Clean Cars Become Reality

Guest Blog | August 28, 2012 | Clean Transportation, Electric Vehicles

Today is a historic day for our transportation future. The Obama Administration issued new clean car standards that will dramatically cut oil consumption, reduce emissions from the transportation sector, and save Americans millions of dollars annually. These standards will help communities and individuals by reducing emissions and fuel costs, but they are notable because they are the most significant action our country has ever taken to reduce carbon pollution.

Our transportation sector accounts for more than 20% of our overall carbon pollution, and these new standards set us on a path to dramatically transform our transportation future. The first phase of clean car standards issued by the Obama Administration in 2009 raised fuel economy to 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2016. Today’s new standards cover new cars and light trucks for model years 2017-2025 and ensures that we will be getting at least 54.5 miles per gallon (or equivalent) in our cars by 2025. That’s close to twice the mpg that cars get today!

According to analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists, these new standards will cut carbon pollution from vehicles in the United States by 570 million metric tons in 2030, the equivalent of taking a third, or 85 million, of today’s cars and trucks off the road for an entire year. These standards will cut oil imports by one-third, and save consumers more than a trillion (yep, that’s a ‘t”!) dollars in fuel costs.

Photo credit: Skip S. via Nissan Leaf

Since the first standards were issued just three years ago, we’ve seen a new wave of technology, from battery improvements in electric cars and more hybrids to improved performance through weight reduction and aerodynamics. In fact, regulators are seeing automakers exceeding the 2009 standards with an average of 28.9 mpg for 2012 cars. With these new standards, we expect even greater innovation—creating even more jobs in our economy.

These standards create new business opportunities for vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, chemical and electronics industries as well as fleet operators and electric utilities. We applaud the Obama Administration for their leadership on this issue, helping us all save money, make more money, and breathe a little easier.

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