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Obama, Automakers Announce that Cars Will Become Less Polluting and More Expensive

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By Kevin Fayle on May 19, 2009 2:34 PM

How much more would you pay for a less-polluting, more fuel-efficient car? 

The Obama administration is putting the number at $1,300 for you.  That's how much the new emissions limits and fuel-efficiency standards announced by the administration and automakers will end up costing consumers per vehicle once automakers fully implement them in 2016.
The new standards will require a minimum fuel-efficiency of 35.5 miles per gallon, and administration officials say that vehicles produced under the regulations will be 30 percent cleaner than they are now. 

Previous plans to increase fuel efficiency were set to increase the cost of vehicles by $700, and the new regulations will add $600 to that figure.  Administration officials claim that savings at the pump will offset the additional cost.

In exchange for the new tighter standards, the automakers will get the single national standard they have been fighting for since the first states began implementing greenhouse gas regulations at the state level.  The states, on the other hand, get the stricter rules that they have been supporting.

Automakers seem to be willing to trade a higher-cost product for a single standard, even in a year that has seen abysmal automobile sales. 

Maybe they're thinking that maybe, just maybe, the economy will have improved by 2016.

See Also:
Obama targets fuel efficiency standards (Daily Kos)
New fuel efficiency standards : Too much or not enough? (Scientific American)

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