DOT and EPA mandate 54.5 mpg average fuel economy by 2025

DOT and EPA mandate 54.5 mpg average fuel economy by 2025Cars and light trucks will have to achieve an average 54.5 mpg by 2025, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency announced today. The two agencies claim the new average, a second step beyond the 35.5 mpg mandated by 2016, will save consumers $1.7 trillion in fuel costs by 2025.

A 54.5 mpg average is expected to reduce oil consumption by 12 million barrels, and eliminate six billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, by the end of the first quarter of the 21st century.

Consumers are expected to save over $8,000 at the pump over the life of a new 2025 model year vehicle, but that car or truck is projected to cost $1,800 more than a new vehicle of today.

“The fuel efficiency standards the administration finalized today are another example of how we protect the environment and strengthen the economy at the same time,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a press release.

Both agencies assert that the new fuel economy standard will help carmakers, even though they will have to work harder to squeeze more efficiency out of their cars and trucks.

“With today’s rule, we have given American manufacturers the regulatory certainties they need to build efficient cars of all types that consumers want today and in the future,” they said. “That’s why our rule has the support of 13 major automotive manufacturers, who build 90% of the cars sold in the U.S.”

In a separate statement, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the new regulations will create jobs by forcing carmakers to be more innovative and add more new models to their lineups.

The new regulations will probably require some head scratching, but the DOT and EPA both feel they are reasonable and attainable. In addition to getting support from carmakers, the agencies noted that they consulted with consumer groups, unions, and environmental groups when writing the rules. They say the technology to achieve 54.5 mpg already exists.

The EPA, for one, seems to be banking on the full spread of existing green automotive technologies. The agency will give unspecified “incentives” to carmakers for developing electric, plug-in hybrid, natural gas, and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains. The incentives will also go toward hybrid powertrains for pickup trucks, and any technology that can reduce real-world fuel consumption.

The new regulations were released in draft form last year. Since then, the agencies have ramped up the requirements for cars to compensate for a slower increase in truck and SUV fuel economy, which is a tougher nut to crack technologically.

The two agencies will evaluate the carmakers’ progress in five years to see if the 54.5 mpg by 2025.


Volvo plans to face the future without sacrificing its identity

Volvo is embarking on an ambitious push to fill its lineup with electric and hybrid cars, as well as an infotainment partnership with Google. Volvo Americas CEO Anders Gustafsson explains how the Swedish automaker plans to pull that off.

Porsche’s all-electric Taycan sedan will cost less than a Panamera

Porsche's Mission E concept won't change much as it transitions to a production model named Taycan that's scheduled to arrive in 2019. That means the sedan will keep the sleek design and its 800-volt charging system.
Product Review

Audi's new A8 is so sophisticated and serene, it practically deletes potholes

The 2019 Audi A8’s outline looks promising: Level 3 autonomous driving capability, haptic-feedback infotainment screens, rear-wheel steering, Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights, plus a predictive suspension.

Hold on to your butts: These are the fastest cars in the world

Think your car is unbelievably fast? Think again. From wind-cheating bodywork to powerful engines, these cars were designed for the singular pursuit of speed (and it shows).

Lyft has a new fixed-price subscription plan for frequent passengers

Lyft wants you to save money by using rideshare services instead of owning a car. The new Lyft All-Access Plan monthly rideshare trip subscription includes 30 rides a month with a small discount for additional trips.

Could the next Mazda3 boast a fuel-saving breakthrough in engine tech?

Mazda released a teaser video that likely previews the next Mazda3. Expected to make its global debut at the L.A. auto show, the next 3 will wear a more curvaceous design and offer one of the most advanced engines in the automotive…

Workhorse takes on diesel with lighter, cheaper NGEN-1000 electric delivery van

Ohio-based Workhorse Group claims its new NGEN-1000 electric delivery van costs the same as a conventional diesel van and can haul a similar amount of cargo. A lower curb weight makes this possible.

Forget transponders with Peasy’s nationwide pay-as-you-go toll service

Verra Mobility launched Peasy, a consumer highway and bridge toll payment service. Designed to be less hassle than managing traditional transponder or toll tag accounts, Peasy pays tolls as they are levied across most of the U.S.

Just 10 people will get to put this limited-edition Audi R8 in their garages

The 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus Competition makes use of Audi's motor sports experience to turn up the performance dial. Decreased weight and increased aerodynamic downforce make this R8 a track monster.

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.

Tesla keeps promise with more affordable Model 3 with midrange battery pack

Tesla is keeping its promise of making the Model 3 gradually more affordable. The company released a new variant of the car with a mid-range, 260-mile battery option that's priced under the $50,000 mark.

The snake escapes: Ford’s 700-hp Mustang GT500 slithers online ahead of schedule

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will return in 2019 with over 700 horsepower, Ford confirmed at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The GT500 will be the most powerful Ford production car ever.

Volkswagen’s next-generation lights will keep you safer, look good doing it

Volkswagen's new smart LED headlights, called IQ.Light, don't just light up the road in front of you to keep you, other drivers, and pedestrians safe. They also look dang good while doing it.

Adventurous and electric, Porsche’s second electric car will fill a new niche

Porsche surprised us at the Geneva Auto Show with an electric station wagon named Mission E Cross Turismo. Though it's a concept car, it could become a production model after the Mission E sedan arrives in showrooms.