Environmental groups say new fuel economy standards will reduce US oil dependence and air pollution

New gasoline standards for cars and light trucks set by the US Department of Transportation and the US EPA won final approval on Tuesday after several months of public review and hearings.

The new mileage standards will require that American cars get an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The EPA touted the change as a near doubling of fuel efficiency for cars, and predicted the effect on consumers would be like lowering the price of gasoline by $1 a gallon. Overall, the measure will save consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gas pump and reduce U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels, according to the EPA.

GM’s 20/20 vision

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

There’s a chart on fueleconomy.gov that’s a graphic illustration of what happened to GM. The chart is a compilation of 2009 hybrid vehicles. It lists 27 hybrid vehicles in descending order from the highest mileage cars to the lowest.

At the top of the chart, perch some of the highest mileage vehicles available on the market, the Toyota Prius, the Honda Civic and the Nissan Altima. The top two clock in at 40 mpg and up. The Altima at 33-35 mpg.

The lowest mileage vehicles reside at the bottom of the chart. And the bottom five are all GM products: The GMC Yukon, Chevy Tahoe, GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Silverado and Cadillac Escalade.