WASHINGTON - Cars and trucks averaging 62 miles per gallon? Seems extraordinary, but the government suggested Friday that automakers could be required to build such lineups by 2025, making today's hybrids conventional and turning gas guzzlers into relics.
It's all included in efficiency ranges the government is weighing for new cars and trucks starting in 2017. By 2025, a carmaker's fleet may need to meet a 47 mpg-to-62 mpg standard, the Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency said. The mileage gains would equal an annual drop in carbon dioxide emissions of 3 to 6 percent per mile.
The standards, years away, are watched by the industry as it develops vehicles and by environmental groups trying to curb oil dependence and cut greenhouse gas emissions. President Obama wants tougher standards, and new rules could take on import if Congress can't pass energy bills to cap greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.
The release Friday of an analysis started work on the standards for the 2017-2025 models. A plan is to be issued in September, 2011, with a final rule by July, 2012.