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Details on EPA GHG Standards Released
In brief: The new EPA rules establish a sort of cap-and-trade system for vehicle manufacturers' fleet-average CO2 emissions. The rules increase in stringency starting in 2012 on to 2016.
Most of the rules affect a manufacturer's Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) ratings, increasing required fuel economy to 35.5mpg by model year 2016. The requirement is measured in CO2 production, with stated requirements fleet-wide to be at 250g/mile.
The system of banking and trading (called the ABT or Averaging, Banking, Trading) based on the average CO2 emissions performance for a manufacturer's light car and light truck fleets.
Averages for each vehicle model are rated by "footprint" (size of vehicle in weight). These are generally on a sliding scale, so the larger the vehicle, the larger the maximum CO2 emission allowance.
Additional credits can be earned by producing for sale plug-in hybrids (PHEV), battery electrics (BEV or EV), and fuel-cell vehicles (FCV).
And so ...
Other incentives to gain credits in the ABT system include lowering emissions from accessory systems (A/C, pumps, etc.).
Photo credits: EPA
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