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Obama Fuel-Use Goal Puts Automakers Ahead of Pace: Cars

When President Barack Obama proposed new fuel-economy standards today, he set a pace that’s more aggressive than the industry has managed in the past four years -- or for any sustained period in the last 100.

With the introduction of cars such Nissan Motor Co.’s electric Leaf and the proliferation of Toyota Motor Corp.’s hybrid Prius, fuel efficiency has gained almost 2 percent a year on average since 2007, according to U.S. data. To meet Obama’s targets, automakers need to improve cars by 5 percent a year and trucks by 3.5 percent most years.