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Energy Law Raises MPG Standards

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

President Bush signed a new energy law that brings new Corporate Average
Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. Manufacturers’ fleet averages will be
required to reach 35 mpg by 2020, which is a 40-percent increase over
the current 25-mpg standard.

The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) noted that,
while the new levels will encompass a majority of vehicles which tow RV
trailers, there is good news for the RV industry in the legislation.
Separate fuel-economy standards for cars and trucks will be maintained,
with different standards to be set for pickup trucks with gross vehicle
weight ratings between 8,500 and 10,000 pounds and for medium- and
heavy-duty trucks.

“Adequate towing capacity should be preserved under the new law,
and that’s a solid victory for the RV industry,” said RVIA President
Richard Coon. “From the beginning, the automobile and RV industry’s
primary goal has been to keep the distinction between cars and light
trucks. We’re very pleased that the legislation will continue to
maintain that separation and take functionality and usage under
consideration,” Coon added.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA)
will oversee the development of separate CAFE standards that will apply
to work-trucks, and medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

After working with the National Academy of Sciences and conducting
studies over the next year, the agency will begin a lengthy regulatory
process, during which RVIA and other industries will be able to provide
input on the new standards.

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