When gas prices were low enough that taking a leisurely drive wasn’t out of the question, no one really gave a hoot about gas prices. And with rapidly rising costs and more obvious effects of global warming, the general public has grown increasingly interested in fuel efficiency. We have to face it: there’s no way around the rapidly diminishing oil reserves and that steady rise of gas prices. So, in turn, the U.S. government has set goals for fuel usage that all manufacturers must hit by the given deadline.
2016 and 2025 Goals
Surely you’ve noticed that average MPGs are on the climb and that industry leaders are making great headway in being able to offer fuel-efficient, cost-effective vehicles for American markets. By 2016, all vehicles must operate at a MPG of at least 35.5. According to a study in 2013, the average fuel economy of cars and trucks was at 24.9, which is nearly five miles better than the 20.1 in 2007. While that’s only a five-mpg improvement over five years, the industry is putting in a lot of effort to make sure that all cars will hit that 35.5 come 2016. The next goal on the MPG roadmap is set for 2025 where the average fuel economy must be 54.5. While some skeptics remain cautious about hitting the 2025 goal, it looks like we’re on the right track for 2016.
How We’re Getting There
The short answer: a lot of money and a ton of effort. This is a good thing for everyone; gas will be cheaper in the long run while we reduce our oil usage by more than half, allowing us to prolong the inevitable oil drought. The long answer: car manufacturers are working overtime to develop new and improved engines. Look at our post on alternative fuels to see what kinds of cool new techniques are being developed that may eventually end the need for gas entirely. Cars are also being made with lighter materials, like aluminum, which reduce the weight of the car and beef up the overall fuel economy.
We’ve Still Got a Ways to Go
We’re on the right track, but we’re still miles behind Europe and Japan, who are already achieving Corporate Average Fuel Economies (CAFÉ) that are higher than 45. This is why the 2016 and 2025 goals are so important to keeping U.S. auto companies accountable to overall fuel economy.