Volkswagen Group of America issued a statement by Tony Cervone, Executive Vice President, Communications saying that it does not endorse the CAFE program for model years 2017-2025 announced on Friday by President Obama (earlier post).
The plan as proposed places an unfairly high burden on passenger cars, Volkswagen argues, while allowing special compliance flexibility for heavier light trucks. Passenger cars would be required to achieve 5% annual improvements, and light trucks 3.5% annual improvements. The largest trucks carry almost no burden for the 2017-2020 timeframe, and are granted numerous ways to mathematically meet targets in the outlying years without significant real-world gains.
The proposal encourages manufacturers and customers to shift toward larger, less efficient vehicles, defeating the goal of reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Volkswagen Group clean diesel products are among the most fuel efficient vehicles on the road today. Our new mid-size Passat TDI, built here in the US in Chattanooga, TN, achieves 43 mpg highway and can travel almost 800 miles on a single tank of fuel. If one-third of the vehicles on the road today were clean diesel, the US would save 1.4 million barrels of oil a day. Yet there is no consideration in the current proposal for the positive impact clean diesels can have on fuel consumption here in the US.
We look forward to continuing our discussions with the White House to achieve the “one nation standard” that is fair and equitable.—Volkswagen Group statement