The latest draft of the fuel economy regulations has been released and it would require carmakers to raise their fleet averages to 28.5mpg by 2015 and 35mpg by 2020. After that the target would continue to rise by four percent a year. That last part may be a bit unreasonable, or not depending on how you factor in electrically driven vehicles. According to Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers: "Basically, it is unattainable up until 2020 and unattainable afterward."

This is ridiculous. It is utterly obtainable, we just need consumers to actually buy them. Since the current standard of 27.5 mpg was reached in the late 1980s, fleet averages have remained stagnant, while power output has gone through the roof. Car makers just need to throttle back the output of new vehicles and crank up the fuel economy. A BMW 530d diesel can get 35mpg combined fuel economy today. While it may not be quite as quick as a 535i or 550i, it shows that an upper mid-sized sedan can get excellent fuel economy and go from 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds which is plenty of performance for almost anyone.

Carmakers have been showing off plenty of advanced high-efficiency cars, it's now time for them to stop whining and just acknowledge that even if people buy Chrysler 300 SRT-8s and Chevy Tahoes, few of them ever need to go 0-60 in 5 seconds or tow a 6,000 pound trailer.

[Source: Detroit News]

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