By Éric Descarries

The word CAFE here doesn’t refer to the morning’s hot beverage, but rather to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy. This term is used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the U.S. federal agency that manages the average fuel consumption of all vehicles sold, not manufactured, by each automaker in the United States.

However, the restrictions created during the seventies are slowly becoming obsolete with the arrival of electric vehicles, even though they don’t figure in the CAFE equation. As a result, NHTSA had to take it easy on its requirements.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama had set his expectations for 2025 at 54.5 miles per US gallon (23,2 km per litre), but these had to be toned down. The NHTSA now considers 50.4 m/US gal (21.4 km/l) to be the standard for 2031. The current standard is 39.1 m/US gal (16.6 km/l), with annual increases of 2 %, but only between 2029 and 2031. The target is 58 m/US gal (24.7 km/l) in 2032.

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