In 2010, our National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the EPA established passenger vehicle and light truck fuel economy standards for model years 2012-16. We estimate that the new rule will lead to a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) of 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016, a 24 percent increase from 2011. The rule also introduced the first-ever greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger vehicles.
Now that we're nearly six months into 2013, it's clear that the Obama Administration's standards have already begun making a difference.
Today, Consumers Union --part of Consumer Reports-- hosted an event with experts from government and the private sector discussing what higher fuel economy means for consumers and how they can take advantage of it.
NHTSA Administrator David Strickland participated, and he had some good news: Cars sold in the United States are using less fuel in our cars and consumers are saving money at the pump.
In combination with the CAFE standards set for model years 2017-2025, we estimate that Obama Administration initiatives will:
- Save American drivers more than $1.7 trillion at the pump by 2025.
- Reduce America’s dependence on oil by an estimated 12 billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles, and, by 2025, reduce oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels per day—more than a quarter of the current level of our foreign oil imports.
- Slash six billion metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions over the life of the Administration’s programs.
To achieve that, they're using more new technologies than ever before to help cut fuel consumption in gas and diesel vehicles, technologies like variable valve timing, dual-clutch transmissions, direct injection, and reduced tire resistance. They're also working with design changes and new materials to reduce vehicle weight and drag.
Our standards are also designed to preserve consumer choice. We believe the standards will enable the same range of vehicles that is available in the market today to be available in the future, except with better fuel economy and lower emissions.
I'm proud that NHTSA and the Department are playing an active role in helping the U.S. lead the world not only in safety, but in the greening of our nation's vehicles. It's a win for consumers, manufacturers, our economy, and the environment.