With automakers currently struggling to meet the 35-mpg Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards set in place for 2016, the thought of a 62-mpg CAFE number for 2025 is unimaginable by many. That 62-mpg number, the result of a proposed 3 to 6 percent increase in fleet fuel economy starting in 2017, has just been delayed.
Yesterday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said any further decisions about the 2017 to 2025 goals would be put on hold until September of 2011, citing the need for further study.
One major consideration is that in the fight to increase fuel economy, one of the best ways is to reduce vehicle weight. While advantageous in certain respects, it may also have a negative effect on vehicle safety.
Part of a larger plan by the Obama Administration, the added cost to each vehicle required to achieve these numbers could range from $770 to $3,500 – a number that has been contested by opponents. Proponents of the plan say the up-front cost added to cars would result in cost savings for consumers who would save between $5,700 to $7,400 in fuel costs over a four year period.
Automakers, which had previously been open to increasingly strict fuel economy rules, have now changed their tune, believing they have a more sympathetic ear with Republicans, who are beginning to take over power in the House.
Of note, it’s important to point out that CAFE and EPA fuel economy ratings are not the same and that a 62-mpg CAFE number, is more like 43-mpg in the real world. While more realistic, the only cars on the market that currently achieve such high fuel economy numbers are the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius.
[Source: The Detroit News]