In an extensive interview with the Automotive News, Christopher Grundler, director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, said that the auto industry is ahead of schedule on meeting the Obama administration’s new fuel economy standards that mandate a nominal average of 54.5 mpg (according to CAFE calculations) by the year 2025.
He said that most redesigned cars are already meeting the proposed 2016 CAFE standards. Grundler’s office is responsible for making sure that new car’s meet pollution standards and that their advertised fuel economy isn’t overstated. Recently, Hyundai and Kia were charged by the agency with overstating gas mileage claims and the EPA has also pressured Ford about it’s mpg rating for the C-Max hybrid, whose real world fuel economy doesn’t seem to match its EPA rating of 47 mpg. Grundler says that the EPA’s aggressive regulatory stance will continue and that the agency is shifting personnel resources from developing new environmental and fuel economy technologies to compliance and enforcement. He also said that the agency is working on finishing “Tier 3″ rules for tailpipe emissions and gasoline, in order to harmonize federal standards with California’s strict tailpipe emissions rules and that the agency is also looking at ways of harmonizing U.S. emissions standards with those used globally.