CAFE new standard demands 26 mpg trucks by 2016

U.S. President Obama has announced new CAFE fuel economy standards for automakers, joined by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and UAW boss Ron Gettelfinger, among various other politicians. Obama said the agreement was a “historic agreement to help America break its addiction to oil.”

Currently, the DOT manages fuel economy, the EPA deals with emissions, and California uses the Clean Air Act to come up with their stringent rules. This could create a situation where car makers have to deal with rules from three agencies. The new rule is a national standard that CA will support and the DOT and EPA will both adopt.

The CAFE standard will increase by 5% every year, building on the 2011 standard, until 2016. This means an industry-wide standard of 35.5 mpg by 2016, or an average increase of 8 mpg per vehicle.
Drivers will recoup the additional cost to buy one of these more-efficient vehicles in three years. Drivers will, over the life of the vehicle, apparently save $2,800 on average.

Obama said the new rule will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the next five years, and is the projected equivalent of taking 58 million vehicles off the road.

The new CAFE standards create a national standard while incorporating California’s strict emissions rules to raise the national fleet mpg average to 42 mpg for cars and 26 mpg for light trucks for an overall average of 35.5 mpg by 2016. Current CAFE standards require an automaker’s fleet of cars to average 27.5 mpg and trucks must get 24 mpg.

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