New Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards!

The EPA and USDOT have announced a proposal to establish stronger fuel economy and emissions reductions for cars and light duty trucks for model year 2017-2025.  This proposal also includes a number of incentive programs to promote early adoption and advanced technologies, such as hybridization for pickup trucks.

For those keeping score at home, here’s the timeline for fuel efficiency standards. The fleet average must achieve:

  • 35.5 miles per hour by 2016
  • 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

This proposal saves Americans $1.7 trillion, reduces oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels per day by 2025, and slashes greenhouse gas emissions by 6 billion metric tons from 2011-2025.

But what about fuel economy if you can’t afford to buy a new, more fuel efficient vehicle?

Here are some gas saving tips from the Sierra Club.

The Department of Energy has a website dedicated to gas mileage tips.

There’s even an app to help!

For those who don’t feel like following the links, the best advice is to drive responsibly.

Maintain your car with regular tune ups and filter changes. Check your tire pressure. Don’t accelerate rapidly or drive (too much) over the speed limit. If you’ve ever taken a defensive driving class, this should sound familiar.

To avoid traffic jams, plan alternate routes, try to vary your commute times, and keep your cool in the car. How much idle time can you save by not switching lanes and sneaking along the shoulder? Try 30%. A detailed explanation (with a cool video showing how too many cars cause a traffic jam) is on the Scientific American blog.

Or, frankly, take transit! You knew I’d have to say that eventually.

Kari Banta, Transportation Associate

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