New Fuel Economy Standards to Require 54.5 mpg by 2025

By Paul Riegler on 16 November 2011
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency announced new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for 2017-2025 which, if approved, will double current fuel efficiency requirements to 54.5 mpg by 2025.  The new standards could cost the automotive industry as much as $157 billion but may portend good news for diesels and other fuel efficient vehicles.

In promulgating the new standards, the two agencies said that drivers will save more at the pump despite substantially higher vehicle costs that could average $2,023.

In a prepared statement, the agencies said that the new standards will save more than $1.7 trillion in fuel, roughly $8,000 per vehicle by 2025, and have a net benefit of at least $358 billion.

Current fuel efficiency standards introduced for the period 2012-2016 will bring the average fuel efficiency of a new car to 35.5 mpg by 2016.

Fuel economy requirements will be based on the size of a specific vehicle.  Smaller cars, such as a Honda Fit, would have to average 61.1 mpg by 2025 while a mid-sized sedan such as a Ford Fusion would need to average 54.9 mpg.   A large pickup such as a Chevrolet Silverado would need to hit a 33 mpg figure.

In May, the EPA and DOT announced new fuel economy labels for new cars which would rate the vehicle from 1 to 10 on fuel economy and smog pollution and provide a five-year estimate of fuel costs compared to an average vehicle in the same class.