An overview is presented of the regulatory process used in establishing the passenger car fuel economy standards for model years 1981 through 1984, as mandated by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975. The four factors defined by the EPCA for the determination of maximum feasible fuel economy are outlined: technological feasibility, economic practicability, effect of other Federal standards, and the need for the nation to conserve energy. The determination of feasible average fuel economy is discussed for domestic and foreign automakers. Four alternative fuel economy schedules were considered, including the selected schedule (22, 24, 26, 27, and 27.5 mpg, respectively, for 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1985). The evaluation of the fuel conservation potential of the various schedules is discussed. Economic considerations are described: capital requirements and manufacturing costs; auto prices and sales, and employment; consumer and national economic impacts; and competition within the industry. Secondary environmental impacts are addressed (less need to mine and convert coal or oil shale, reduced fuel handling, use of less raw materials in vehicles, and diesel engine emission and noise pollution). It is estimated that about 20 billion gallons of gasoline will be saved annually in the 1990 time frame over consumption at the 1980 level. A consumer saving of $1000 due to less fuel costs and $200 due to reduced maintenance of lighter cars is predicted, with a $50 to $150 increase (cumulative) in car price in the mid-1980's resulting from increased capital expenditures for rule implementation. No net reduction in employment is anticipated.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at SAE West Coast Meeting, San Diego, 7-10 August 1978.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)

    400 Commonwealth Drive
    Warrendale, PA  United States  15096
  • Authors:
    • Malliaris, A C
    • Strombotne, R L
    • Scheiner, F R
  • Publication Date: 1978

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00396346
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: SAE 780682, HS-025 554U
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 31 1985 12:00AM