One National Program

Facts about One National Program

One National Program (ONP) is a good idea still in development. 

Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas (GHG) rulemakings were jointly developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as a partner.

The joint nature of this program was intended to allow industry to comply with the most optimistic targets in the most efficient manner. The rules were proposed in two pieces. The first set of rules covered Model Years 2012-2016. The second set of rules covers 2017-2025.

This program was intended to develop regulations consistent with the long-range product cycles — typically 5-10 years — in the auto industry.

ONP was designed to consider broad national policies. For instance, state programs do not consider effects on auto jobs in the Midwest and South or how requiring lighter vehicles could affect overall passenger safety. By contrast, the federal government is mandated to consider potential effects of fuel economy regulations on affordability, jobs, safety, fuels availability, energy infrastructure and more. Good policy balances all these priorities, which is why America needs a single national fuel economy program.

The two different rules (EPA’s GHG and NHTSA’s CAFE) have different metrics but both require continuous improvement. While EPA may consider a wider range of improvement than NHTSA, due primarily to the definition of what makes up a greenhouse gas vs. what constitutes a reduction in oil consumption, both programs require approximately 3-5% improvement year-over-year from 2012 to 2025 levels.

“One National Program” Targets

EPA GHG Projected Targets

• 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

• From a fleetwide average of 295 grams/mile in 2012 to 163 g/mi in 2025

NHTSA MPG Projected Targets

• 67.3% increase in fuel economy

• From a fleetwide average of 29.7 MPG in 2012 to 49.7 MPG in 2025

The state electric vehicle mandate is on top of CAFE

The “One National Program” for CAFE and greenhouse gases was created to help reduce redundancies and competing programs within the federal government. This program cannot be considered without simultaneously evaluating the regulatory burden and consumer costs of the “Zero Emission Vehicle” (ZEV) program adopted by California and several states.

The federal government estimates the costs of the current CAFE program to total about $200 Billion from 2012-2025. The ZEV program is expected to cost an additional $20-$40 billion from 2018-2025.

Interactions between ONP and ZEV need to be analyzed.

According to a 2016 study by the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, federal regulators have never taken into account the standards in California and nine other states that, collectively, represent 30% of new vehicle sales.

These states require manufacturers to sell an increasing percentage of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) such as fully electric vehicles, plug-in electric vehicles or hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. By 2025, manufacturers will be compelled to sell enough ZEVs to reach at least 15.4% of total new vehicles sales in each ZEV state.

The Indiana University study concludes:
“the presence of the ZEV program can have major implications for manufacturer compliance strategies, federal credit-trading markets, and attainment of environmental benefits.”