As expected, the Department of Transportation announced today that they are raising the combined fuel efficiency standard for 2011 cars and trucks to 27.3 mpg, 2 miles per gallon above the 2010 average. This move is significant because it's the first increase in passenger car standards in over two decades.
The new standard will require 2011 passenger cars to meet 30.2 mpg and trucks, SUVs and minivans to meet 24.1 mpg. It's definitely a smaller increase than environmentalists were hoping for, but the administration is claiming it's just the first in a series of more aggressive increases that will lead to meeting the 35 mpg standard by 2020 set by a 2007 energy law. Obama has promised that he will get the standard to 40 mpg by 2022.
The DOT says the increase will save 887 million gallons of fuel and reduce CO2 emissions by 8.3 million metric tons.
The DOT is already working with the EPA to set future fuel efficiency rules combined with emission regulations through 2015, which will be released later this year.
written by Tim, March 31, 2009
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