New vehicles should have an average of 40 mpg by 2026, up from 28 mpg

New vehicles sold in the United States should have an average of at least 40 miles per gallon of gasoline by 2026, up from about 28 mpg, according to new federal rules unveiled Friday that repeal a rollback of standards passed under President Donald Trump. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said its new fuel economy requirements are the strongest to date and the maximum the industry can achieve over the time period. They will reduce fuel consumption by more than 220 billion gallons over the life of the vehicles compared to Trump standards. They are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions – but not as much as some environmentalists want – and raise the prices of new vehicles in an industry already pressured by inflation and supply chain problems. For the current model year, standards adopted under Trump require the fleet of new vehicles to get just under 28 miles per gallon in real-world driving. The new requirements increase fuel consumption by 8% per year for the model years 2024 and 2025 and 10% in the model years 2026. Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg, whose division includes NHTSA, said the rules will also help strengthen national security by making the country less dependent of foreign oil and less vulnerable to volatile gasoline prices. Gasoline nationwide has risen to an average of more than $ 4.22 per gallon. gallon, and much of the increase has occurred since Russia, a major oil producer, invaded Ukraine in late February. It cost $ 2.88 per person. gallon just a year ago, according to AAA. Gas prices have also helped bring inflation to a 40-year high, eroding household budgets and hitting President Joe Biden’s approval ratings. “Transportation is the second largest cost for American families, just behind housing,” Buttigieg said. The new standards, he said, will help keep the United States more secure and preserve “our country’s freedom to map its future without being subject to other countries and the decisions made in the energy companies’ boardrooms.” Dealers say stricter requirements are driving prices up and pushing people out of an already expensive market for new cars. NHTSA estimates that the new rules will raise the price of a new vehicle in the 2029 model year by $ 1,087. The Trump administration rolled back fuel economy standards, allowing them to rise 1.5% a year, which environmental groups said was insufficient to curb planetary warming greenhouse gas emissions that promote climate change. Standards had risen about 5% a year earlier. But the new standards will not immediately match those adopted through 2025 under President Barack Obama. NHTSA officials said they will meet Obama standards in 2025 and slightly exceed them for the 2026 model year. Obama-era standards are automatically adjusted for changes in the type of vehicles people buy. When adopted in 2012, 51% of new vehicle sales were cars and 49% SUVs and trucks. Last year, 77% of new vehicle sales were SUVs and trucks, which are generally less efficient than cars. Some environmental groups said the new requirements from NHTSA under Biden do not go far enough to combat global warming. Others supported the new standards as a major step towards reducing emissions, with the American Lung Association calling for even stronger standards to lead to a transition to all new zero-emission vehicles by 2035. “Climate change has become much worse, but these rules only require automakers to reduce gas consumption a little more than they agreed to cut nine years ago, “said Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Transport Center at the Center for Biological Diversity. Officials said that under the new standards, owners would save about $ 1,400 in fuel costs over the life of a 2029 model year vehicle. Carbon dioxide emissions will fall by 2.5 billion tons by 2050 below standards, NHTSA said. Car manufacturers are investing billions of dollars to develop and build electric vehicles, but say state aid is needed to get people to buy them. The companies want government tax deductions to lower prices as well as more money for EV charging stations to ease the anxiety of running out of juice. John Bozzella, executive director of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a major industrial trade group, said increased rules would require supporting government policies. Regulators should consider safety, consumer buying preferences, improved fuel economy and the transition to electric vehicles, he said in a statement. NHTSA sets requirements for fuel economy, while the Environmental Protection Agency develops limits on greenhouse gas emissions. NHTSA officials said their requirements almost match rules enacted in December by the EPA, so automakers do not have to comply with two rules.

New vehicles sold in the United States should have an average of at least 40 miles per gallon of gasoline by 2026, up from about 28 mpg, according to new federal rules unveiled Friday that cancel out a rollback of standards passed under President Donald Trump.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said its new fuel economy requirements are the strongest to date and the maximum the industry can achieve over the time period. They will reduce fuel consumption by more than 220 billion gallons over the life of the vehicles compared to Trump standards.

They are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions – but not as much as some environmentalists want – and raise the prices of new vehicles in an industry already under pressure from inflation and supply chain problems.

For the current model year, standards adopted under Trump require the fleet of new vehicles to get just under 28 miles per gallon in the real world. The new requirements increase fuel consumption by 8% per year for the model years 2024 and 2025 and 10% in the 2026 model year.

Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg, whose division includes NHTSA, said the rules would also help strengthen national security by making the country less dependent on foreign oil and less vulnerable to volatile petrol prices. Gasoline nationwide has risen to an average of more than $ 4.22 per gallon. gallon, and much of the increase has occurred since Russia, a major oil producer, invaded Ukraine in late February. It cost $ 2.88 per gallon just a year ago, according to AAA.

Gas prices have also helped raise inflation to its highest level in 40 years, eroding household budgets and hitting President Joe Biden’s approval ratings.

“Transportation is the second largest cost for American families, just after housing,” Buttigieg said. The new standards, he said, will help keep the United States more secure and preserve “our country’s freedom to map its future without being subject to other countries and the decisions made in the energy companies’ boardrooms.”

But car dealers say stricter requirements are driving up prices and pushing people out of an already expensive market for new cars. NHTSA expects the new rules will raise the price of a new vehicle in the 2029 model year by $ 1,087.

The Trump administration rolled back fuel economy standards, allowing them to rise by 1.5% a year, which environmental groups said was insufficient to curb planetary warming of greenhouse gas emissions that promote climate change. Standards had risen about 5% a year earlier.

But the new standards will not immediately match those adopted through 2025 under President Barack Obama. NHTSA officials said they will meet Obama standards in 2025 and slightly exceed them for the 2026 model year.

Obama-era standards are automatically adjusted for changes in the type of vehicles people buy. When adopted in 2012, 51% of new vehicle sales were cars and 49% SUVs and trucks. Last year, 77% of new vehicle sales were SUVs and trucks, which are generally less efficient than cars.

Some environmental groups said the new requirements from NHTSA under Biden do not go far enough to combat global warming. Others supported the new standards as a major step toward reducing emissions, with the American Lung Association calling for even stronger standards to drive a transition to all new zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

“Climate change has gotten a lot worse, but these rules only require automakers to reduce gas emissions a little more than they agreed to cut nine years ago,” said Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Transport Center at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Officials said that under the new standards, owners would save about $ 1,400 in gasoline costs over the life of a 2029 model year vehicle. Carbon dioxide emissions will fall by 2.5 billion tons by 2050 below standards, NHTSA said.

Car manufacturers are investing billions of dollars to develop and build electric vehicles, but say state aid is needed to get people to buy them. The companies want government tax deductions to lower prices as well as more money for EV charging stations to ease the anxiety of running out of juice.

John Bozzella, CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a major industrial trade group, said increased rules would require supportive government policies. Regulators should consider safety, consumer buying preferences, improved fuel economy and the transition to electric vehicles, he said in a statement.

NHTSA sets requirements for fuel economy, while the Environmental Protection Agency develops limits on greenhouse gas emissions. NHTSA officials said their requirements almost match rules enacted in December by the EPA, so automakers do not have to comply with two rules.

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