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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)

​​​​​​The U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s CAFE experts work with NHTSA to evaluate the standards that regulate how far our vehicles must travel on a gallon of fuel. (Adobe Stock image/Iryna)
The U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s CAFE experts work with NHTSA to evaluate the standards that regulate how far our vehicles must travel on a gallon of fuel. (Adobe Stock image/Iryna)

About Us

The U.S. DOT Volpe Center's Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Program Office develops and executes analyses to assess the costs and benefits of national fuel economy standards—part of NHTSA’s safety mandate. Mandated by Congress since 1975, NHTSA's CAFE standards regulate how far vehicles must travel on a gallon of fuel. These standards consider future-year impacts, including vehicle demand, which have implications for highway infrastructure needs.

Our team serves as a primary technical resource for NHTSA’s CAFE program, partnering with the agency to manage and implement all aspects of NHTSA’s fuel economy program. We also provide key technical support to NHTSA throughout the complex federal rulemaking process.

U.S. DOT Volpe Center experts in automotive engineering, environmental science, physics, economics, computer science, and operations research have played a significant role in the CAFE program for nearly four decades, conducting detailed analyses and modeling to help determine the feasibility of these standards. 

To support the CAFE program, the U.S. DOT Volpe Center's team collects and analyzes volumes of data in order to:

  • Evaluate potential technologies to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Define a range of regulatory alternatives for consideration
  • Estimate potential technology deployment rates
  • Estimate how manufacturers could change the design of vehicle models in response to future CAFE standards
  • Evaluate the costs, energy and environmental effects, and consumer and social benefits of each technology and regulatory alternative

Our Capabilities

Economic and Policy Analysis

  • Conduct engineering, economic, energy, and industry analyses 
  • Collect, analyze, model, measure, simulate, synthesize, and communicate data 
  • Leverage longstanding institutional expertise and understanding of current economic conditions to conduct cost-benefit analyses

Environmental Analysis, Science, and Engineering

  • Conduct emissions estimations and fuel consumption reduction for new technologies
  • Support rulemaking and program analysis and alternatives to drive reductions in transportation energy emissions 
  • Manage fuel economy program

Applied Data Science

  • Collect data to estimate deployment rates
  • Analyze data to provide recommendations for future vehicle model redesign 
  • Evaluate impacts of new technologies and alternative rulemakings 

Meet Our Team

View selected staff biographies.

Kevin Green

Kevin Green headshotChief
BS and MEng Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University

As chief of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Program Office, Kevin Green’s primary role and responsibility is to manage analytical support for decisions regarding potential new highway vehicle fuel economy standards. His most recent specific contributions include leading teams providing analysis underlying fuel economy rulemaking activities from 2002 forward; managing U.S. DOT’s assessment of the infrastructure implications of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles; supporting establishment of a new U.S. DOT Center for Climate Change and Environmental Forecasting; serving on a U.S. delegation to technical sessions and workshops under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change; representing U.S. DOT at regional and bilateral workshops involving climate change and fuel economy; and managing development of strategic plans for U.S. DOT research and development programs. 

Prior to working at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, through contributions to the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), Green facilitated development and advancement of regional strategies and policies related to transportation and air quality. And through coordination with EPA, he developed emissions inventory modeling tools and regulatory analyses for off-road engines and vehicles.

Last updated: Friday, October 7, 2022