Obama negotiates new fuel economy standards

July 29, 2011 12:00 AM

The Obama administration has struck a new deal with automakers that will see the average fuel economy standard raised to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

Automakers and government officials have been negotiating the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for several weeks now, reports Reuters. The standards require automakers to maintain a fleetwide average of a certain threshold by a given date - in this case, 2025. The current standards are 35.5 mpgs by 2016, but the Obama administration was looking for a big increase.

Initially, it was proposed that the new standard would be 56.2, but the government backed off this figure slightly and it will now be 54.5. The deal does not come without several caveats. One big aspect that automakers pushed for was less harsh standards for light trucks. While passenger cars need to show a 5 percent fuel economy gain annually, trucks only need a 3.5 percent increase.

In addition, the agreement is subject to a review at some point during the 2017-2025 window. If it's found that technology has not sufficiently advanced to make the high mpg rating a reality, new standards will be negotiated.

Drivers who are hoping to get more miles per gallon out of their current car should consider vehicle inspections, as regular maintenance and repairs can help increase fuel economy.

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