The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced sweeping changes to domestic fuel economy standards, a major step towards increasing the number of electric vehicles on the road while reducing dependence on other countries.
The standards, which will go into effect in 2024, are designed to meet President Joe Biden’s ambitious goal of having half of all cars sold in the U.S. go electric by 2030. They can also accelerate the internal development of batteries and electric vehicles.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete said the federal emission reduction mandate “supports our country’s freedom to plan its future without being subject to other nations and decisions made in the boardrooms of energy companies.” Buttigieg hosted a live press briefing from DOT US headquarters on Friday.
The new standards mean U.S. automakers will have to increase their fleet’s average fuel economy (known as CAFE) to 49 mpg by the 2026 model year. The current standard is 37 mpg, up from about 13 mpg when the first rule went into effect in 1975.
Buttigieg outlined the potential cost savings for the average consumer.
“If you fill out the questionnaire four times a month, by the 2026 model year it will be three times a month, saving the average American family hundreds of dollars,” he said. “The price of oil continues to depend on forces and dynamics outside the US, which means that unless we achieve some form of energy independence based on clean energy produced here at home, American citizens will still have wild prices. the growth we need to see now.”
The future of transportation has been in the spotlight here since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24th. On Thursday, President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to boost battery production amid soaring fuel prices. The law, which allows the president to allocate materials for national defense, aims to provide domestic resources with minerals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite and manganese that can be used to make batteries for electric vehicles and for energy storage. made for.
The move could provide automakers and other industries with the capital to produce materials for electric vehicles and stationary batteries. Tesla manufactures batteries at its Gigafactory 1 in Nevada. Other automakers, including General Motors, Ford, Stelantis, Toyota and Volkswagen, have committed to invest more than $330 billion in electric vehicle development and plan to build their own battery plants in the US.