First ever greenhouse gas emission standards for US vehicles

The United States Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have jointly established new federal rules that set the first-ever national greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) standards and will significantly increase the fuel economy of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the country.

The standards that make up the first phase of the programme apply to passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles, covering model years 2012–2016. They require these vehicles to meet an estimated combined average emissions level of 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile, equivalent to 35.5 miles per gallon (MPG) if the automobile industry were to meet this solely through fuel economy improvements.

The rules could potentially save the average buyer of a 2016 model year car US$3,000 over the life of the vehicle and, nationally, would conserve about 1.8 billion barrels of oil and reduce nearly a billion tons of GHG emissions over the lives of the vehicles covered.

Source: US EPA, 1 April 2010. Web link:

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