economy by one mile per gallon each year over the next 10 years.
Depending on the impact on horsepower, a higher CAFE standard could require towable RV design changes.
The Bush Administration is expected to support higher CAFE standards, despite opposition from the auto companies, in the name of energy independence and environmental protection, according to the WSJ.