New fuel efficiency regulations proposed by the federal government will save Illinoisans big money, according to an environmental group. The proposal would require average fuel economy of 54½ mpg by 2025. Purely gasoline-powered vehicles probably wouldn’t get that, but greater use of electric cars would push the average up. Environment Illinois says this means savings: $1.2 billion for Illinois drivers in 2030, or $240 per family that year, including the higher cost of technology necessary to achieve that standard.
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The vehicles needed to reach this goal will not necessarily be entirely new. They can be updated versions of existing models, says Bruce Ratain, clean energy associate for Environment Illinois. The proposed regulations still have to go through a hearing process and possible revision. Automobile manufacturers and workers are in favor; dealers are opposed, saying they’ll be stuck with inventory that customers don’t want at prices they don’t want to pay. If the standard is reached, it will cut U.S. oil consumption by 25 percent.