In 2025, new cars and light duty trucks will achieve 54.5 mpg thanks to new fuel economy standards finalized this week by the Obama administration. The new standards, issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the EPA, will double the fuel efficiency of American cars when combined with the standards set in 2009 for 2011 to 2016 models (35.5 mpg). The new standards will save consumers over $1.7 trillion and reduce U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels.
The Obama administration’s standards will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cars and light trucks by 50 percent by 2025. Over the life of the program, six billion metric tons of GHG emissions will be prevented from entering the atmosphere. To put that number in perspective, it’s more than the total amount of U.S. carbon emissions in 2010. The standards will also reduce reliance on foreign oil, saving 12 billion barrels of oil and reducing oil consumption by over two million barrels a day by 2025 – about half of the oil imported from OPEC every day. The net savings for model year 2025 vehicles will compare to lowering gas prices by approximately $1 per gallon.
The program includes targeted incentives to encourage early adoption and introduction into marketplace of advanced technologies, which include:
- Incentives for electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid EVs, and fuel cell 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 GHG reductions and fuel economy improvements that are not captured by the standards test procedures
“These fuel standards represent the single most important step we’ve ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said President Obama. “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.”
Environmental organizations are pleased with the new standards. Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, praised the standards, calling them a “welcomed antidote to the public perception of a gridlocked Washington utterly incapable of producing a positive result for the good of our country.”
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson also praised the new standards. “The fuel efficiency standards the administration finalized today are another example of how we protect the environment and strengthen the economy at the same time,” Jackson said.
Photo: Flickr user, stradablog
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