Environment

Aug 29, 2012 12:04 PM by Lauren Molenburg

New mileage standards would double fuel efficiency

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration has finalized regulations that will force automakers to nearly double the average gas mileage of all new cars and trucks they sell by 2025.

The rules mean that all new vehicles would have to get an average of 54.5 miles per gallon in 13 years, up from 28.6 mpg at the end of last year. The requirements will be phased in gradually between now and then, and automakers could be fined if they don't comply.

The regulations, announced Tuesday, will change the cars and trucks sold in U.S. showrooms, with the goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption. Automakers will need to improve gasoline-powered engines, and sell more alternative fuel vehicles. Critics say the rules will make cars unaffordable by adding thousands of dollars to the sticker price.

The administration estimates that the new rules, combined with those that began in 2011, will raise the cost of a new car about $2,800 by 2025. The estimates are based on 2010 dollars. But the government says the net savings from the requirements still will be $3,500 to $5,000 because people will spend less on gas.

The administration says the latest changes will save families up to $7,400 on fuel over the life of a vehicle.

The standards also are the biggest step the U.S. government has ever taken toward cutting greenhouse gas emissions, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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