On Friday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, case D.C. President Barack Obama announced a goal of 54.5 miles per gallon by the year 2025 as the next phase to increase fuel efficiency in cars and light-duty trucks in the United States.
Joining the President on stage were numerous guests from various levels the automotive industry including CEOs from GM, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Hyundai, Toyota, Jaguar Land Rover North America, Volvo, Honda, Nissan, and Mazda, as well as United Auto Workers President Bob King. In addition, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson as well as various members of Congress were present. There were also numerous hybrid and electric vehicles on display.
President Obama remarked to the 250 people in attendance that for a long term solution to the nation’s energy needs, “We’re going to need to build on the progress that I’ve seen in your factories, where workers are producing hybrid cars and more fuel-efficient engines and advanced electric vehicles. We need to tap into this reservoir of innovation and enterprise.”
“The companies here today have endorsed our plan to continue increasing the mileage on their cars and trucks over the next 15 years. We’ve set an aggressive target, and the companies here are stepping up to the plate,” the President stated. He continued, “By 2025, the average fuel economy of their vehicles will nearly double to almost 55 miles per gallon.”
According to the White House this program with a planned phase-in to start 2017, will save consumers a total of $1.7 trillion, or an average of $8,000 per vehicle by the year 2025.
In order to achieve its goals, this program uses the following incentives for the auto manufacturers rather than legislation:
- Incentives for electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cells vehicles;
- Incentives for advanced technology packages for large pickups, such as hybridization and other performance-based strategies;
- Credits for technologies with potential to achieve real-world CO2 reductions and fuel economy improvements that are not captured by the standards test procedures.
In addition, the EPA will offer the following provisions:
- Credits for improvements in air conditioning (A/C) systems, both for efficiency improvements and for use of alternative, lower global warming potential refrigerant;
- Treatment of compressed natural gas (CNG);
- Continued credit banking and trading, including a one-time carry-forward of unused MY 2010-2016 credits through MY 2021.
Concerning this program, LaHood stated “These standards will help spur economic growth, protect the environment, and strengthen our national security by reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil.” He continued, “Working together, we are setting the stage for a new generation of clean vehicles.”
Meanwhile, EPA Administrator Jackson remarked, “This is another important step toward saving money for drivers, breaking our dependence on imported oil and cleaning up the air we breathe. American consumers are calling for cleaner cars that won’t pollute their air or break their budgets at the gas pump, and our innovative American automakers are responding with plans for some of the most fuel efficient vehicles in our history.”