U.S. President Donald Trump has announced his administration will conduct a review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s strict 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.
The review of the standards will allow automakers to make suggestions to have CAFE 2025 rules modified, which are considered by many as stern and unrealistic. The current rules mandate that automakers must achieve a CAFE standard of 60 MPG for small to mid-size passenger cars by 2025.
“We’re going to work on the CAFE standards so you can make cars in America again,” Trump said, according to Automotive News. “There is no more beautiful sight than an American-made car.”
The announcement was made during an address by Trump at the American Center for Mobility autonomous vehicle testing facility in Michigan. The announcement was attended by executives for several domestic and foreign automakers, including Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.
Marchionne said part of the agreement with the 2025 standards was that a mid-term review would be conducted in 2017 and 2018. The Obama administration cancelled the mid-term review before the former U.S. president left office amid fears Trump would seek to have them modified or rolled back, which Marchionne considers unfair.
“Whatever the outcome is I’ll feel better about the process,” Marchionne told AN. “Somebody actually shortcut the system itself. That was not the intent when the 2025 rules went in place. We all agreed 2017-18 would be used to carry out a thorough midterm review with the full participation of the auto industry. I know for a fact we weren’t called in.”
Marchionne said FCA and other automakers could easily meet the near 60 MPG mandate for 2025, but it may come at the price of consumers not being able to afford the cars. It’s also a reality that many consumers don’t want highly fuel efficient, small, light passenger cars. The most popular vehicles in America right now are light trucks and SUVs.
“The question is the speed of introduction and the economic impact of the technology,” Marchionne said. “I think at the end of the day the question is can the consumer afford to pay for all the technology in the car?”