WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) unveiled their joint proposal to set stronger fuel economy standards for model year 2017-2025 passenger cars and light trucks on Nov. 16. The proposed program requires manufacturers to increase their average fuel economy to 54.5 mpg.

There will be an opportunity for the public to comment on the proposal for 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. Public hearings will take place in January in Detroit, Philadelphia, and San Francisco to allow further public input.

Although the agencies expect this proposal to add about $2,000 to the cost of each vehicle in 2025, they expect consumers to save up to $6,600 in fuel costs for the lifetime of the vehicle, with a net lifetime savings of up to $4,400.

The proposal extends fuel economy standards set for model years 2012-2016, which will raise fuel efficiency equivalent to 35.5 mpg by 2016.

According to the release, auto manufacturers are already heavily invested in developing advanced technologies that can significantly reduce fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions beyond the existing model year 2012-2016 standards. Technologies are available for automakers to meet the new standards, including advanced gasoline engines and transmissions, vehicle weight reduction, lower tire rolling resistance, improvements in aerodynamics, diesel engines, more efficient accessories, and improvements in air conditioning systems. The agencies also expect the standards to spur manufacturers to increasingly explore electric technologies such as start/stop, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles. The model year 2017-2025 proposal includes a number of incentive programs to encourage early adoption and introduction of "game changing" advanced technologies, such as hybridization for pickup trucks.

California plans to issue its proposal for model year 2017-2025 vehicle greenhouse gas standards on December 7 and will finalize its standards in January, according to the agencies.

For more detailed information, visit the NHTSA webiste.

Related Articles:

Administration Delays Releasing CAFE Standards

CAFE to Increase to 54.5 MPG by 2025

White House Sets Fuel-Economy Targets for Heavy-Duty & Vocational Vehicles

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet