Deal with automakers makes good gas mileage mandatory

FRESNO, Calif.

The agreement marks the biggest cut in fuel consumption in the automotive world in nearly 40 years.

This time it's not just small compact hybrids that are being promised great gas mileage, trucks and SUV's are too. And its expected to save people thousands of dollars. At a car dealership in Hanford the latest cars, trucks and SUV's litter the parking lot.

Longtime car dealer Leon Dudley says choosing a vehicle still comes down to one thing. "It's still style and lifestyle. Gas mileage is still a consideration but overall all the vehicles are substantially better economically wise than they were before with the fuel economy," said Dudley from Valley Ford-Lincoln-Mercury.

Cars and trucks on the market currently average 27 miles per gallon.

On Friday President Barack Obama reached an agreement with the nation's top automakers to essentially double that number within the next 15 years. The president considers the deal to be a step in the right direction. "This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we've ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Think about that," said President Obama.

This 2012 Ford Focus represents the new wave of gas saving vehicles. It's small, compact, stylish and above all else it's fuel efficient. But Dudley says the gap in MPG between small cars and big trucks isn't what it used to be. And that translates into higher truck sales in the south valley.

"Once people look at that they're like wow, I think I would rather have the more comfortable car in our area because the larger vehicles are on the road. A lot of people just don't feel comfortable in the smaller car." said Dudley. So how much money can you expect to save when buying a car in 2025?

The president believes about eight thousand dollars over the life of your car. As he put it, imagine being able to fill up your car every two weeks instead of every week.

Now the goal of course is to save money for the consumer but these new guidelines will also help decrease our dependency on oil and help save the environment.

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