The Obama Administration has pulled a number out of its hat, and it’s 27.3 MPG. While it might seem a bit crazy to set a new combined fuel economy standard for the 2011 model year with such short notice, our new President was left with the task by an outgoing administration that failed to implement what was required under law. The 2007 Energy Law stipulates that a new standard must be set by April 1st.
The 27.3 mile per gallon (MPG) figure represents an average of 2001 new car, light truck, and SUV mileage. New cars must average 30.2 MPG. New light trucks and SUVs must average 24.1 MPG.
I’ve been driving a 2009 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid this week that has a combined estimate of 20 MPG. While I’ve been able to beat the official numbers by a bit, it’s a forgone conclusion that that traditional SUVs will be getting smaller and hybrid battery packs will be getting larger. On the flip side, I’m in the midst of producing a video review of the Audi Q7 TDI clean diesel SUV, in which I easily exceeded the 2011 requirements.
Source: Ken Thomas/Associated Press