By Beth Daley, Globe Staff
The new fuel economy standard announced last month by President Barack Obama could benefit New Englanders $10 billion by 2025 through fuel savings and local reinvestment, according to a new study.
Coming soon: Better gas mileage
The new standards, which begin in 2012, will require cars and light trucks to get 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. The new rules accelerate requirements Congress already had on the books to reach that goal by 2020. Currently, fuel standards hover a bit higher than 25 miles per gallon.
The study, released by the University of New Hampshire’s Carbon Solutions New England notes that the new fuel standards are expected to save 10 billion gallons of fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the key global warming gas, by 88 million tons between 2011 and 2025 in New England. That’s the equivalent, the report says, of removing 17.5 million cars off the road for one year.
While the new standards are expected to cost consumers about $1,300 per new vehicle, the Obama administration said that would pay for itself through fuel savings during the vehicle’s life.
The report focuses on fuel efficiency to save money and reduce emissions. It tried to capture behavior changes with more fuel efficient cars, such as assuming people will drive 11 percent more when they spend less money on gas.
“Our analysis clearly shows that investing in fuel-efficient vehicles is good for the environment and good for the economy,” says Cameron Wake, director of CSNE and an author of the report.
To view the report go to http://www.carbonsolutionsne.org.