Current federal standards push U.S. automakers to hit a standard 34.1 mpg by 2016. Patterson is urging the government to push that standard about 6 percent a year for the next nine years, The Detroit News reported Friday.
In a letter to President Obama, Patterson said, "We urge you to set ambitious new standards for passenger vehicles. We have seen automakers meet goals time and time again, and we are confident that technological improvements, including plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles that they are rolling out will increase efficiency and affordability further and will make 60 miles per gallon commonplace."
The governors of Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Washington are also pushing the federal government for more strident fuel efficiency standards, the News said.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Director David Strickland said last week that new standards would not be adopted "until we have the data and the facts and science behind us."
"We're not making any prognostications on what is feasible until we know for a fact," he said.