U.S. gov't sets new fuel-efficency standards

The federal government has released new, tougher gas mileage standards for trucks and cars. The Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency made the announcement and touted its upsides in this press release.

The rules could potentially save the average buyer of a 2016 model year car $3,000 over the life of the vehicle and, nationally, will conserve about 1.8 billion barrels of oil and reduce nearly a billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the lives of the vehicles covered.

Carmakers had been worried the new rules might affect electric vehicles, which they had marketed as "zero emissions," allowing them to offset the costs of producing other less environmentally-friendly vehicles. In this Wall Street Journal article, carmakers expressed some of their worries and doubts.

But in order to encourage the production of "cleaner" cars, electric vehicles will be initially counted as having "zero emissions," as stated in this Reuters article:

The first 200,000 vehicles produced by each manufacturer will be given a zero emissions rating.

After that, the rating of the vehicle will reflect the upstream greenhouse gas emissions associated with charging the vehicles.

Listen to today's broadcast to hear our story about the impact the new rules will have.

About the author

Daryl Paranada is the associate web producer for Marketplace overseeing all daily website content and production, as well as producing multimedia features -- including the popular economic explainer series Whiteboard -- and special projects. Follow him on Twitter @darylparanada.

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