Thanks to new stringent federal rules, cars and trucks will be 40 percent more fuel-efficient by 2016.
The directives include the first-ever standards for greenhouse gas emissions.
These first national standards not only show that America will keep up with other countries that already produce fuel-efficient cars, the stringent standards also force the American automotive companies to leap forward in vehicle technology, helping American car companies stay competitive.
Beginning with the 2012 model year, automakers will be required to boost their fleet-wide fuel economy incrementally to achieve an average 37.8 mpg for passenger cars, and 28.8 mpg for pick-ups, SUVs, and vans.
Low-volume and specialty automakers will have longer lead times to reach these mandates.
The EPA estimates that these changes will save around 1.8 billion barrels of oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 960 million metric tons over the lifetime of the vehicles covered by the new regulations.