Gov't plans new fuel economy standard

A gas nozzle in the fuel port of a car.

TEXT OF STORY

BILL RADKE: : Automakers release their September sales figures today. They're expected to show an increase. Also today, the White House will propose a new fuel economy standard beyond the year 2017.

More on that from Marketplace's John Dimsdale.


JOHN DIMSDALE: Government standards imposed last year require carmakers to achieve an overall minimum of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. The Transportation Department is expected to propose pushing the industry to reach 53 miles per gallon by 2025. That means many more electric-powered cars. Right now, hybrids, which combine a gas engine with a battery-powered electric engine, hold the most promise.

But Bill Visnic, senior editor at Edmunds.com, says hybrid sales are down this year.

BILL VISNIC: The real train wreck in this situation has always been gasoline prices. When gasoline prices remain low, as they have been now for a couple of years, Americans traditionally have never been very interested in fuel economy with their cars.

Visnic says battery storage technology will also have to improve and become more affordable if the government's more ambitious fuel economy goals are to be realized.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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