Chris Grundler, Director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ), told reporters and industry representatives at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars that final review of the strategy would likely take place no earlier than 2017, and the decision will be up to the EPA administrator–an administrator who will likely be appointed by the next president.
“There is a perception out here that the decision is already made,” Automotive News reports Grundler saying. “That is wrong.”
And while EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy previously downplayed the effects of gas prices on the roll-out of a 54.5-mpg plan, the long review period means any number of factors–economic, political and social–could contribute to the outcome.
McCarthy argued that some buyers are currently choosing SUVs based on short-terrm needs, but the overall average was still up for 2014 as many buyers chose vehicles with better fuel efficiency.
“I expect that we will continue to have more and more fuel-efficient vehicles, and people will still want them,” McCarthy told The Detroit News.
The Administration set 2025 requirements at a combined average of 54.5 mpg back in 2012. Reactions to the announcement were varied; a group of governors protested the increases while FCA Sergio Marchionne said that his automakers weren’t afraid of the proposal.