Prepare to spend less time at the gas station, if the US federal government has anything to do about it. President Obama has doubled the fuel mileage goals for America’s automotive fleet from 27.3 miles per gallon to 54.5 miles per gallon. According to the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy, which the 13 major auto makers support, a company’s cars and light duty trucks are expected to get nearly 55 miles per gallon on a tank of gas when taken as a whole group. That number covers electric vehicles and hybrids, so cars like the Ford Fusion, Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, and Toyota Prius will cover up for the sins of, say, a Dodge Challenger with a Hemi (though the Challenger gets well over 28 miles per gallon on the highway).
Obama seems proud of his new standards, saying they “represent the single most important step we’ve ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. This historic agreement builds on the progress we’ve already made to save families money at the pump and cut our oil consumption.”
So how are fleets going to double their fuel efficiency in 13 or so years? Hybrids, I guess. They have done wonders improving fuel efficiency in standard engines, as well, thanks to neat tricks like variable valve technology and lighter, safer vehicles of all sizes. Here’s hoping they’re able to do this while still keeping powerful, awesome sports and muscle-type cars on the road. The last thing I want to do is trade my Challenger in for a Leaf.
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