Barack Obama releases final version of CAFE mileage standards

Article by Anita Panait, on August 30, 2012

President Barack Obama released the final version of Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, rule, which requires carmaker to more than double the average fuel economy by 2025. In an e-mailed statement, Obama said that by the middle of the next decade, or 2025, cars in the United States will get nearly 55 miles per gallon, almost double what they get today.

The President said that the CAFE rule will strengthen the energy security of the US, adding that it is good for middle class families and will help create “an economy built to last." According to the White House, the CAFE rule, which took effect earlier this year, is intended to cut US oil consumption by 12 billion barrels and lead to fuel savings of over $8,000 by 2025 over the life of a vehicle.

Increasing average fuel economy is a vital part of Obama's plan to cut oil imports and usage as his administration has been promoting acquisitions of more fuel-efficient vehicles to cut the use of fossil fuels. The Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released the proposed rule for model years 2017 to 2025 in November 2011 after striking a deal with carmakers on the outline in July 2011.

Executives from carmakers including General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC and Hyundai Motor Co. and Obama met at the Washington Convention Center to sign the agreement, which was the basis for the final rule. The proposed rule gives extra credits to plug-in electric and plug-in electric-hybrid vehicles. The final version now includes compressed natural-gas-powered cars to that list, benefiting Honda Motor Co. and other makers of alternative-fuel vehicles.

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