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Jul 292011

From Green Right Now Reports

America’s cars and trucks will average about 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 under the second phase of the Obama Administration’s national vehicle program, which is backed by 13 automakers.

GM's Cruze 4 cyl. automatic gets 26/36 mpg.

Ford, GM, Chrysler, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar/Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Volvo — which represent more than 90 percent of the cars and light trucks sold in the US, all back the plan, which was formally announced today.

“We’ve set an aggressive target and the companies are stepping up to the plate,” said President Obama, who called the plan the single most important step the nation has taken to reduce its oil dependence.

The EPA estimates that the new standards will save consumers vast sums at the pump, dramatically increase US energy security and slash greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles:

  • Consumers should save about $1.7 trillion at the pump in aggregate (from 2011 to Model Year 2025) and $8,000 per vehicle by 2025.
  • Foreign oil consumption would be cut in half by 2025; reduced by 2.2 million barrels a day, which is about 50 percent of the oil imports from OPEC every day.
  • The standards will cut 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.

Ramping up vehicle efficiency also should generate new, well-paying jobs as automakers develop new technologies and manufacturing techniques to build and deploy a greener fleet, according to the EPA and the US Department of Transportation.

Ford Fiesta, 29/38 mpg.

“This is another important step toward saving money for drivers, breaking our dependence on imported oil and cleaning up the air we breathe,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “American consumers are calling for cleaner cars that won’t pollute their air or break their budgets at the gas pump, and our innovative American automakers are responding with plans for some of the most fuel efficient vehicles in our history.”

The new standards will be staged in, with passenger car requirements set to become more about five percent more stringent each year and pick-ups and other light-duty trucks increasing an average of 3.5 percent annually for the first five model years and about five percent annually for the last four model years of the program.

In addition to the car makers, the agreement is backed by the United Autoworkers and the state of California, which has been pushing for emissions improvements.
The EPA and the National Transportation Safety Board plan to publish details and cost analyses of the proposal by September, after which the plan will be open for public comment.

Learn more about the proposed new standards at Driving Efficiency:  Cutting Costs for Families at the Pump and Slashing Dependence on Oil.

In a news release, the EPA said that the agencies involved — the EPA and DOT — are considering “a number of incentive programs” to encourage the early adoption of “game changing” improvements such as:

  • Incentives for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and fuel cell vehicles.
  • Incentives for advanced technology packages for large pickups, such as hybrids.
  • Credits for technologies able to reduce CO2 emissions and fuel economy improvements that go beyond the standards.