Laws & Regulations

Corporate Average Fuel Economy

Corporate Average Fuel Economy CAFE Phase 2 Phase 1
Corporate Average Fuel Economy


Enacted by Congress in 1975, CAFE's purpose is to reduce energy consumption by increasing the fuel economy of cars and light trucks. NHTSA has set standards to increase CAFE levels rapidly over the next several years, which will improve our nation’s energy security and save consumers money at the pump. This site contains an immense amount of information about the CAFE program including an overview, rulemaking actions, fleet characteristics data, compliance activities, summaries of manufacturers’ fuel economy performances since 1978, and related studies.

July 7, 2017:  NHTSA seeks comment on CAFE civil penalties

NHTSA is reconsidering a rule that adjusts civil penalties related to the CAFE standards for inflation.

NHTSA published two notices in the Federal Register.  The first notice indicates that NHTSA is reconsidering a Dec. 28, 2016, final rule, and seeks comment on the appropriate inflationary adjustment.  The second notice delays the effective date of this rule during NHTSA’s reconsideration period.  Seeking comment on the inflationary adjustment will allow stakeholders to provide input and provide NHTSA additional information to help the agency decide how the CAFE civil penalty should be adjusted for inflation.

Delaying the Dec. 28, 2016, rule’s effective date will not impact current CAFE penalty levels, which were not scheduled to increase until model year 2019.

December 21, 2016:  NHTSA grants petition on CAFE harmonization

NHTSA granted a petition for rulemaking from the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers regarding harmonization of the CAFE program and the EPA light-duty vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions program. The agency will address the issues raised by the petitioners in its rulemaking process.


NHTSA brings CAFE reports to its Public Information Center

Public Information Center

Dec. 16, 2015: NHTSA introduces a new, innovative CAFE Management Suite that represents a shift to an automated system, allowing for streamlined uploads of fuel economy data, standardized data management, and business intelligent report capabilities.

The Public Information Center will allow the general public (researchers, analysts, the press, etc.) to easily access dynamic data about the CAFE program through the CAFE PIC self-service reporting portal.

The interactive CAFE PIC will provide timely, reliable fuel economy data, which can be viewed in report and/or graph format. The data can be easily sorted and filtered based on specific areas of interest to produce custom reports, which can also be downloaded as excel or pdf files.

Phase 2

Final Rule for Phase 2 fuel efficiency and GHG emissions standards for medium & heavy-duty vehicles, MY2018-2027

NHTSA and EPA issued a Final Rule for “Phase 2” for medium and heavy duty vehicles to improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution. The agencies estimate that the standards will save up to 2 billion barrels of oil and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 1.1 billion metric tons over the lifetimes of MYs 2018-2029 vehicles, providing up to $230 billion in net social benefits.

Documents relating to the Phase 2 proposal for medium & heavy duty vehicles, MY 2018-2027

Standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles would improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution to reduce impacts of climate change, while bolstering energy security and spurring manufacturing innovation. The proposed standards are expected to lower CO2 emissions by approximately 1 billion metric tons, cut fuel costs by about $170 billion, and reduce oil consumption by up to 1.8 billion barrels over the lifetime of vehicles sold under the program. These reductions are nearly equal to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy use by all U.S. residences in one year.

Research Supporting the Phase 2 Proposal

CAFE Standards and Mid-Term Evaluation for Light-Duty Vehicles, MYs 2022-2025

On July 18, 2016, NHTSA, EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued a Draft Technical Assessment Report (TAR) for light-duty vehicle CAFE and GHG standards for MYs 2022-2025. This Draft TAR is the first step in the Agencies’ mid-term evaluation process of the October 2012 final rule establishing CAFE and GHG standards for MYs 2017 and beyond.

The Mid-Term Evaluation is the overarching process by which NHTSA, EPA, and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will decide on CAFE and GHG emissions standard stringency for model years 2022-2025. The first step in the Mid-Term Evaluation is the Draft Technical Assessment Report, or TAR. Using comments to the Draft TAR and the best available data and information, NHTSA will begin to develop its rulemaking to establish CAFE standards for MYs 2022 and beyond, while EPA will consider whether its existing GHG standards for those MYs continue to be appropriate or should be revised. The 2012 joint final rule that set CAFE and GHG standards for MYs 2017 and beyond laid out the path for the Mid-Term Evaluation. Much more information, including extensive research materials that were used to develop the TAR and the latest version of the CAFE model and documentation, is available by clicking the link below.

