Light Duty Fuel Economy
This summer marked the two-year anniversary of the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) program, more fondly known as “Cash for Clunkers.” We know that the program provided consumers with a hefty chunk of money to trade in their older, inefficient vehicles for more efficient new ones. We also know that it provided a boost to carmakers and the economy by stimulating sales. Two years on, what more can we learn?
Major Increases in Car and Light Truck Fuel Economy Standards Take Shape, but Some Provisions Could Undermine Economic and Environmental Benefits
Washington, D.C.—President Obama today presented a plan to increase fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for cars and light trucks in 2017-2025 that would raise fuel economy to 75 percent above 2010 levels. “This is a major step in reducing our oil dependence and consumers’ vulnerability to high gasoline costs,” said ACEEE Transportation Program Director Therese Langer. “By 2030, this round of standards could save more oil than we currently import from Saudi Arabia and Iraq, combined.”
Growing uneasiness about U.S. oil dependence means interest is high once again in energy legislation and petroleum legislation in particular. Upward fuel price trends of recent months, reflecting both turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, plus the gradual recovery of the global economy, have prompted calls for decisive action by policymakers. At such a time, it is important to be clear on the range of policy options available to address the problem and how effective these policies might be.
UPDATED: February 16, 2011 — Due to a mistaken vehicle emissions specification, our Greenest List inadvertently omitted the Mazda 2 (manual transmission), which beats the Chevrolet Volt by a hair. Both vehicles have Green Scores of 48. Hence this year’s Greenest List now features 13 vehicles, instead of the customary dozen. We regret the error.