I had the opportunity today to listen in on the press call held by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where they announced that they are finalizing the national standard for fuel efficiency for passenger vehicles and light duty trucks for model years 2017-2025. The official press release is available on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration‘s site.
|From Proposed 2011 Fuel Economy report whitehouse.gov|
Secretary RayLaHood and Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced that the Obama Administration, working with the auto industry, is essentially doubling the fuel efficiency standards for passenger vehicles and light duty trucks to an fleet wide average of 54.5 MPG by 2025.
These new standards will also:
- cut oil consumption by 12 billion barrels
- save $1.7 trillion dollars over the life of the program
- save 6 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions
Administrator Jackson said that this historic standard will do more to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and reduce our green house gas emissions than any previous program in the history of our country. She said that the overall savings is like eliminating our car emissions for one year. By 2025, we will be saving 2 million barrels of oil per day, or about half of what we import from OPEC.
The new fuel efficiency standard will save the average vehicle $8,000 in fuel costs over its lifetime and only add as much as $1,800 to the initial costs according to Secretary LaHood. Administrator Jackson also made it clear that historically, the price increase has been less than estimated as auto makers figure out the best ways to meet the new standards.
The ramp up to the higher efficiencies will occur faster for cars, allowing for more time for the technology to develop for trucks. The Obama Administration has the support for the new standards from 13 major auto makers in the US representing over 90% of the vehicles sold in the country. For the first time in decades we have one standard covering both state and federal requirements that the auto industry can innovate towards. Also, the efficiency requirements increase steadily, year to year, not a dramatic change.
The CAFE standards for model years 2014-2018 has already created over 250,000 new jobs in the auto industry since June 2009 according to Secretary LaHood.
The historic fuel efficiency standard marks a great achievement for President Obama, his Administration, the automobile industry and the American consumers by cutting costs for families at the pump, slashing dependence on oil and reducing green house gas emissions.
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