U.S. sets sights on auto fuel efficiency for 2017

WASHINGTON (BestGrowthStock) – President Barack Obama will announce on Friday a government push to boost auto fuel efficiency standards for model-year 2017 vehicles and beyond, government and industry officials said.

The effort, to be unveiled at the White House, also will include an order for environmental and transportation regulators to create the first-ever efficiency targets for medium and heavy duty trucks for model years 2014-18, the officials said.

In April, the administration completed new fuel regulations for passenger vehicles that will require a 30 percent decrease in carbon emissions and a 40 percent increase in auto fuel efficiency to 35 miles per gallon by 2016.

Automakers have sought assurances that the administration would seek to extend federal fuel and emissions standards for vehicles sold in the United States beyond the 2016 timeframe.

Industry believes anything less than a fast and firm commitment from Washington would open the door to competing state standards that could vary from region to region, complicate product planning and add heavy costs.

California’s push to impose its own emissions regulations was a major reason why the administration moved rapidly to adopt the most stringent set of fuel economy standards in 30 years.

An administration official who offered details on Thursday but did not want to speak for attribution ahead of the announcement said Obama’s plan also would include support for electric vehicle development.

Automakers like General Motors Co and Japan’s Nissan are racing to roll out the first electric cars. Other manufacturers have designs in the pipeline.

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(Reporting by John Crawley; editing by Carol Bishopric)

U.S. sets sights on auto fuel efficiency for 2017