President Obama Announces National Fuel Efficiency Policy


President Obama announced new fuel efficiency standards that will require cars to average 35.5 mpg by the year 2016. Car makers will get some credit for making air conditioners more efficient which will cause the actual standard to be slightly less.

The new standards will be 39 mpg for all domestically sold passenger cars and 30 mpg for all domestically sold light trucks and sport utility vehicles. The current requirements are 27.5 mpg for cars and 23.1 mpg or trucks.

Vehicles in 2016 that use alternate fuels like E85 and electric vehicles will also have to compute their fuel standard for the actual carbon content of the fuel they use. E85 vehicles will have to show that they actually use E85 fuel to get a reduced standard. Electric cars will have to consider the carbon produced by the source of the electricity.

While trying to be environmentally correct, this higher standard for electric cars may reduce the incentive to produce these cars. Electric cars are the best way we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil as they consume no oil when charged at home and then running on electric power. The billion dollars we spend per day on imported oil is like a tax on our economy that restrains our economy and limits our ability to create jobs.

Plug-in electric hybrids are more expensive than conventional cars. Since most people drive their cars less than 30 miles per day, a plug-in with limited range of 30 to 40 miles on its battery could substantially reduce or dependence on oil. We should create every incentive we can to produce electric and electric hybrid cars and focus on producing more of our electricity from environmentally friendly sources.

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