On Monday, the Biden administration finalized new fuel efficiency standards designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles. By 2026, the Environmental Protection Agency will require carmakers ’fleets to travel an average of about 55 miles per gallon, which is more than the standard of 37 miles per gallon they adhere to this year.
The agency estimates that this policy will save American drivers between 210 and 420 billion dollars by 2050 on fuel costs. Over the lifespan of the 2026 model, that will mean about $ 1,080 in individual consumer savings after taking into account the higher initial costs of a more efficient vehicle. The EPA estimates that this policy will prevent the release of about 3.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide in the same time period.
“We have followed science, listened to stakeholders and set robust and rigorous standards that will aggressively reduce pollution that harms people and our planet – while saving money for families,” said EPA Administrator Michael Reagan.
The new standards effectively reflect those set by the Obama administration in 2012. Had former President Trump not weakened them in 2018, they would have required carmakers to build vehicles that could travel about 51 miles per gallon by 2025.
Jeff Alson, a former senior EPA engineer, said New York Times, new standards restore emissions reductions made by the Trump administration. “It’s good, but it won’t bring us even close to the levels we have to achieve to reduce vehicle emissions enough to protect the planet,” he said.
We turned to Ford, General Motors, Honda, Toyota and Stellantis for comment on today’s rule-making.
The new standards mark the most significant climate action that President Biden has taken so far. Since 2019, the transportation sector has been the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. However, the announcement comes just a day after Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he would not support the Democratic Party’s Build Back Better plan. Among other items, the approximately $ 2 trillion plan includes a proposal for up to $ 12,500 in individual tax subsidies for Americans buying EVs as their next car.
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