WHENCE THE 1981-84 FUEL ECONOMY STANDARDS?

Excerpts of NHTSA's investigations, based on a summary of the Support Paper prepared for this rulemaking, are presented. Different methods of determining the Standards were used for foreign cars, compared with domestic. The domestic modeling effort involved four steps, predicting: Minimum feasible fleet-average inertia weight; Minimum feasible fleet-average acceleration performance; Maximum feasible fuel economy, predicted at 1977 levels of technology and emissions; Maximum feasible fuel economy, reflecting technological improvements and effects of other Federal standards. For foreign cars, the first step was to obtain baselines from EPA certification data for 1976-77. Projected 1977 model year sales, manufacturers' fleet inertia-weight averages, and 1976-77 fleet fuel-economy values were used to project feasible 1981 fuel-economy levels. Again, researchers worked on a manufacturer-by-manufacturer basis. Predictions for 1981 assumed 10% reductions of vehicle weight and engine size, without benefit of any other technological improvements. Weight reduction was given an 8. 5% fuel-economy payoff; performance reduction, one of 4%.

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 42-47
  • Serial:
    • Automotive Engineering
    • Volume: 86
    • Issue Number: 8
    • Publisher: Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
    • ISSN: 0098-2571

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00197191
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 15 1979 12:00AM