The U.S. Senate continues to debate legislation (HR 6) to increase vehicle fuel economy as of press time. The vote count for a SEMA-supported "Levin Amendment" is still too close to call. SEMA has contacted undecided Senators urging their support.
The Levin Amendment would increase the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for cars and light trucks to 36 miles per gallon by 2022 for cars and 30 miles per gallon by 2025 for light trucks. SEMA believes these are tough but realistic numbers that push the limits of technology. In contrast, the current language in the Senate bill would increase CAFE by 4% a year through 2030—an unrealistic mandate.
The Levin Amendment would also maintain the critical distinction between cars and light trucks, thereby preserving the option afforded by pickups, minivans and SUVs for cargo room, performance, towing and hauling capacity. The current Senate bill would combine the CAFE standards for passenger cars and light trucks, thereby threatening future sales of light trucks and SUVs. SEMA believes the Levin Amendment is the best approach for preserving jobs, sales and customer choice to purchase the most appropriate vehicles (and specialty equipment to accessorize the vehicle).
SEMA will report on actions taken by the Senate in the next issue of SEMA eNews. Questions? Contact Stuart Gosswein at firstname.lastname@example.org.