Obama wants cleaner cars by 2016


Bill Radke: In a few minutes, President Obama is expected to announce the first-ever national emissions limit for cars and trucks as well as a new mileage standard. From North Carolina Public Radio,
Marketplace's Janet Babin has the story.

JANET BABIN: Cars and trucks will have to get about 35 miles per gallon by 2016 under the new standards. That's up from 27 miles per gallon for cars at today's standards.

The president's plan will also require tailpipe emissions be cut by about 30 percent.

The government estimates the changes will add $1,300 to a vehicle's price tag. But analyst John Wolkonowicz with IHS Global Insight says it could cost more than that. He says automakers will be hard-pressed to make bigger vehicles that meet the new standards.

John Wolkonowicz: Consumers are not going to be able to get the vehicles they want, and they're going to be paying more for the vehicles they do get. I think we could see increases as much as $7,000 on some larger vehicles.

Still auto makers say they're on board. And the Obama administration says the added cost will be a wash. Vehicles will be more fuel efficient, so consumers will use less gasoline.

I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.


I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...

Sustainability Coverage

  • The Kendeda Fund
  • Wealth & Poverty Coverage

  • The Ford Foundation