New federal rules require vehicles to average 40 mpg by 2026

Washington – Automakers will be required to significantly increase the fuel efficiency of 2024 to 2026 model year vehicles under finalized fuel economy standards released Friday by federal auto regulators.

Passenger cars and light trucks would be required to increase gas mileage by 8% annually for 2024 and 2025 and 10% in the 2026 model year to average 40 miles per gallon. Under current rules, vehicle fleets must average just over 28 miles per gallon this year.

Traffic drives along the Hollywood Freeway in Los Angeles on December 12, 2018.

This is slightly stricter than the proposed rule published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in August, when he suggested increasing fuel economy by 8% per year instead of the current rate of 1.5% per year. The rule would increase the fleet average by 12 miles per gallon by the 2026 model year compared to the 2021 model year, the agency said.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Friday the final rules would reduce fuel consumption by 234 billion gallons through 2050, saving the typical American household hundreds of dollars and giving “people the freedom to go where they need to go more affordably”.

As Russia’s war in Ukraine drags on, driving up gas prices, Buttigieg framed the policy as one that would help insulate the country from future price shocks by advancing the transition to an energy economy. own.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announces new fuel economy standards at the agency's headquarters in Washington.  To his right are Steven Cliff, Deputy Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Gina McCarthy, National Climate Advisor at the White House, and Ann Carlson, Chief Counsel for NHTSA.

“Even though all of the oil we use in the United States was made in the United States, its price is still subject to powers and dynamics outside of the United States,” he said.

“Which means that until we achieve some form of energy independence based on clean energy created right here at home, American citizens will still be vulnerable to wild price hikes like what we’re seeing right now.”