When it comes to global oil production, Saudi Arabia is one of the absolute leaders, producing nearly 10 million barrels of crude every day. That means it can offer its citizens gas prices of about 45 cents per gallon. Despite this remarkably low price, though, the controversial, monarchical Middle Eastern country has just announced a series of reforms for the auto industry that will see American/European/Chinese-style fleet fuel efficiency standards come into effect.

According to Green Car Reports, the Kingdom's fleet standards are more lenient than those in the US and considerably easier to meet than Chinese or European standards. Fleets will need to return an average of 12 kilometers per liter (about 28.2 miles per gallon) by 2020. In the near term, though, vehicles will need to feature fuel economy labels as early as next month, and will need to meet more stringent fleet standards by late 2015 or early 2016. The push to increase fuel efficiency of Saudi cars is so intense that the country is even considering a program like Cash for Clunkers, in a bid to get older, less fuel efficient cars off the roads.

As for the motivation behind this sea change, it's a fairly simple one to break down – Saudi energy demand is increasing at a rate that the economy can't support, with a steady four-to-five-percent increase every year, according to Green Car Reports.

While we can get behind the reasoning and the new standards, what we don't understand is why fuel prices will remain at 45 cents per gallon. As GCR points out, this is not unlike the American model, where prices are intentionally kept lower while higher standards are mandated. But with such a ridiculously low fuel price, it seems odd that there isn't a proposal for at least a small price increase to help curb demand.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Before anyone jumps right to complaining that we don't have 45 cent gas in the USA, please take a second to be grateful as hell that you don't live in Saudi Arabia.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Norway's approach; They encourage and offer huge incentives for electric cars that are fueled by hydro power plants while shipping their oil away to the more stupid countries for a fortune.
      • 1 Year Ago
      " what we don't understand is why fuel prices will remain at 45 cents per gallon" Because they don't want people to riot.
      Jamie Houk
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Saudi Government will not allow fuel price to rise because if they do they will have riots and pressure on the ruling family. They simply do not want to kick the hornet's nest.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Now if only they leave the dark ages behind.
      Jamie Elmhirst
      • 1 Year Ago
      45 cent a gallon gas is how ruthless dictators keep the populace onside and not rioting in the streets. Pretty obvious.
      Michael Scoffield
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yep, and they still keep executing people for imaginary crimes such as witchcraft.
      • 1 Year Ago
      People, global warming is one giant hoax. There are CYCLES of temperature fluctuation throughout the history of planet Earth and we're about to swing into a 300+ yr cold cycle as we're quickly approach the end of the hot cycle. Don't let these Al Gore types fool you, their initiates are either short sighted or just smoke and mirrors to hide the real truth — selling the idea of global warming is good for business.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Its pretty obvious. If the Kingdom starts raising prices (or lifting idiotic laws like no women drivers) the ISIS folks will sweep in and revolt. The Saudi male is the most spoiled and backwards man on the planet and is only kept in check by the massive coddling the Kingdom affords them. Start taking away their unearned privileges and all hell is gonna break loose. But, it's coming brother, it's coming. Then we'll all be thanking the Libtards who pushed alternative energy sources, it aint gonna be pretty...
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's 45cents a litre not gallon. Still cheaper than any other country excluding Iran. Pretty amazing to see how pissed off the americans are that someone is getting cheaper oil than them.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Because raising prices doesn't deter purchasing. It's just taxing the addicts.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just chill guys, remember that Saudi currency is linked to the US dollar and the US citizens are getting the advantage of that when it comes to the Gas prices.
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