The US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced new, fuel economy standards which follow President Biden’s executive order to drive American leadership forward on clean cars. The new standards hope to make vehicle miles per gallon more efficient, save consumers money at the pump, and reduce transportation emissions.
The new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards require an industry-wide fleet average of approximately 49 mpg for passenger cars and light trucks in model year 2026. The new standards are intended to increase fuel efficiency 8 percent annually for model years 2024-2025 and 10 percent annually for model year 2026. They will also seek to increase the estimated fleetwide average by nearly 10 miles per gallon for model year 2026, relative to model year 2021. “American families will be able to drive further before they have to fill up, saving hundreds of dollars per year,” said US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
The expectation is that by increasing vehicle efficiency and reducing fuel use American families and consumers will save money at the pump. Americans purchasing new vehicles in 2026 should get 33 percent more miles per gallon as compared to 2021 vehicles. This means new car drivers in 2026 will only have to fill up their tanks three times as compared to every four times that new car drivers today do for the same trips. The new standards should also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
This announcement of new standards comes as the auto industry began retooling production for future models in response to rapidly growing market demand for cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Nearly all auto manufacturers have announced significant investments of new electric vehicle models.
For the final Corporate Average Fuel Economy rule, please click here.