In May of 2009, California, the White House and auto manufacturers worked together to reached a deal for fuel efficiency standards from 2012-2016. The final agreement will see vehicles with a 34.1 mpg fuel efficiency… an agreement that is estimated to cost the auto industry over $50 billion to develop the technology to reach this goal. The 2017-2025 fuel efficiency standards proposed have been much more aggressive, and has automakers showing much more resistance. Automakers have warned that obtaining the proposed 56.2 mpg could have consumers paying over $2,000 more per vehicle. In response to this the White house has eased their fuel savings proposal to 54.5 mpg in an attempt to convince automakers to sign on. According to VW of America President and CEO Jonathan Browning, the talks have been constructive. “Everyone is focused on making sure that the final agreement is both fair to the auto industry and is still affordable to consumers.”

The administration has also been in talks on credits for automakers to meet the requirements through air conditioning improvements and building flex-fuel vehicles. NHTSA Administrator David Strickland told officials that the government was committed to treating all automakers fairly. The new plan will not only make the fuel efficiency more obtainable, but will offer special rules for heavier light duty vehicles used for construction.

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