Following a long political battle, 2025's Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards have now been confirmed.
Announced last year by President Obama, the standards will require a fleet-wide average of 54.5 mpg by 2025, and will operate on a gradual scale.The new targets are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6 billion metric tons by 2025, as well as near-doubling the fuel economy of many vehicles.
As mentioned, the scale is gradual, with trucks like the Ford F-150 meeting a lower 30 mpg target, while small cars will be required to achieve 61 mpg by 2025. It's also worth noting that though the numbers sound high, the standards won't correspond with official EPA fuel economy figures--a 54.5 mpg car by CAFE standards will have an EPA window sticker of around 39 mpg.
While the changes needed may increase the price of a new vehicle by around $1,800, current estimates predict that the improved economy will save drivers around $8,000 over their ownership of a vehicle. If gas prices rise further than predicted, it could be even more significant. It's also expected to help create an extra 570,000 jobs in the auto industry by 2025, as automakers take on more staff to develop, produce and sell the new vehicles.
The new standards may not be as bleak as they seem for performance and luxury car fans, either. For one, the average requirements mean that vehicles that use more fuel can be offset by those which use less--so if a sports car reaches only around 35 mpg, that may not matter if the automaker it comes from has plenty of hybrids and electric vehicles in its range. The proposed standards have already been a catalyst for marques like Chrysler to offer more diesels and hybrid vehicles.
Tighter standards will also ensure innovation, with lightweight materials, efficient engines and improved aerodynamics all ensuring that cars don't just use less fuel, but offer more performance too.
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