DETROIT — The Obama administration issued fuel economy rules Tuesday that require auto manufacturers to increase the average efficiency of new cars and trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
The new rules, aimed at reducing fuel consumption and cutting greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, will increase pressure on automakers to develop more alternative-fuel vehicles, like electric and plug-in hybrid cars, as well as improve the mileage of their mass-market models by developing better engines and using lighter materials.
Currently, auto companies are working toward achieving a 35.5 miles per gallon average by 2016. The new standards for corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, won support from most automakers last year during negotiations with federal regulators.
The rules for 2025 represent a victory for environmentalists and advocates of fuel conservation. The administration estimates that Americans will reduce oil consumption by 12 billion barrels of oil because of the higher CAFE standards, issued by the Transportation Department.
“These fuel standards represent the single most important step we’ve ever taken to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,’’ President Obama said in a statement.
The administration also said the new rules would cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2025 and reduce emissions by 6 million tons over the life of the program.
Thirteen major automakers, including General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, have endorsed the new standards. The companies did get regulators to agree to a midprogram review period to assess the progress being made toward the 54.5 miles per gallon target.
‘’We all want to get more fuel-efficient autos on our roads, and a single national program with a strong midterm review helps us get closer to that shared goal,’’ said the Auto Alliance, an industry group.
The administration estimated the new standards would save Americans $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, resulting in an average savings of more than $8,000 a vehicle by 2025.
The standards also include incentives for the production of electric and hybrid vehicles and models that run on natural gas.