Vehicles of 2017 could get 54.5 mpg

Nov 21, 2011 By Sandy Bauers

One of the most powerful points in Thomas Friedman's book, "Hot, Flat and Crowded," was that when President Ronald Reagan rolled back fuel efficiency standards for American vehicles, it wasted an amount of petroleum equivalent to what's under the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Quite an image.

Since then, economy standards have eked upward.

The Obama administration recently announced standards for model year 2017-2025 passenger cars and . The proposal calls for increases in fuel efficiency equivalent to 54.5 mpg - if all reductions were made through fuel economy improvements. So clearly there's wiggle room here for other improvements to add up to fuel efficiency.

The latest standard, for model year vehicles 2012-2016, will raise equivalent to 35.5 mpg by 2016.

According to the , cars, SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks are responsible for nearly 60 percent of U.S. transportation-related petroleum use and . The agency says that today's proposed standards would reduce by 4 billion barrels and cut 2 billion metric tons of over the lifetimes of the vehicles sold in those years.

On the level of an individual consumer, the agency said that the new standards would cost an average of up to $6,600 in fuel costs over the lifetime of a model year 2025 vehicle for a net lifetime savings of $4,400 after factoring in related increases in vehicle cost.

"Overall, the net benefit to society from this rule would total more than $420 billion over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in model year 2017-2025," the EPA said in a press release.

Environmental groups praised the move.

"The Obama administration's clean cars proposal represents the biggest step ever taken to end America's addition to Big Oil," said Jillian Hertzberg, Clean Vehicles Associate with Environment America, in a press release. "By making the cars and trucks of the future cleaner and more fuel efficient, these standards will reap big benefits for our environment, our health and our economy."

Explore further: Are electric cars greener? Depends on where you live

More information: Read more about the proposal: www.nhtsa.gov/fuel-economy

3.6 /5 (5 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Obama to announce new car efficiency standards

Jul 27, 2011

US President Barack Obama will later this week unveil new fuel efficiency standards for passenger cars and light trucks for the 2017-2025 period, the White House said Wednesday.

US finalizes new auto fuel economy standards

Apr 01, 2010

The US government Thursday finalized new automobile fuel economy standards starting with 2012 models, a move officials said would save billions of barrels of oil and reduce greenhouse emissions.

Obama to unveil new vehicle emission policy

May 21, 2010

US President Barack Obama will unveil a new national policy on fuel efficiency and vehicle emissions Friday, including support to develop electric cars, the White House said.

Recommended for you

Are electric cars greener? Depends on where you live

Nov 25, 2014

Long thought a thing of the future, electric cars are becoming mainstream. Sales in the United States of plug-in, electric vehicles nearly doubled last year. Credible forecasts see the number rising within ...

Building a better battery

Nov 25, 2014

Imagine an electric car with the range of a Tesla Model S - 265 miles - but at one-fifth the $70,000 price of the luxury sedan. Or a battery able to provide many times more energy than today's technology ...

User comments : 9

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Doug_Huffman
4.5 / 5 (8) Nov 21, 2011
From Sault Ste. Marie to Montreal in September on my way to Vermont I got 55.78 mpg in a loaded 2003 VW Jetta Wagen TDI diesel. On US interstates at indicated 77 mph I typically get near 51 mpg.
TheQuietMan
2.4 / 5 (5) Nov 21, 2011
I remember the 55MPH speed limit. It wasted something much more precious to me, my time.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Nov 22, 2011
I get 49MPG...On a german Autobahn (No...55MPH is not the speed limit, there. I go almost double that). On local roads, where the speed limit is a bit over 60MPH I get 55MPG.

Where is the problem? Why do some car manufacturers need to strain to get these values when it's obviously already being done?
PinkElephant
4.7 / 5 (3) Nov 22, 2011
Where is the problem?
a) They are talking about gasoline as fuel in those MPG ratings, NOT diesel.

b) U.S. cars tend to be bigger and heavier

c) U.S. road surfaces tend to really suck in comparison to German autobahns (I've driven on both, so I know this from direct experience)

d) They are talking about FLEET AVERAGE fuel economy. That means ordinary and compact cars would have to greatly exceed the average, because pickup trucks/SUVs/minivans will be below that average.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2011
a) They are talking about gasoline as fuel in those MPG ratings, NOT diesel.

I use gasoline. Not diesel.

U.S. cars tend to be bigger and heavier

True. But there's no real point why this should be so.

U.S. road surfaces tend to really suck in comparison to German autobahns (I've driven on both, so I know this from direct experience)

Me too. I agree. Road surfaces (and tires) suck in the US (at least in some parts. West coast didn't seem that bad with respect to road conditions). But that also doesn't need to stay that way.

because pickup trucks/SUVs/minivans will be below that average.

They should stop selling that crap to people. No one needs them apart from the occasional business or the one-in-a-million outdoor enthusiast.

PinkElephant
4 / 5 (3) Nov 22, 2011
True. But there's no real point why this should be so.
In some ways, it's inevitable. Most U.S. cars need AC systems, for instance (summers get much hotter than in Germany.) There's stricter safety requirements as well, which means more weight.
No one needs them apart from the occasional business or the one-in-a-million outdoor enthusiast.
Unfortunately, not true. Much of U.S. is built up in the form of suburbia. People drive everywhere, and they frequently need to haul a lot of crap from place to place (you would too, if you had to travel 15 miles roundtrip just for groceries, of if you had to take your kids and a couple of friends to some state fair 30 miles away...)

If we had denser population centers with more public transport... But that won't happen any time soon. What's done is done, and now we have to sleep in it.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2011
In some ways, it's inevitable. Most U.S. cars need AC systems, for instance (summers get much hotter than in Germany.)

What do you think we have? Toaster ovens? There's probably not a car on the road that doesn't have AC by now (and uses it).

(you would too, if you had to travel 15 miles roundtrip just for groceries, of if you had to take your kids and a couple of friends to some state fair 30 miles away...)

I haul groceries, too. Whether you drive 2km or 200km to a fair/go shopping doesn't make a bit of a difference to the size of the car you need. And I have yet to see anyone who NEEDS a SUV or truck to haul groceries.

And the 'state fair'/'soccer mom' argument is bogus. That happens what - like twice a year? You can find alternatives for that (e.g. just renting a car for that one occasion - which is what I do when I have to haul some furniture ).

And no - I haven't used public transport for years. A normal sized car is sufficient for almost anything.
CapitalismPrevails
1 / 5 (1) Nov 22, 2011
"The agency says that today's proposed standards would reduce oil consumption by 4 billion barrels and cut 2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution over the lifetimes of the vehicles sold in those years."

Not necessarily. In having more fuel efficiency the consumer will have less fuel cost and therefore will drive more and emit more EVIL greenhouse gas emissions than before. But these vehicles are expensive to begin with so the principal cost of the car may incentize consumers not to drive so often. It also depends on the price of oil. These EPA dunderheads are not forecasting dynamically and have no sense of economics.
antialias_physorg
2 / 5 (1) Nov 22, 2011
In having more fuel efficiency the consumer will have less fuel cost and therefore will drive more and emit more EVIL greenhouse gas emissions than before.

Riiiight. Because you always ask yourself before every trip: Can I afford it? Nah. Gas is too expensive. Guess I won't take the trip.

That's total BS.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.