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With $1.68-a-Gallon Gas, America's Big MPG Goals Are in Trouble

  • Companies are required to meet a 54.5-mpg standard by 2025
  • U.S. efficiency, emissions targets will be reviewed next year
U.S. Average Regular Gasoline Price Rose Yesterday
Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
Updated on

In private meetings late last year, U.S. regulators and automakers staked out preliminary -- and opposing -- positions in a debate about the companies’ ability to boost fuel economy 50 percent to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

The manufacturers’ message was simple: Improvements to gasoline engines, including direct-injection and turbocharging, clearly won’t be enough to reach the target in nine years. It will require more gas-electric hybrids, and therefore, cost more than originally estimated. Consumers, meanwhile, haven’t embraced hybrids and other green technologies nearly as fast as the government predicted.