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Last updated: February 16. 2013 8:18PM - 83 Views

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WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has finalized new fuel economy rules that will require the fleet-wide average of new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. to double over the next 13 years.


The average fuel economy must reach 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, up from 28.6 mpg at the end of last year.


The regulations will bring dramatic changes to the cars and trucks in U.S. showrooms, with the goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption.


To meet the standard, automakers will need to introduce new technology to improve gasoline-powered engines. And they'll need to sell more alternative fuel vehicles. Critics say the rules will add thousands to the price of new cars and make them unaffordable for many.


The administration says the latest changes will save families more than $1.7 trillion in fuel costs and bring an average savings of $8,000 over the lifetime of a new vehicle sold in 2025. The standards also are the biggest step the U.S. government has ever taken toward cutting greenhouse gas emissions, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said. The gas mileage requirements will be phased in gradually and get tougher starting in 2017.


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