56 MPG Average Fuel Economy Standard Planned for 2025

By Paul Riegler on 26 June 2011
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The U.S. government could require automakers to have a fleet-wide average of 56.2 mpg (4.18 l/100 km) for its cars and trucks by the year 2025 when new standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions cars and trucks are announced in September for the period from 2017 to 2025.

Current standards for passenger vehicles are 30.2 mpg  (7.78 l/100 km) while  light trucks must average 24.1 mpg (9.75).  The figure for passenger cars is set to rise to 35.5 mpg (6.62 l/100 km)  in 2016.

Although nothing has been finalized, the Detroit News reported that federal regulators disclosed these plans in meetings with automakers in Detroit in recent days.

If implemented, the new rules would essentially double current fuel-economy standards and vehicle prices could increase prices by a minimum of two thousand dollars.  Thanks to the improved improved fuel economy, however,  the additional costs should be something one can amortize (depending on driving habits) in under three years so savings would accrue over the life of the car.

The regulations will be accompanied by stringent greenhouse gas emissions requirements.  California, which has had its own pollution and fuel economy standards in the past, is working with other states to set their own requirements for 2017-2025 although it has promised not to enact its own standards prior to then.  The potential for a number of different standards, both state and regional, would cause confusion for buyers and result in higher costs for new car buyers as well as automakes.

The proposed standards are by no means final and are likely to be adjusted over the coming weeks as additional meetings with automakers and environmentalists take place.