The Biden administration, which is pushing automakers to put more electric vehicles on the road, is setting tougher fuel economy rules that require the average new car or truck to get nearly 50 miles per gallon of gasoline. 2026 as part of carbon reduction efforts. pollution and save consumers money.
The new Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards announced today by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg require an 8% increase in industry-wide average fuel efficiency in 2024 and 2025 model year vehicles and a 10% increase in 2026. The overall increase is at least 10 mpg d ‘by 2026 and is up from an average of around 36 mpg in the 2021 model year.
The higher standard could reduce US gas consumption by 234 billion gallons by 2050 and ‘means American families will be able to drive further before having to refuel, saving hundreds of dollars a year’ , Buttigieg said during a briefing in Washington on Friday. “These improvements will also make our country less vulnerable to global oil price changes and protect communities by reducing carbon emissions by 2.5 billion metric tons.”
The announcement comes amid soaring gasoline prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and is a reversal of Trump-era policies in which the former administration relaxed the rules CAFE rules established by the Obama administration. The standard offered today is the average of all models sold by an automaker and has become easier to achieve as companies ramp up production of battery-electric cars and trucks that increase fleet efficiency. That is why, unlike in years past, the industry is not stepping up its efforts to block tougher standards.
The national average cost of a gallon of gasoline is $4,215, up from $2,876 a year ago, according to AAA Daily Fuel Guide. This week, President Joe Biden announced plans to begin releasing 1 million barrels of oil a day for the next six months from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help lower near-term fuel prices.
“Transportation is the second biggest cost for American families, second only to housing, and middle- and low-income households spend nearly 20% of their wages on transportation,” Buttigieg said. “This problem has been building for years. It is also compounded whenever there is a development or shock anywhere in the world that disrupts gasoline prices like what we are seeing right now.
Environmental groups such as the Natural Resource Defense Council support the new targets but want even tougher targets. “Advances in technology, energy savings and consumer benefits warrant even higher standards,” said Luke Tonachel, NRDC director for clean vehicles and fuels. “The only way to escape the volatility of global energy markets is to reduce our dependence on oil.”
Dan Becker, a longtime advocate for clean vehicles at the Center for Biological Diversity, said the new standard isn’t tough enough.
“This rule is another missed opportunity for Biden,” he said in an emailed statement. “Strict gas mileage standards could have been the single biggest step any country has taken to reduce pollution from global warming, and it would save people billions more at the pump. The final rule is about 2 mpg lower than the alternative version the agency considered last year.
Likewise, the Sierra Club welcomed today’s news as a “first step”.
“We need policies like this regulation, and more, to get the auto industry to build 100% zero-emission cars,” Sierra Club President Ramón Cruz said in a statement. “We urge NHTSA to adopt the toughest possible long-term standards that rapidly increase fuel economy along the path to zero-emission vehicles to protect our communities by tackling the number one source of pollution. from the country.”