New fuel economy standards call for 54 mpg by 2025

By Luke Geiver | August 02, 2011

The President’s signature will soon seal the deal for the increased debt limit in the U.S., but only half a week earlier, Obama also made his mark on another increase that will affect the U.S. for years to come. The White House has officially released its new fuel economy standards, and by 2025, cars and light trucks model years 2017-‘25 will reach a performance equivalence of 54.5 mpg while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 163 grams per mile.

The White House issued a full report on the new standards titled “Driving Efficiency: Cutting Costs for Families at the Pump and Slashing Dependence on Oil.” The report indicates that the new standards will “save American families money at the pump,” totaling $1.7 trillion in fuel costs over the life of the program. By 2025, 2.2 million barrels a day will be cut from everyday use and over the life of the program a total of 12 billion barrels will be cut. The numbers for GHG reductions show that over the life of the program, the new standards will have helped to cut emissions by more than 6 billion metric tons. A family that purchases a vehicle in 2025 will save $8,200 in fuel costs compared to a vehicle purchased in 2010, the report also indicated.

The president wasn’t alone in forming the new standards. California, the United Auto Workers, other national environmental organizations and stakeholders all helped to form the new standards. Because of the impact of the light-duty vehicle fleet (cars and light trucks) on the nation’s overall use of fossil oil, the White House also said in the report that changes to the fuel economy standards is “one of the most effective ways” to reduce use of foreign-based oil. The report shows that in 2009, for example, 5 billion barrels of petroleum was consumed by the transportation sector, accounting for more than 70 percent of oil consumption in the U.S. Of that 70 percent consumption, 45 percent was consumed by passenger cars and light trucks.

General Motors issued a statement on the new fuel economy targets that called the fuel standards “ambitious,” representing an approach that “provides regulatory certainty for our industry.”

James Lentz, president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor Sales USA, echoed the statements of GM, calling the fuel economy standards “ambitious.” Lentz also added, “Obviously, there is still a great deal of uncertainty as to how the market will respond and what vehicle technologies consumers will embrace, which is why we are rolling out and testing a range of alternative fuel options.”

Numbers from the White House’s report also show that from 2005-‘09, the average household spent $2,200 on gasoline and motor oil. In real dollar terms, however, the report showed that the $2,200 amount is more than twice what households spent from 1985-‘99.  


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