Clean Car Standards Resource Center

In August 2012, the Federal government  finalized a new set of standards (aka the "Clean Car Standards") to increase automobile fuel efficiency and cut global warming pollution from our cars and light trucks.

Enacting strong vehicle standards is the single most important step toward implementing the UCS Half the Oil Savings Plan, which would cut America’s projected oil use in half over the next 20 years. For the very latest developments on the clean car standards, don’t forget to check our blog, The Equation.

Learn more about the history and many benefits of this program through the following fact sheets and resources.

Fact Sheets

  • Clean Car and Truck Standards (MY 2017–2025)
    The Obama administration is making history by setting standards that will nearly double the fuel economy of new cars and light trucks by 2025. The second round of fuel efficiency and global warming pollution standards for light duty vehicles, which was recently finalized by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Transportation, covers model years (MY) 2017-2025. This second round builds on the success of the MY 2012-2016 standards, which are already benefitting car buyers nationwide.
  • Clean Car and Truck Standards (MY 2012–2016)
    Model year 2012-2016 national standards save oil, cut emissions, and save money at the pump.
  • Protecting Consumers from Pain at the Pump
    While options for short-term relief from high gasoline prices are limited, we can protect ourselves from future oil price spikes by cutting the country’s projected oil use in half over 20 years — and the production of clean, fuel-efficient vehicles is a critical first step. The cars and trucks we drive every day consume nearly half the oil used in this country, and the only way to protect consumers is to cut oil use by making our vehicles more fuel efficient.
  • History and Benefits of the Standards
    Fuel economy has a long and storied history in the United States—but it has offered huge benefits too.
  • Translating New Auto Standards into On-Road Fuel Efficiency
    What will a 54.5 mpg clean car standard actually mean to drivers on the road?  This fact sheet shows how federal fuel economy standard numbers match up to the window sticker projections we see, and how reasonable a 54.5 mpg standard really is.
  • Driving Emissions to Zero
    Battery, fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid electric cars are a key part of California’s efforts to protect public health, improve our energy security, and reach our long-term carbon reduction goals. California now has an opportunity to deliver on those goals as the Air Resources Board (ARB) works to set strong Zero  Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) requirements through 2025. Updating these standards will drive advanced vehicle technologies not only in California, but around the nation.
  • Agreement on Fuel Efficiency & Auto Pollution Standards (MY2017-2025)
    In 2011, the Obama administration announced an agreement with the State of California and major automakers to strengthen fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for light-duty vehicles sold in model years 2017-2025. These standards will save consumers money at the gas pump, protect public health by curbing global warming pollution, cut America’s oil use, and help create jobs by spurring investments in new automotive technology.
  • The Truth about Rising Gasoline Prices
    As gas prices approach $4.00 a gallon, this UCS news release looks at some of the pervading myths about the issue, and shows how clean car standards represent our best solution to America's pain at the pump.
  • The Road Ahead
    Setting strong fuel efficiency and global warming standards for new cars and trucks can clean up our air and cut America’s oil dependence. This 2011 publication showed how automakers have the technology to meet standards of at least 60 miles per gallon for new light-duty vehicles in model year 2025.  
  • The National Program
    An outline of the history and legal foundations of the national program that sets joint fuel efficiency and global warming pollution standards for automobiles. 
  • The Costs of Delay
    Congressional riders blocked any improvement in fuel efficiency standards in the 1990s, a delay that cost American consumers nearly $200 billion at the gas pump.  Current attacks on the Clean Air Act would levy similar costs on Americans.
Last Revised: August 22, 2012

We Need Your Support
to Make Change Happen

We can protect consumers, the climate, and our environment from the growing costs and risks of our oil use —but not without you. Your generous support helps develop science-based solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.