CNN Money Reports: The Obama administration on Tuesday is set to propose stricter fuel economy standards in an effort to cut down vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. The plan will require passenger cars and light trucks to get an overall average of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, according to a senior administration official with knowledge of the plan. By that year, cars will be expected to average about 39 mpg and 30 mpg for trucks.
Current fuel economy standards are 27.5 mpg for cars and 23.1 mpg for trucks.
The Obama plan would accelerate by four years new fuel economy standards passed by Congress at the end of 2007.
Fuel economy will be increased gradually beginning in 2012 and continuing through 2016. The administration predicts the changes will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil by 2016. That's roughly what the country goes through in about 86 days, according to numbers from the Energy Information Administration.
Although this is a step in the right direction- the Bush admin was going to wait a full decade before dealing with mpg fuel efficiency, 2016 is 7 YEARS away. Considering how far behind the U.S. already is, seven more years of heavy exhaust seems like not soon enough. The technology is already out there, and has been for a long time. I still see new car write ups in the Saturday paper with vehicles getting 13 miles to the gallon. Brand new cars- sedans! In the 21st century!
As far as I am concerned 7 years is too long. I can only hope consumers vote with their dollars. Just like Chrysler & GM are learning the hard lessons of failing to keep up- by not having any hybrids, and dropping the electric car, the people can step up and not buy these guzzler gas hog vehicles. The government may be OK with waiting another 7 years, but We the People have better choices now.
We can wait 7 years for U.S. automakers to "ugrade" to 35.5 MPG -- or we can buy a 2010 Toyota Prius that offers the following:
• 50 MPG
• Solar Roof
From eco geek: The car is bigger, more spacious, has better acceleration and actually improves mileage number significantly. This new Prius is the most efficient production car in America OF ANY SIZE. If Honda was still making the original Insight, yes, that would beat it, but the 2010 Prius truly will be the most advanced and most efficient car on the road.
New to the car, aside from all of the various innovations that made it's tremendous mileage numbers possible, is a solar sun roof, which will keep the vehicle cool on hot days, eliminating the need for huge bursts of AC, and thus strain on the battery.
In summary, the U.S. is in the slow lane with some kind of Mr. Magoo "vision" for fuel efficiency.
There should not be any confusion about why U.S. automakers are struggling....
as Toyota's 21st Century eco friendly designs pass by in the fast lane, sipping 50 miles to the gallon.