New Federal Fuel Economy Standard (SAFE) Goes Into Effect for 2021-2026 – Here Is How It Changes the CAFE Requirement and What It Means for Your Pickup Truck

Here are some of the pros and cons to new regulations.

SAFE to amend CAFE requirements

The Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule, issued by NHTSA and EPA, sets new fuel economy and carbon dioxide standards that are easier to meet or are more relaxed than before. The new rule allows the fuel economy to increase 1.5% in each year from model years 2021 through 2026. The idea is to amend certain existing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks and establish new standards.

All of the facts on this post come directly from the NHTSA and EPA. We leave it to you to make your own conclusions. The information pertains to cars and light-duty pickup trucks.

“SAFE Vehicles Rule would save over 500 billion dollars in societal costs and reduce highway fatalities by 12,700 lives (over the lifetimes of vehicles through MY 2029). U.S. fuel consumption would increase by about half a million barrels per day (2–3 percent of total daily consumption, according to the Energy Information Administration) and would impact the global climate by 3/1000th of one degree Celsius by 2100, also when compared to the standards set forth in 2012.” – – NHTSA

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How the consumer could benefit, and the environmental cost

According to the NHTSA and EPA; this new SAFE policy will increase vehicle affordability leading to increased driving of newer, safer, more efficient, and cleaner vehicles.

It will also increase the global temperature 3/1000th of one degree Celsius by 2100. That’s an increase from 789.11 ppm to 789.76 ppm in atmospheric CO2 concentration in 2100. In addition, it will add 8/100ths of a percent increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration in 2100.

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There should be a $2,340 reduction in overall average vehicle ownership costs for new vehicles. That could include a $1,850 reduction in the average required technology costs. Also, a $490 reduction in ownership costs for financing, insurance, and taxes.

Fuel consumption will increase. U.S. fuel consumption would increase by about 182,500,000 barrels per year.

Over 12,000 fewer crash fatalities over the lifetimes of vehicles built through 2029. They state that’s up to 1,000 lives saved annually. This is based on obtaining new (more affordable) safety technology.

An all-new Ford-designed and Ford-built 7.3-liter V8 joins the standard 6.2-liter V8 in Super Duty’s gas engine stable. The Ford-designed and Ford-built third-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke® diesel V8 is upgraded to deliver more power and torque. Both engines are paired with an all-new Ford-designed and Ford-built 10-speed heavy-duty TorqShift® automatic transmission. Ford is the only manufacturer to design and build all of its heavy-duty engine and transmission combinations – ensuring the powertrain works seamlessly with all chassis components and vehicle calibrations.

Why many automakers are supporting SAFE

There is an expected $252.6 billion reduction in regulatory costs through model year 2029. An additional 1-million new vehicle sales through 2029. 37.0 mpg projected overall industry average required fuel economy in model year 2021-2026. That number is compared to the original 46.7 mpg projected.

Not all automakers agree with the new SAFE standards. Automakers like Ford have stated that they will still push for the greener emission standards. These standards were laid out by the previous administration.

“We remain committed to meeting emission reductions consistent with the California framework and continue to believe that this path is what’s best for our customers, the environment, and the short- and long-term health of the auto industry,” said Bob Holycross, Ford’s vice president of sustainability, environment, and safety engineering, in a statement Tuesday. – – Washington Examiner

Hybrids and EVs take a hit

There will be a reduction from 56% to 3% in the percentage of hybrid vehicles needed to comply in 2030. This requirement will significantly slow the older mandate to produce lower emission/greener vehicles. That includes hybrids and EVs.

The bottom line: it will be up to consumers to weigh the impact of savings verses environmental impact. That includes pickup truck owners.

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.