The United States government’s new fuel efficiency standards will be set at 54.5 miles per gallon. In late August, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set new standards that will increase fuel economy for cars and light-duty trucks by model year 2025.

According to the Obama administration, the new plan’s consumer savings are comparable to lowering the price of gasoline by one dollar a gallon. The new fuel efficiency standards will save Americans more than $1.7 trillion dollars in fuel costs, resulting in an average fuel savings of more than $8,000 by 2025 over the lifetime of the vehicle.

New standards by the Obama administration for cars and light trucks for model years 2011-2016 have raised fuel efficiency to 35.5 mpg by 2016.

“These fuel standards represent the single most important step we’ve ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said United States President Barack 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.”

The Obama Administration’s new fuel efficiency standards outline a plan to double the current fuel efficiency and MPG by 2025. Credit: Ford Motor Company.

Last year, 13 major automakers, which account for more than 90 percent of all vehicles sold in the United States, announced their support for the new standards.
“Simply put, this groundbreaking program will result in vehicles that use less gas, travel farther, and provide more efficiency for consumers than ever before,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “All while protecting the air we breathe and giving automakers the regulatory certainty to build the cars of the future here in America.”

The standards also represent historic progress to reduce carbon pollution. Combined, the administration’s standards will cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks in half by 2025, reducing emissions by 6 billion metric tons over the life of the program – more than the total amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the United States in 2010.

Major auto manufacturers are already developing advanced technologies that can significantly reduce fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions beyond the existing model year 2012-2016 standards. In addition, a wide range of technologies are currently available for automakers to meet the new 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. The program also includes targeted incentives to encourage early adoption and introduction into the marketplace of advanced technologies to dramatically improve vehicle performance, 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.

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