U.S. Finalizes Higher 2025 Fuel Economy Standards
It’s official now, the Obama Administration has announced that the 2025 54.5 mpg fuel economy standards are now finalized. Which side of the debate are you on?
These goals have been much criticized and applauded by both sides of the fuel economy debate. It has also become a source of debate in the upcoming U.S. Presidential elections. Current President Obama believes that by setting high mpg goals, consumers will ultimately save in the long-term in fuel economy.
On the other hand, we have Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney who says that the higher standards will put an undue burden on manufactures and hurt consumers with higher vehicle purchase prices. Romney told the Detroit News that the government should “work with the manufacturers to find ways to encourage fuel economy on the part of the consumer” instead of mandating higher standards (a vague political statement to be sure – Jason).
If this debate sounds a bit familiar (the higher purchase price vs. potential fuel savings), it should. This is a similar debate that has brewed with hybrid cars.
“By the middle of the next decade, our cars will get nearly 55 miles per gallon, almost double what they get today,” President Barack Obama said in a statement. “It will strengthen our nation’s energy security, it’s good for middle-class families, and it will help create an economy built to last.”
Is 55 MPG Real?
In a word, no. The 55mpg goal isn’t really 55. As Cars.com says, “CAFE standards stem from a smorgasbord of 1970s-era fuel economy ratings with various exemptions and credits. Experts say the 54.5 mpg standard will translate to the high 30s in EPA combined city/highway gas mileage on new-car window stickers by 2025.”
The Detroit News is reporting that new 2025 vehicles will cost $1,836 more. Specifically, trucks will cost $2,059 on average. Part of this cost increase has to do with the following excerpt in the EPA report:
The agencies recognize that the standards presented in this final rule for MYs 2017-2025 will be challenging for large vehicles, including full-size pickup trucks often used in commercial applications. To help address this challenge, the program will, as proposed, adopt incentives for the use of hybrid electric and non-hybrid electric “game changing” technologies in full-size pickup trucks.
In other words, trucks are getting hybrid powertrains. Period. Toyota and Ford have announced plans to produce a hybrid full-size truck, and we expect that this hybrid truck will see the showroom floor by 2016 or so. Waiting much longer would expose Ford to serious financial penalties under these new fuel economy rules (or at least that’s how it seems right now).
What do these standards mean to you? Is the increased MSRP worth the increased fuel economy? Would you drive a hybrid Tundra?
Filed Under: Auto News