Technology.am (May 20, 2009) — US President announced plans to establish more stringent national auto mileage standards, a move that will speed up the arrival of energy-efficient technologies such as hybrid cars and diesel engines.
President Obama pledged to put 1 million plug-in hybrids on the road by 2015.
This proposal creates a single fuel economy standard for the U.S. and regulates greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks.
The plan calls for a 5 percent annual increase in car makers’ fleet-wide fuel efficiency starting in 2012. The standard, which addresses cars and light trucks, will be 35.5 miles per gallon in 2016, four years sooner than previously planned.
The policy will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil in the next five years, the equivalent of taking 58 million cars off the road for a year, according to the White House.
“This new agreement will go a long way toward preserving the widest possible range of consumer choice in new vehicle purchases, (and) allow sufficient lead time for manufacturers to thoroughly engineer and test next-generation technologies before they are launched to the public,” said Michael Stanton, the CEO of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers.
The speeded-up efficiency rules will add about $600 to the price of producing a vehicle compared to the current law, according to reports. But the higher efficiency will mean that consumers will be able to recoup that cost in about three years, Obama said in his speech. “Yes, it costs money to develop these vehicles, but even as the price to build these cars and trucks goes up, the cost of driving these vehicles will go down, as drivers save money at the pump,” he said.