New Mileage Standards – One Piece to the Puzzle for Reducing Oil Consumption

The Obama administration recently announced new fuel efficiency standards that will take effect from 2017 to 2025. In essence, each manufacturers’ fleet average must achieve 54.5 miles per gallon (MPG). According to the administration, this will save each family $8200 over the life of the vehicle as compared to a similar vehicle purchased in 2010. While also saving approximately 12 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the program, I applaud this step. See complete announcement at

However, there is a second tier to our oil consumption problem. While increasing fuel economy takes great strides toward oil independence, the other issue not addressed is the fact that the shear numbers of vehicles on the road are increasing. In 1993 there were 198,041,338 total registered highway vehicles in the US, while in 2008 there were 255,917,664 – see Bureau of Transportation Statistics research. So my question is, if we continue to add close to 60 million vehicles to US highways every 15 years, will we still be able to become oil independent with these increased fuel economy standards?

About the Blogger:
Michael Gray is co-author of Auto Upkeep – a basic car care curriculum used by over 500 schools and thousands of homeschoolers in the United States and Canada. You can become a “Fan” of Auto Upkeep at

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Auto Upkeep 4th Edition

Michael Gray

Mike has roots in the automotive service industry. He began diagnosing and fixing cars at a young age in his family’s service station. He has worked in automotive parts supply stores, towing companies, and service facilities. After graduating from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a Bachelor’s degree, he implemented and taught a basic car care program at the high school level. During work on his Master’s degree at Illinois State University (IL), he was a curriculum specialist on a National Science Foundation project where he co-authored ten integrated mathematics, science, and technology books designed for team teaching. Mike has also supervised teachers in Career and Technology Education as a school system administrator.

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