By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s administration on Friday plans to unveil tougher fuel economy standards for vehicles that would reverse his predecessor Donald Trump’s rollback of U.S. regulations aimed at improving gas mileage and cutting tailpipe pollution, officials said.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Deputy Administrator Steven Cliff will make a “major announcement” on fuel economy standards on Friday, the Transportation Department said. It did not offer details of the announcement.
U.S. law requires 18 months lead time so the final NHTSA rules must be signed by March 31 to take effect in the 2024 model year that begins in September 2023.
Biden’s administration asked on Monday in its federal budget proposal to Congress for $27.5 million to support the next phase of NHTSA fuel economy regulations “for light vehicles and maximum fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks and represents meaningful progress toward achieving the administration’s climate agenda.”
NHTSA on Sunday confirmed that it had reinstated a sharp increase in penalties for automakers whose vehicles do not meet fuel efficiency requirements for model years 2019 and beyond. The decision was a victory for Tesla (TSLA.O) that could cost other automakers like Chrysler-parent Stellantis (STLA.MI) hundreds of millions of dollars or more.