Obama announced energy efficiency standards that have been negotiated with U.S car makers. The goal is to double the average fuel used by cars and light trucks to 54.5 MPG by 2052. The United States has been behind in reducing fuel emissions and the recent standards should have been put in place years ago. Other countries are raising their fuel economy much higher than the U.S. The European union is trying to get to 48.9 miles per gallon, Japan 46.9 mpg by 2015, even China is currently at 35.8mpg. The U.S will need to create higher standards to catch up to the rest of these industrialized countries.
These changes are making a step in the right direction against global warming. The EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration developed the standards and believe it will reduce energy by 12 billion barrels of oil, and cut carbon emissions in half by 2025. This would eliminate save 1.8 billion barrels of oil and avoid 900 million tons of green house gas emissions over the whole course of the programs. This will make the U.S more secure, cleaner, and once the cars have been purchased consumers will have more money because of the high mpg. The standards would save Americans $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, resulting in an average savings of more than $8,000 a vehicle by 2025. The savings on fuel would exceed the increase in price of the more efficient vehicles. On top of all of the benefits to the environment and oil consumption, the demand for new technology will generate thousands of jobs
These new standards are very important, but there is a possibility the costs may outweigh the benefits. These improvements are a very high cost for automakers as well as drivers. The increase in price of cars may be to much for Americans to afford. The cars may save a large amount of money from gas but only because people will have to pay more for a vehicle that has new technology. These vehicles may not even appeal to the public which may cause the profits of automakers and dealers to decline. Not only are there prices to pay but there is also a cost to society and the environment. These new cars can go farther on gas so people will drive more, which can cause pollution congestion, accidents, and no change in gas consumption. These fuel efficiency standards may be to expensive, and not effective enough to help climate change
There is debate on the benefits and costs of the fuel efficiency standards but manyu major automakers like GM, Ford, Chrysler endorsed the new standards after negotiations. Currently, Nissan is encouraging consumers to purchase its all electric model, The Leaf. Crysler is improving its engine and transmission on their gasoline powered cars. Ford is offering a electric version and gas engine version of the Focus. The Corporate Average Fuel Economy, (CAFE) mandated an average of about 29 miles per gallon, with gradual increases to 35.5 m.p.g. by 2016. The new cars exterior will not look different today unless you look under the hood. To improve the mileage automakers will need to develop electrified cars, more efficient engines, reduce engine size, reduce the weight of vehicles, and use more aerodynamic designs. There will be a review in a few years to determine the progress toward the 54.5 mpg goal, it is important to if manufacturers and consumers are not reacting well and alter standards if necessary.