While many American automakers are already shifting toward more fuel-efficient vehicles to please consumers aiming to save at the gas pump, the White House has made an official move in that direction. A new rule announced by the Environmental Protection Agency and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today says the U.S.’ fleet of vehicles must average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
There are existing standards that require all cars and light trucks to average 34.5 mpg by 2016. The EPA says this will reduce our nation’s oil consumption and cut down on green gas emissions when everything goes into effect.
You know what using less oil means — gas customers will feel less pain at the pump. Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of our elder siblings at Consumer Reports is all about this new regulation, as it’s pretty pro-consumer.
“These standards mean consumers will be able to save thousands of dollars on gasoline over the lifetime of their vehicle,” said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for Consumers Union. “This is an achievable target that will make a positive impact in people’s everyday lives. Increasing fuel efficiency in the next generation of vehicles goes beyond simple savings. It also helps lower oil consumption and cuts pollution while consumers save money on gasoline. ”
As the Washington Post notes, this new level of fuel standards will double the efficiency of the American fleet, compared with vehicles made in 2008. The rules will apply to vehicles made in 2017 to 2025.
And unlike other environmental initiatives, this one seems pretty popular not just with the Obama administration, but with automakers as well.
“Customers want higher fuel efficiency in their cars and trucks, and GM is going to give it to them,” said Greg Martin, General Motors’ executive director for communications. “We expect the rules to be tough, but we have a strong history of innovation, and we’ll do our best to meet them.”