Fuel-economy standards for all U.S. light vehicles will rise 8 percent to an average of 27.3 mpg for the 2011 model year and will cost the industry $1.46 billion to make the change, the government said today.
Cars will be required to travel an industry average of 30.2 miles on each gallon of fuel, up from 27.5 mpg, and light-truck standards will increase by 1 mpg, to 24.1 mpg, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The combined fleet average will go up by 2 mpg.
Car standards by company for 2011 will range from 27.5 mpg for Maserati and Tata Motors, which sells Jaguar, to 31.2 mpg for Porsche (see table below). On trucks, the lowest standard will be General Motors' 23.3 mpg; the toughest: Mitsubishis 26.7 mpg.
These standards are important steps in the nations quest to achieve energy independence and bring more fuel-efficient vehicles to American families, Transporation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.
The rules are the first fuel-economy mandates set by the Obama administration and will use a new system that sets standards for individual models based on their size.
They stem from a U.S. energy law, enacted in December 2007, that will lift standards 40 percent by 2020 to a fleetwide average of at least 35 mpg.
In January, President George W. Bush decided not to establish the first phase of that increase because of the industrys financial straits and passed the decision to his successor. President Obama faced an April 1 deadline to act.
Because of those financial pressures, the administration postponed making any reqirements beyond the 2011 model year, said Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
Federal law requires NHTSA to give automakers at least 18 months lead time before imposing higher standards under the corporate average fuel economy program.