The U.S. government is to impose a new mileage standard requirement for passenger cars and smaller utility vehicles. The new standard will come into effect on all 2011 vehicles.
Passenger cars will be required to average 30.2 miles per gallon. Light trucks, SUVs and pickups will need to average 24.1 mpg.
The government says the new requirements are designed to reduce vehicle emissions and lower the US dependence on imported oil.
In order to achieve these figures, the 'Detroit Three' - General Motors, Ford and Chrysler - have proposed a change to the precise volume of a gallon from 2010. Their joint suggestion is that by increasing the volume of a gallon by just 10%, the new standards can be met without requiring costly engineering developments. They say that this is essential in the current economic climate. If the re-alignment of the gallon is not feasible, they say, their research indicates that reducing the statute mile by 10% could have a similar effect.
A second amendment to the requirements will apply to cars & light trucks from 2020, and further adjustment of volume or distance measurements may be required. However, it is not known if any vehicles will be produced in the US by this time.