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DATE News (chronologically)
07/29/11
automotive
CAFE standards set to rise to whopping 54.5 mpg for 2025
President Barack Obama on Friday revealed ambitious plans to raise the corporate average fuel economy standard for cars and light trucks to 54.5 mpg by the 2025 model year, a landmark move that will dramatically remake carmakers' product portfolios and consumers' buying habits.

Unlike the first CAFE standards passed by Congress in 1975, the Detroit automakers now publicly support the high requirements and have begun retooling their fleets to adapt the changes.

“[This] represents the single most important step we've ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Obama said in a morning press conference.

The UAW has also voiced its support for the new rules after earlier expressing concerns. California legislators, who have pushed for strict fuel-economy standards, also are on board with the new regulations.

The president's plan was finalized after weeks of wrangling that saw the original number--56.2 mpg--slightly softened. The requirements will be phased in, giving automakers time to adapt. The increases would begin taking effect for 2017 trucks and 2018-model-year cars.

With car executives and union officials on hand, Obama lauded the agreement reached, despite considerable anxiety over the costs and future complications the mpg requirements could cause.

“We set an aggressive target, and the companies here are stepping up to the plate,” the president said. “This is an incredible commitment that they've made.”

The move comes as fuel prices remain elevated, with a gallon of unleaded gasoline costing $3.71 on Friday morning, up nearly a dollar from a year ago. AutoWeek

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