Comment at

Your Voice in Federal Decision-Making

Phase 1

Phase 1 of Fuel Efficiency and GHG Emission Program for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks, MYs 2014-2018
DOT and EPA Establish CAFE and GHG Emissions Standards for Model Years 2017 and Beyond

Following the direction set by President Obama on May 21, 2010, NHTSA and EPA have issued joint Final Rules for Corporate Average Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas emissions regulations for model years 2017 and beyond, that will help address our country's dependence on imported oil, save consumers money at the pump, and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.

DOT and EPA Unveil New Fuel Economy Labels

Complete Information on the New Label

NHTSA and EPA have jointly issued a final rule establishing new requirements for a fuel economy and environment label that will be posted on the window sticker of all new automobiles sold in the U.S. The redesigned label provides expanded information to American consumers about new vehicle fuel economy and fuel consumption, greenhouse gas and smog-forming emissions, and projected fuel costs and savings, and also includes a smartphone interactive code that permits direct access to additional web resources. Click the link below for more information.

Download Crash Databases for Statistical Analysis of Relationships Between Vehicles' Fatality Risk, Mass and Footprint

Documentation and Databases

NHTSA plans to issue a technical report on relationships between fatality risk, mass, and footprint in model year 2000-2007 passenger cars, light trucks, and vans. The agency has made the crash databases used in its statistical analyses available to the public, enabling other researchers to analyze the same data.

New Fuel Efficiency Program Announced

At the direction of President Obama on May 21, 2010, NHTSA and EPA are taking the next steps to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from mobile sources.

Joint Rulemaking to Establish CAFE and GHG Emissions Standards, MY 2012-2016

There is a critically important need for our country to address global climate change and to reduce oil consumption. In this context, DOT and EPA worked in coordination to establish standards for CAFE and emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) for Model Years 2012-2016.

There is a critically important need for our country to address global climate change and to reduce oil consumption. In this context, DOT and EPA worked in coordination to establish standards for CAFE and emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) for Model Years 2012-2016.

There is a critically important need for our country to address global climate change and to reduce oil consumption. In this context, DOT and EPA worked in coordination to establish standards for CAFE and emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) for Model Years 2012-2016.

n connection with the rulemaking to establish passenger car and light truck CAFE standards for MYs 2012-2016, NHTSA prepared the Draft and Final Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) linked below to analyze the environmental impacts of the proposed standards. The EISs compare the environmental impacts of NHTSA's Preferred Alternative and reasonable alternatives, including a “No Action” Alternative, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. § 4321 et seq., and implementing regulations issued by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Department of Transportation. The EISs analyze direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts to inform decisionmakers and the public of the environmental impacts of the various alternatives.

  • Final Environmental Impact Statement (With Appendices A through G)
  • Draft Environmental Impact Statement (with Appendices A through E)
Average Fuel Economy Standards, Passenger Cars and Light Trucks, MY 2011-2015

Proposes substantial increases in CAFE standards for passenger cars and light trucks that would enhance energy security by improving fuel economy. Since carbon dioxide (CO2) is the natural by-product of the combustion of fuel, the increased standards would also address climate change by reducing tailpipe emissions of CO2. Those emissions represent 97 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. Implementation of the new standards would dramatically add to the billions of barrels of fuel already saved since the beginning of the CAFE program in 1975.

NHTSA Public Hearing on the CAFE DEIS

NHTSA held a public hearing on the CAFE Draft Environmental Impact Statement on Monday, August 4, 2008, at the National Transportation Safety Board Conference Center, 429 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20594

Average Fuel Economy Standards, Passenger Cars and Light Trucks, MY 2011

NHTSA estimates that the MY 2011 standards will raise the industry-wide combined average to 27.3 mpg, save 887 million gallons of fuel over the lifetime of the MY 2011 cars and light trucks, and reduce CO2 emissions by 8.3 million metric tons during that period.

Light Truck Fuel Economy Standard Rulemaking, MY 2008-2011

This final rule reforms the structure of the CAFE program for light trucks and establishes higher CAFE standards for model year (MY) 2008-2011 light trucks. Manufacturers may comply with CAFE standards established under the reformed structure (Reformed CAFE) or with standards established in the traditional way (Unreformed CAFE) during a transition period of MYs 2008-2010. In MY 2011, all manufacturers will be required to comply with a Reformed CAFE standard. Under Reformed CAFE, fuel economy standards are restructured so they are based on a measure of vehicle size called "footprint," the product of multiplying a vehicle's wheelbase by its track width. A target level of fuel economy is established for each increment in footprint. Smaller footprint light trucks have higher targets and larger ones, lower targets.