While car manufacturers are busy making plans for an all-electric future, their next few years of gas-powered models will have to meet elevated gas mileage standards. The new standards kick in with the 2023 model year, and by the time 2026 models are rolling off the line, the gas-powered cars and light trucks in the U.S. will have to get at least 40 miles to the gallon.
“We followed the science, we listened to stakeholders, and we are setting robust and rigorous standards that will aggressively reduce the pollution that is harming people and our planet – and save families money at the same time,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.
The gas mileage requirements the Biden administration announced are 5% higher than the EPA recommended in August. Previous standards from the Trump administration required only 32 miles to the gallon by 2026.
The transportation sector accounts for 29% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., with passenger cars and trucks making up most of that total, and the higher gas mileage standards will contribute toward Biden’s goal of halving U.S. emissions from 2005 levels by 2030.
“Making cars cleaner is critical to address climate change,″ the EPA said.
Between model year 2023 and 2026, standards will increase 5-10% each year until the 40 mpg goal is met. It’s “a giant step forward,” Regan said, paving the way toward an all-electric, zero-emissions transportation future.″
By stopping to fuel up less, car and light truck owners will save over $1,000 over the life of their vehicles, the EPA estimates.
“While these standards are ambitious, they provide adequate lead time for manufacturers to comply at reasonable costs. EPA’s analysis shows manufacturers can comply with the final standards with modest increases in the numbers of electric vehicles entering the fleet,” the EPA said.