By Jason Kuruvilla, Consumers Union
The Energy Information Administration is out with its latest fuel use projection and finds that if automakers meet the 2025 fuel economy standards, overall fuel consumption will decline significantly, even as more cars are on the road and miles traveled per vehicle increases. In other words, fuel economy standards will help Americans driver farther on each tank of gas, saving money along the way.
The projection takes into account the mix of vehicles on the road, accounting for new vehicles achieving higher fuel efficiency along with older cars on the road, as well as the mix of passenger cars and light trucks. Light trucks, which include SUVs and crossovers, are increasing as a share of all vehicles on the road. Despite that, the standards EPA finalized in January would boost efficiency across the board. In fact, EPA’s latest fuel trends report highlighted that light truck efficiency is improving fastest among all vehicles.
Of course, if the new administration and EPA try to roll back the standards, then the projection fuel savings would be revised downward. Weakening fuel efficiency standards would mean higher oil consumption, an increase in harmful emissions and more consumer spending on fuel.