55 miles per gallon fuel efficiency, a pipe dream?
July 30, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama recently announced a historic agreement with 13 major automakers to pursue the next phase in the administration’s national vehicle program, increasing fuel economy to 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light-duty trucks by model year 2025. The president was joined by Ford, GM, Chrysler, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Volvo – which together account for over 90% of all vehicles sold in the United States – as well as the United Auto Workers (UAW), and the State of California, who were integral to developing this agreement.

“This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we’ve ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said President Obama. ”Most of the companies here today were part of an agreement we reached two years ago to raise the fuel efficiency of their cars over the next five years. We’ve set an aggressive target and the companies are stepping up to the plate. By 2025, the average fuel economy of their vehicles will nearly double to almost 55 miles per gallon.”

Building on the Obama administration’s agreement for vehicles from model years 2012-2016, which will raise fuel efficiency to 35.5 mpg, the next round of standards will require performance equivalent to 54.5 mpg or 163 grams/ mile of CO2 for cars and light-duty trucks by model year 2025. According to the EPA, achieving the goals of this historic agreement will rely on innovative technologies and manufacturing that will spur economic growth and create high-quality domestic jobs in cutting edge industries across America.

The EPA reports that these programs, combined with the model year 2011 light truck standard, represent the first "meaningful update to fuel efficiency standards in three decades," spanning model years 2011 to 2025.

"Together, they will save American families $1.7 trillion dollars in fuel costs, and by 2025 result in an average fuel savings of over $8,000 per vehicle," Ben Washburn, EPA representative claimed. Additionally, he says, "these programs will dramatically cut the oil we consume, saving a total of 12 billion barrels of oil, and by 2025 reduce oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels a day – as much as half of the oil we import from OPEC every day."

The standards also curb carbon pollution, cutting more than 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas over the life of the program – more than the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the United States last year. The oil savings, consumer, and environmental benefits of this comprehensive program are detailed in a new report entitled Driving Efficiency: Cutting Costs for Families at the Pump and Slashing Dependence on Oil, which the administration has released.

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