The Obama administration announced new fuel economy rules in late August. The new more stringent guidelines require that the U.S. auto fleet average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, according to the Detroit Free Press. Unlike regulations in the past, this administration’s energy policy was endorsed by auto industry and environmentalists alike.
The Van Buren Township research center and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency assessed the feasibility of the 2025 year model target. Overall, it translates to a 63% improvement over the efficiency of today’s current models. However, while it is a challenge, it is deemed possible.
The changes have been driven by multiple factors. The guidelines are meant to significantly cut U.S. oil consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the time they are implemented. Rising oil prices have changed consumer demand as well- fuel efficiency is at the top of shopping priorities, regardless of the size or type of car they are buying, according to the Washington Post.
The transition will not be the result of a single technology, but rather a series of innovations and changes. The guidelines come atop the fuel economy guidelines already imposed by the Obama administration. All American-made cars and light trucks average 34.5 mpg by 2016. The second phase of standards are expected to double the efficiency of the U.S. fleet compared with vehicles manufactured in 2008.
Of course, as with every improvement, there has to be tradeoffs. The new vehicles will be much more efficient, but at a price. Some auto manufacturers predict the new models could increase the price of new vehicles by about 3,000. Consumers may have to downsize their vehicles, and driver smaller cars.
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