Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Optimistic Forecasts for Fuel Economy Standards
Last week, President Barack Obama announced the next phase of a program to boost the fuel efficiency of vehicles sold in the U.S., aiming to decrease dependence on foreign oil, reduce pollution and lower costs for motorists.
The new fuel economy standards state that by model year 2025, the average American car or truck will get 54.5 miles a gallon (the average car currently gets 23.8 mpg).
The administration says it worked with auto workers, union representatives, manufacturers and environmental leaders to craft the requirements.
Last week's announcement follows up on a plan that the administration implemented in 2009, that, according to the White House, is estimated to save 1.8 billion barrels of oil -- and save consumers up to $3,000 at the pump -- over the lifetimes of vehicles from model years 2012-2016.
The administration projects that the changes will spur production of more electric and hybrid vehicles from manufacturers and more clean-diesel, efficient SUVs and sedans. Automakers are expected to be more motivated to make smart, innovative cars and trucks -- from the materials they choose down to the design of their engines and transmissions. The administration also predicts that start-up companies in the clean-energy sector and in advanced battery manufacturing, will get more work, helping to create jobs.
The administration additionally forecasts:
-- Saving of 12 billion barrels of oil and elimination of 6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution.
-- Buyers of new cars in 2025 will save $8,200 in fuel costs, compared with what they'd pay for gas for a similar vehicle bought in 2010.
-- American drivers will save nearly $2 trillion over the life of the program.