Fuel Efficiency Standards Finalized
Updated: Aug 29
The Obama Administration issued final standards regarding fuel efficiency on Tuesday. The groundbreaking standard will increase fuel economy for cars and light duty trucks to 54.5 mpg by Model Year 2025. This increase will almost double the fuel efficiency of vehicles when compared to those on the road today. The administration estimates that the change will save consumers $1.7 trillion in gas costs and reduce U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels.
“These fuel standards represent the single most important step we’ve ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said President Obama. “This historic agreement builds on the progress we’ve already made to save families money at the pump and cut our oil consumption. By the middle of the next decade our cars will get nearly 55 miles per gallon, almost double what they get today. It’ll strengthen our nation’s energy security, it’s good for middle class families and it will help create an economy built to last.”
This collaboration with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), automakers, United Auto Workers, consumer groups, environmental and energy experts, states and the public represents the first truly significant update to fuel efficiency standards in decades. Not only will this standard decrease gas costs and dependence on oil, it will also have a positive effect on carbon pollution and climate change. The administration estimates that the standards will cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks by 50% by 2025, reducing total emissions by 6 billion metric tons.
The standard was first proposed in July of 2011 and was backed by Ford, GM, Chrysler, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Volvo along with the United Auto Workers.
“This is truly a watershed moment. Twenty years from now we’ll be looking back on this as the day we chose innovation over stagnation,” said Michelle Robinson, director of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Clean Vehicles program. “These standards will protect consumers from high gas prices, curb global warming pollution, cut our oil use, and create new jobs in the American auto industry and around the nation.”
Many technologies currently exist to achieve these standards including advanced gasoline engines and transmissions, vehicle weight reduction, lower tire rolling resistance, improvements in aerodynamics, diesel engines, more efficient accessories, and improvements in air conditioning systems. Additionally, the program includes incentives to promote early adoption of the standards including:
Incentives for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cells vehicles;
Incentives for hybrid technologies for large pickups and for other technologies that achieve high fuel economy levels on large pickups;
Incentives for natural gas vehicles;
Credits for technologies with potential to achieve real-world greenhouse gas reductions and fuel economy improvements that are not captured by the standards test procedures.
To read the official statement from the White House, click here.