Tuesday, May 19, 2009

40MPG.org: Higher MPG Deal is Step in Right Direction, U.S. Needs to Keep Pushing for More Fuel-Efficiency and Auto Industry Innovation

/PRNewswire / -- The new White House-brokered agreement on increased auto fuel efficiency averaging 35.5 miles per gallon (MPG) for new cars and light trucks sold in 2016 is "historic and a great beginning for recovering America's position in the global auto market," according to 40MPG.org and TheCLEAN.org.

40MPG.org Founder and Civil Society Institute President and Founder Pam Solo said: "We need to continue fostering innovations that can make U.S. cars even more fuel efficient. We applaud California and the other states that applied sufficient pressure on greenhouse gas controls to bring reluctant automakers to the bargaining table. The Obama White House also deserves credit for finding a way to get these parties to agree on a timetable that actually accelerates progress in the United States to achieving greater energy efficiency. This is a historic and a great beginning for recovering America's position in the global auto marketplace."

Ailis Aaron Wolf, spokesperson for 40MPG.org, said: "Every bit of additional fuel efficiency is welcome for U.S. vehicles. Anyone who thinks that oil prices are going to remain at relatively low levels for the long term is fooling themselves. When gas pump prices jump again above $3 and $4 dollars, as experts predict that they will, Americans will once again flock to the most energy efficient vehicles available. U.S. auto companies need to do better if they want to remain competitive in an increasingly tough and competitive global marketplace. Hopefully, the new MPG deal with help to create a culture of innovation and experimentation that will help put the U.S. auto industry back on top."

In a June 2007 report, the nonprofit 40MPG.org project of the Civil Society Institute noted that Japan is moving to the equivalent of 48 MPG by 2010, the European Union is shooting for about 44 MPG currently and China is requiring the equivalent today of 37 MPG. Automotive News reported nearly two years ago that Japan already has in place fleet economy rules equal to more than 45 MPG. In February 2007, 40MPG.org issued a report showing that there are more than 100 vehicle makes for sale around the world - but not in the United States -- that get combined gas mileage of 40MPG or better. This figure, which included a number of clean diesels, appears to have changed very little in recent years.

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