The U.S. government announced new fuel efficiency standards for all manufacturers of cars and light trucks, requiring an average fuel efficiency of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 — a 30 percent increase over today’s cars.
The move was a validation for 13 states that led the way through adoption of California’s tougher emissions standards.
The standards are good news for the environment because car emissions represent about one-fifth of America’s greenhouse gases. Reductions of emissions by 21 percent are expected by 2030 — the equivalent to taking 50 million cars and light trucks off the road in 20 years.
The standards also influence America’s national security by reducing dependence on foreign oil.
Although the standards will add extra cost upfront to sticker prices — $434 per vehicle in the 2012 model year and $926 per vehicle by 2016 — drivers will save $3,000 at the pump throughout the life of a new vehicle.
(READ more in the Department of Transportation Press Release) Photo: Auto executives support the new standards – White House photo