The New US Mileage Regulations

The race for a greener way of traveling by car heats up today, as the Obama administration will present the country's new national tailpipe emissions standards and mileage requirements. The changes are severe, as all manufacturers must now comply with a fleet-wide average of 35.5 miles per gallon (6.6l/100 km) by no later than 2016, with an average of 5 percent each year, Detroit News reported.

In terms of costs, this will mean an extra $1,300 for every vehicle built, amounting to in between $13 billion and $20 billion, according to the total numbers of vehicles sold today. That amount is $600 more than in the previous planned fuel efficiency increase.

The new regulations, first submitted by California and 13 other states will be now enforced in all of the US. For cars, the mileage standards will stand at 39 miles per gallon 96l/100 km), while for light trucks at 30 miles per gallon (7.8l/100 km).

"The Obama administration has brought together the federal government, the state of California, and the auto industry behind new national automobile emissions standards that follow California's lead," Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee was quoted as saying by the source. "This is good news for all of us who have fought long and hard to reduce global warming pollution, create clean energy jobs, and reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil."

Overall, the new regulations will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil and eliminate 900 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, about the same as if 177 million cars and trucks will be taken off the road, an administration official said, without mentioning if these savings will be achieved in one, two or twenty years.

Manufacturers, at least at first glance, agree with the new policy.

"GM is fully committed to this new approach. As the President has previously said, all stakeholders must come together and act with a common purpose and sense of urgency to address the nation's energy and environmental priorities," Fritz Henderson, GM's CEO said.

"The big winner is customers. A unified national program ensures American consumers will have the choice of vehicles they want and need, as well as the fuel efficiency and low emissions they expect, without the potential confusion of multiple standards," James Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales added.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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