New goals set by the Obama administration have raised the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) to 54.5 mpg by 2025, a considerable increase over the 35.5 mpg it hopes to achieve four years from now. The new CAFE standards — which were developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency — take into account all cars and light trucks made by a manufacturer in a model year. To entice automakers to join the effort, various credits and incentives are being offered for creating electric, hybrid, fuel cell, and natural gas vehicles and technologies.
The government hopes to save American households more than $8,000 in fuel savings over the life of their vehicle while reducing nationwide oil consumption by more than 2 billion barrels every day. To date, 13 major manufacturers have expressed their support for the standards. Newer cars like the popular Toyota Prius and the 106 mpg Nissan Leaf are leading the pack in terms of fuel efficiency, but considering that the hybrid Chevy Volt is rated at 40 mpg on the highway, car makers are still quite a bit away from reaching the goal.