Automakers Ahead of Schedule on ‘MPG’ Goals

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October 7, 2013 by   Comments Off on Automakers Ahead of Schedule on ‘MPG’ Goals

Editor’s Note: The following is a Q&A conducted by reporter Gabe Nelson of Automotive News with Christopher Grundler, director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Christopher Grundler was promoted last year at a pivotal time. Fuel economy has become a fiercely competitive battleground as consumers demand more efficient cars and the Obama administration’s new standards start to ramp up to a nominal average of 54.5 mpg by 2025.

Grundler, 56, oversees the beat cops who police the marketplace. In the past year they busted Hyundai and Kia for overstating the fuel economy of many of their models and pressured Ford to lower the fuel economy estimate for the C-Max hybrid, after agency testing showed the car fell well short of its promised 47 mpg.

That tough stance will continue, with ramped-up audits and rule changes when the EPA sniffs out foul play, Grundler says. The agency has reassigned more than 30 staffers to compliance and enforcement to keep an eye on the industry.

Q: Are the automakers on track with the new fuel economy standards?

A: What is striking to us is how well the industry is doing. They are beating the standards, and they are well ahead of schedule. Our estimate for the 2013 model year, when all the sales numbers come in, is that 27 percent of the new-car fleet will be in compliance with the 2016 greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards.

To read the entire article click here.

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