Past federal fuel economy standards were based on a company’s entire fleet, meaning it could produce some super-efficient cars while still producing plenty of gas guzzlers. Starting in 2008, standards began to require automakers to improve the fuel economy of each vehicle type, including very inefficient pickup trucks, SUVs and sports cars. Since these types of vehicles are and will remain very popular in the U.S., improving their gas mileage is critically important. For example, improving the gas mileage of the best-selling F-150 from 20 to 30 mpg would save 200 gallons a year for someone who drives 12,000 miles annually.
We’ll ultimately need to do more than just make conventional cars and trucks lighter and more efficient to meet our climate goals. We’re also going to need more vehicles powered using hybrid and electric drivetrains running on low-carbon fuels.
A stroll through the Washington Auto Show proves we can drive handsome cars and trucks that outperform their predecessors while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions and saving money at the pump.