Energy Tip of the Week (10/3/11)

Posted: October 3, 2011

New fuel economy standards announced for U.S. cars

By Philip Proefrock
Posted Wed Aug 3, 2011 11:03am PDT

The White House, EPA, and NHTSA have announced new CAFE standards for cars and light trucks. CAFE is the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard which governs the efficiency of new vehicles. The new standards begin to take effect in the 2017 model year, when the fleet average should be 35.5 MPG (from the previous standard, which covers the 2012-2016 model years). The new rule extends to 2025, when average fuel economy for cars and light-duty trucks is to be 54.5 miles per gallon.

The new guidelines will almost double automotive fuel efficiency standards from where they were when the administration began to press for higher efficiency. "EPA currently intends to propose standards that would be projected to achieve, on an average industry fleet wide basis, 163 grams/mile of CO2 in model year 2025 (this would be equivalent, on a mpg-equivalent basis, to 54.5 mpg if all of the CO2 emissions reductions were achieved with fuel economy technology.)"

Under these new guidelines, consumers should save $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, and average fuel savings are expected to be worth $8,000 pre vehicle by 2025. Furthermore, emissions should be cut by 6 billion metric tons over the life of the program, which is "more than the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the United States last year."

Last Updated: October 3, 2011