Facing an April 1 deadline for auto fuel economy standard improvements, the Obama Administration today announced that 2011 model year standards for all U.S. light vehicles will increase by 8 percent to land at 27.3 average mpg. Broken down, this means 30.2 mpg (up from 27.5) for cars, 24.1 mpg (up from 23.1) for light trucks.
By 2020, due to an '07 U.S. energy law that stipulated increases in fuel economy of 40 percent, auto fleet averages must ring in at about 35 mpg. Attaining that goal led the Obama Administration's announcement today. Former President Bush opted, in January, not to enact the first phase towards the 2020 standards, claiming he didn't want to further damage a crumbling auto industry.
According to the government, the new standards are expected to cost the industry $1.46 billion. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is required by federal law to give auto manufacturers no less than 18 months before stipulating higher Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.
[source: Automotive News]