Whether you are trying to protect the Earth’s natural resources or if you are simply someone who wants to see our country reduce its reliance upon foreign oils, you will be happy to know that the U.S. Department of Transportation has officially posted new fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks that will be released in 2011. With the new, stricter guidelines, it will be far easier to find a vehicle that will be more fuel efficient.
The changes made to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s guidelines actually began back on January 26th, at which time President Barack Obama gave the department the directive to review technological, legal and scientific considerations in order to develop more stringent standards.
“These standards are important steps in the nation’s quest to achieve energy independence and bring more fuel efficient vehicles to American families,” said the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood.
According to these new standards, vehicle manufacturers will need to improve the industry-wide average fuel economy to 27.3 miles per gallon. Currently, the standards for 2010 vehicles are set at 25.3 miles per gallon. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that these new guidelines will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 8.3 million metric tons an will decrease fuel use by about 887 million gallons.
In addition to calling for increased overall fuel efficiency, the new guidelines have also implemented an attribute-based system that considers the size of each vehicle in relation to its fuel economy. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Transportation has already started to look beyond 2011 and is working on a multi-year plan that will call for the fuel economy of vehicles to become increasingly more efficient. In order to develop this plan, the U.S. Department of Transportation is considering factor such as market conditions, technology and future product plans manufacturers already have in place. In this way, the new plan will consider all stakeholders involved in the plan as well as other federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency.