DOT Issues New Fuel Efficiency Standards
Maybe there’s a way to reduce our gasoline consumption without buying everyone a Prius after all.
The Department of Transportation issued new fuel economy standards this morning for 2011 model year vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the new restrictions will bring the combined car and light truck average to 27.3 miles per gallon, up from 25.3 miles per gallon for 2010 vehicles. The NHTSA estimates that the tighter standards will cut fuel usage by 887 million gallons and carbon dioxide emissions by 8.3 million metric tons.
That’s not quite the 1.4 billion gallons of gasoline we’d save by switching 2 million people to the new Prius, which gets 50 mpg. But now we’ll just have to buy 730,000 Priuses each year, instead of 2 million, if we want to reduce our dependence on OPEC oil by half in ten years.
Or we could just keep increasing incentives for fuel efficiency. Either way.