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Study finds new 54.5mpg standard will save drivers $44B in fuel costs

by Drew Johnson

A new report indicated drivers could save more than $44 billion in fuel costs as a result of the new 54.5mpg standard.

A new study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Union of Concerned Scientists has concluded that the Obama administration's new 54.5mpg fuel economy standard will save Americans over $44 billion in fuel costs by 2030.

According to the research, the new 54.5mpg standard - which goes into effect in 2025 - will reduce the United State's dependence on foreign oil by 23.7 billion gallons by 2030. Additionally, the new CAFE standards will reduce carbon emissions by 280 metric tons - roughly the equivalent of taking 40 million vehicles on the nation's roads.

"As shown in our analysis, raising fuel efficiency standards to the new level will deliver significant economic, environmental, and national security benefits," Natural Resources Defense Council Senior Vehicles Analyst Luke Tonachel said. "Americans will be able to keep thousands of dollars in their pocket over the life of a new vehicle, while breathing cleaner air."

Union of Concerned Scientists' Clean Vehicles Program Senior Washington Representative Brendan Bell added: "Strong standards will help lower the cost of driving for consumers in every state. ' Automakers have the technology to make any car, truck, or SUV cleaner and more fuel efficient. ' No matter where you live or what kind of vehicle you drive, these standards will save you money at the gas pump." '

The study even included a breakdown of savings by state and household. Texas drivers are set to save the most under the new fuel economy regulations, with the state's drivers saving a total of $5.024 billion by 2030. That equates to a $425 savings per household.

California and Florida round out the top three, with the states expected to save $4.954 billion and $4.223 billion, respectively.

Although the study shows the new 54.5mpg standard will cut emissions and reduce our dependence of foreign oil, drivers might be the ones to lose out on the new deal. It's estimated that buyers will have to shell out between $2,000 and $10,000 more for new cars as a result of the 54.5mpg standard, which appears to outweigh any savings at the pump. Some states -- like Pennsylvania and New York -- are only expected to save about $200 per household as a result of the regulations.