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According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it will cost automakers an average of $948 to meet the 34.1 mile per gallon Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards that will be adopted in the United States in 2016. The current standard sits at 27.5 mpg. The EPA estimates that the average owner will save some $4,000 in fuel costs over the life of the vehicle, resulting in a net savings of over $3,000 per owner.

Sounds like a fair deal, right? Well... let's delve deeper into the numbers. The New York Times reports that some automakers will be paying much more money to reach the 2016 CAFE requirements than others. With its penchant for hybrid cars, it's no surprise that it will cost Toyota the least amount to comply at just $455 per vehicle. Kia ($501 per vehicle), Honda ($574) and Hyundai ($745) all have it relatively easy as well.

Now things get a little murkier. General Motors will reportedly have to shell out $1,219 per vehicle to comply with the 2016 CAFE regulations; Ford will spend $1,228 per vehicle. Chrysler has it even worse, with an estimated $1,328 per vehicle. Still, that pales in comparison to Volkswagen, which is expected to spend a whipping $1,693 for each vehicle it sells here in the States to hit the 34.1 mpg requirement. Yowza.

As pointed out by NYT, though, we shouldn't necessarily feel bad for those automakers paying more per vehicle. After all, companies like Toyota and Honda have already paid huge sums of money in research and development costs to get their fleet mileage figures where they are – in a way, you could say that the EPA is forcing thirstier brands just to follow suit. For more analysis of the numbers and how they will affect automakers and consumers, click here.

[Source: The New York Times | Image: Rich Pedroncelli/AP]