The move looks to cut oil consumption/dependency, greenhouse gas emissions and encourage green vehicle adoption

The long-discussed 54.5 mpg fuel efficiency standards were finalized by the White House today, which will boost fuel economy in cars and light trucks by the year 2025. 
The new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards aim to save consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gas pump, cut U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6 billion metric tons over the course of the program, and encourage the adoption of autos like electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids. 
"These fuel standards represent the single most important step we've ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil," said U.S. President Barack Obama. "This historic agreement builds on the progress we've already made to save families money at the pump and cut our oil consumption. By the middle of the next decade, our cars will get nearly 55 miles per gallon, almost double what they get today. It'll strengthen our nation's energy security, it's good for middle class families and it will help create an economy built to last."
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOTs) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) created the new CAFE standards. The DOT and EPA issued the rules today. 
"Simply put, this groundbreaking program will result in vehicles that use less gas, travel farther and provide more efficiency for consumers than ever before -- all while protecting the air we breathe and giving automakers the regulatory certainty to build the cars of the future here in America," said Ray LaHood, Transportation Secretary. "Today, automakers are seeing their more fuel-efficient vehicles climb in sales, while families already saving money under the Administration's first fuel economy efforts will save even more in the future, making this announcement a victory for everyone."

 President Obama admires a Chevrolet Volt

The Obama Administration's first standards raised average fuel efficiency to 35.5 mpg by 2016. It was intended for cars and light trucks during model years 2011-2016. The aim for these standards was similar to those for 2017-2025 standards, where cutting oil consumption/dependence, greenhouse gas emissions and increasing green auto adoption were key. 
"The fuel efficiency standards the administration finalized today are another example of how we protect the environment and strengthen the economy at the same time," said Lisa P. Jackson, EPA Administrator. "Innovation and economic growth are already reinvigorating the auto industry and the thousands of businesses that supply automakers as they create and produce the efficient vehicles of tomorrow. Clean, efficient vehicles are also cutting pollution and saving drivers money at the pump."
The 54.5 mpg CAFE standards have been debated for over a year now, with many opposing the idea. Some of those that fought the new standards were Republicans, some automakers and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). Why? Mainly because they all feared that the standards would regulate most new vehicles that sell for under $15,000 out of existence. NADA even went as far as to say that the 54.5 mpg standard would tack on another $5,000 to new 2025 model prices and boot 7 million Americans from the new car market. 
But in July 2011, 13 automakers, which make up more than 90 percent of vehicles sold in the U.S., combined, agreed to the new CAFE rules. The 13 automakers were Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Honda, BMW, Jaguar/Land Rover, Hyundai, Mazda, Kia, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Volvo and Toyota. 

Source: The White House

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