WASHINGTON, D.C. – A December 2007 law requires a light U.S. fleet-wide fuel economy standard of 35 mpg by 2020. Details about exactly how that standard is to be achieved have been left to Department of Transportation’s NHTSA, according to www.automotivedigest.com.

Here are some key points on the rule:

· Forthcoming rule will likely set standards based on size.


· Not expected to allow lower standard for similarly sized vehicles w/ more powerful engines.


· Detroit automakers want towing capacity factored into formula.


· Same argument failed in 2006 fuel-economy rule-making process.


· Rule sets standards based solely on area between vehicle’s four wheels.


· NHTSA rule now under White House review, may be formally proposed in early April.


· Aspects of rule may be a plus for some automakers but penalize others.


· Law required rule be in place by spring 2009 and will apply to MY2011.


· Ratable increases in the standard required between MY2011 and MY2020.