U.S. Fuel Economy Standards Toughened For Trucks, SUVs

The U.S. government on March 29 tightened fuel economy standards for trucks, sports utility vehicles and minivans. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said the move is expected to save 10.7 billion gallons of fuel over the lifetime of the affected vehicles.

Under the new standards, automakers will be required to increase the average fuel economy of their light trucks by 10% by 2011.

The standards will also now apply to the largest sports utility vehicles that had previously been exempted. About 240,000 of those vehicles are sold every year in the U.S. and their inclusion in the standards is expected to save 250 million gallons of fuel a year, Mineta said.

Automakers will be required to increase their average fuel economy for light trucks and sports utility vehicles to 24 miles per gallon from the current average of 21.6 miles per gallon.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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