Federal agencies have formally proposed standards that would raise average car and light truck fuel economy to nearly 50 miles per gallon by 2025, up from the current average new auto fuel economy of about 28 miles per gallon.
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?
The uncertain economy and fluctuating gasoline prices have made consumers more discerning about their vehicle purchases. At the same time, the federal government is taking steps to ensure that future generations of vehicles will use less petroleum and emit less greenhouse gases. In July 2011, the U.S.
Today the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency adopted the first fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for heavy trucks and buses in the U.S., covering vehicles from super-duty pickups to tractor-trailers starting in model year 2014. ACEEE projects that the program will save 280,000 barrels of oil per day by 2030, roughly the amount the U.S. currently imports from Brazil.
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.”
The new vehicle fuel economy label announced today by EPA and DOT beats the current label, providing better information on fuel costs and adding emissions of both greenhouse gases and traditional air pollutants.
In honor of this year’s Earth Day theme: “A Billion Acts of Green,” ACEEE suggests six energy-saving tips that will not only help consumers create less pollution, but also help them save money. With many wondering what steps they can take to lessen their environmental impact, energy efficiency measures represent an often easy, immediate, and cost-effective way to take action.
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.
How does where we build our homes, businesses, and transportation infrastructure impact our energy use? A recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report attempts to tackle just that question. The report analyzes the energy use associated with different housing and neighborhood types. It also serves as a concise and readable primer on research related to the energy implications of “location efficiency.”
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.