EPA Announcement Aims to Lock In Aggressive Fuel Economy Standards

EPA Announcement Aims to Lock In Aggressive Fuel Economy Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday that it's sticking with fuel economy standards that call for carmakers to hit an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 for their light vehicles.

The standard was formally proposed in 2012, and the EPA was scheduled to assess automakers' progress toward meeting it next year. But the agency released the assessment Wednesday. President-elect Trump takes office on Jan. 20, and it's uncertain whether he'll seek to change the standard.

The EPA said automakers can meet the new standard at lower-than-expected cost. It also said that automakers have a range of technologies to meet the standard, including hybrids and electric cars.

"Manufacturers are adopting fuel efficient technologies at unprecedented rates, all while vehicle sales have increased for six consecutive years," the EPA said. The agency also said the standard will save consumers money.

Wednesday's decision has a 30-day public comment period.

Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports, has long supported the new standard.

Automakers pushed back after Wednesday's announcement.

"This extraordinarily and premature rush to judgment circumvents the serious analysis necessary to make sure the CAFE/GHG [corporate average fuel economy and greenhouse gas] standards appropriately balance fuel efficiency, carbon reduction, affordability and employment," the Auto Alliance, which represents automakers, said in a statement. "The evidence is abundantly clear that with low gas prices, consumers are not choosing the cars necessary to comply with increasingly unrealistic standards."

The group added that it looks forward to working with the Trump administration, Congress and California regulators.

More from Consumer Reports:
Top pick tires for 2016
Best used cars for $25,000 and less
7 best mattresses for couples

Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. Copyright © 2006-2016 Consumers Union of U.S.