A new fuel economy rule that will nearly double the efficiency of the nation’s cars and trucks to a fleet-wide average of 54.5 miles per gallon over the next 13 years was finalized by the Obama administration this week. The requirements of the rule will be phased in gradually between now and then, and automakers could face fines for non-compliance.
(Related Photos: Rare Look Inside Carmakers’ Drive for 55 MPG)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimate the rule will increase the average price of a vehicle by $1,800 in 2025. Consumers could save an estimated $5,700 to $7,400 in gasoline over the life of the vehicle. Additionally, the rule is expected to save 4 billion barrels of oil, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2 billion metric tons.
The rule, some argued, doesn’t come without consequences. Higher-efficiency vehicles that consume less fuel could reduce revenues from the gasoline tax 21 percent by 2040. As a result, spending on road repairs could decline.
Forbes says regardless of the high 54.5 mpg requirement, your average will likely be closer to 40 mpg.