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article imageU.S. government issues 'notice of intent' on higher mpg standards

By Michael Krebs     Oct 1, 2010 in Environment
Led by President Obama's push for more fuel efficient vehicles, the US Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency have issued a 'notice of intent' to automobile manufacturers for 2025 models.
The automotive industry is going to have to produce vehicles that can reach fuel efficiency standards of 47 mpg to 62 mpg by the 2025 model year. This could be the objective in a "notice of intent" from the U.S. Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, the firm decision on which will be made in July 2012.
The EPA recently proposed a new fuel efficiency standards labeling system - that attaches letter grades to vehicles based on their ability to deliver on mpg goals. The proposed labels would go into effect on 2012 vehicles.
Fuel efficiency standards were put in place by Congress in 1975, but the mpg range has not advanced to any great extent. If enacted, the 47 mpg to 62 mpg range would represent a significant technological leap.
However, with gas-electric hybrids and pure-play electric plug-in models expected to compose future automotive fleets, the higher fuel efficiency standards are within reach.
"The auto industry has 15 years to meet these new standards — that's plenty of time to use innovation and technology to reach 60 miles per gallon," Brendan Bell of the Union of Concerned Scientists' clean vehicles program told the Associated Press.
The new standards will also help reduce America's dependence on oil. According to Ouroildependency.org, the United States consumes 25 percent of the world's oil. The incorporation of alternative-fuel vehicles into the American fleet would greatly reduce this dependence, as oil currently provides 97 percent of the fuel used by American cars, trucks, trains, planes, ships, and buses - according to Hybridcars.com.
Additionally, the higher mpg standards promise to positively impact America's overall carbon footprint.
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson told AP that the future mileage standards "will accelerate the environmental benefits, health protections and clean technology advances over the long term."
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