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Obama and car makers agree new fuel efficiency standards

02 August 2011
Obama and car makers agree new fuel efficiency standards

NEW YORK: President Obama has announced the next crucial phase in the fuel efficiency standards, which have been agreed with leading car makers to increase fuel efficiency and reduce the greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted from all new vehicles sold in the US.

Obama made the announcement during an event at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on July 29, of which leading auto industry executives including Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford attended. During the event Obama stated: "This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we've ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil." 

The new standards support the Administration’s plans to not only reduce the US’s dependence on oil, but also to protect the environment and save consumers money

Expanding on existing fuel efficiency standards for 2011-2016, the new, more stringent standards, cover passenger cars and light trucks from 2017 to 2025. The outcome of this policy will result in a significant increase in fleetwide average performance to 54.5 mpg and a reduction in GHG emissions to 163 grams per mile.

The standards have been developed in partnership with leading car manufacturers, the State of California, the United Auto Workers and other stakeholders including national environmental organizations. 

The standards are pivotal to the Administration’s energy policy, which seeks to reduce oil dependence with improved energy efficiency and cleaner alternative fuels.

With the new standards in place:

  • Consumers will save an estimated US $1.7 trillion dollars in fuel costs
  • 12 billion barrels of oil will be saved
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will be reduced by over 6 million metric tons, which is equal to the emissions released from the US last year.

Evan Juska, Head of US Policy, The Climate Group, says: “Friday’s announcement represents a significant milestone in the US effort to reduce carbon emissions from the transport sector and dependence on oil.  Expanding fuel efficiency standards to 2025 will encourage automakers to invest in new technologies, like electric vehicles, that will be essential to meeting the more stringent standards, and achieving the nations’ energy security and climate change goals.”     

Read the full report.

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