91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Levin calls for scrapping CAFE standards

Chevy Volt's plug receptacle
Charles Manley
Michigan Radio
Carl Levin says more needs to be done to encourage alternative vehicles.

Senator Carl Levin wants to scrap the government's Corporate Average Fuel Economy(CAFE) standard. Auto manufacturers must meet these fuel economy standards for their fleets, or face penalties from the government.

The Obama Administration recently updatedthe standards.  By 2020, automakers will have to reach an average 35.5 mpg for their combined car and truck fleet.

In a speech at an electric vehicle conference in Detroit, Senator Levin said,

"CAFE forces auto manufacturers to focus on incremental improvements rather than dramatic leaps forward. CAFE is a row boat, when what we need is a high-tech whitewater raft, something to carry us with confidence toward our ultimate goal – affordable alternatives to the internal-combustion engine."

Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reported that Levin "characterized his remarks as 'thinking out loud,'" and that he realizes his words will be controversial.

CAFE standards were put in place in 1975 after the Arab oil embargo.

Mark Brush was the station's Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.