The White House said the proposal applicable for model year 2017 through 2025 vehicles "will save Americans over $1.7 trillion at the pump, more than $8,000 per vehicle by 2025."
The higher standards will also cut oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels of oil per day, "enough to offset almost a quarter of our current level of foreign imports," the White House said.
Over the lifetime of the vehicles affected by the new standards, which are subject to a 60-day period of public comment, the White House estimates 2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution will be avoided.
Building on standards that set fuel efficiency at 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, the higher standards aim for fuel efficiency of 54.5 mpg phased in through 2025.
"These unprecedented standards are a remarkable leap forward in improving fuel efficiency, strengthening national security by reducing our dependence on oil, and protecting our climate for generations to come," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a statement.
The new standards will save money, "reduce our nation's oil consumption and cut harmful emissions in the air we breathe," said Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson.