A case is made against mandatory fuel economy standards. It is suggested that fuel economy is optimized in the present fleet, given the prevailing price of petroleum, consumer demand for automobiles with certain performance and design characteristics, and the incremental cost of improved fuel economy in terms of vehicle price increases, utility losses, or life cycle operating/maintenance expense increases resulting from fuel economy improvements. It is also felt that an unregulated automobile market would find the breakeven price and appropriate fuel economy level more efficiently than the policy makers. The rationale behind the fuel economy policy (depressed domestic petroleum prices, balance of payments, security) is criticized. Some questions about the emission control standards (the .413/.4/.4 rule) are related to the scientific basis for oxidant control criteria; the relationship between the tailpipe emission schedule for hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxides and the primary ambient standard for ozone; and the carbon monoxide standard. It is suggested that ultimately, more efficient means of exhaust emission reductions might be considered, such as the variable tax or a multicar strategy which recognizes differences in the oxidant problem in different areas of the country.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Also published in HS-028 918, "Government, Technology, and the Future of the Automobile," New York, 1980 p 393-400. Presented at Harvard Business School Symposium on Government, Technology, and the Automotive Future, Boston, 19-20 October 1978.
  • Corporate Authors:

    McGraw-Hill, Incorporated

    330 West 42nd Street
    New York, NY  United States  10036
  • Authors:
    • Stockman, D
  • Publication Date: 1980

Media Info

  • Pagination: 8 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00393052
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-028 942
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 28 1985 12:00AM