• Jun 22nd 2011 at 7:52PM
  • 35
Bumping up federal fuel economy standards to 56 miles per gallon in the 2025 would yield fuel savings that offset increased vehicle prices, according to the Center for Automotive Research. However, CAR says, jumping to 62 mpg would increase vehicle prices to such a degree that additional cash needed to buy an auto would exceed the amount of money saved at the pump over a five-year period.

Center for Automotive Research president, Jay Baron, points out that although the research firm is partially financed by the automotive industry, this study was internally funded. With that disclosure out of the way, let's look at some of the numbers:
  • Technological advancements will drive up the average cost of vehicles by $3,810 to $11,390 by 2025, depending on CAFE targets.
  • Fuel savings would range between $5,917 and $8,339, depending on CAFE requirements, over the first five years of owning a 2025 vehicle.
  • Under the 47-mpg, 51-mpg and 56-mpg targets, fuel savings would exceed the increased cost of a new vehicle.
  • Under the 62-mpg standard, increased vehicle prices would top fuel savings by $1,450.
Here's the kicker: Center for Automotive Research chief economist Sean McAlinden says that raising the CAFE target to 62 mpg would force consumers to retain their aging autos, resulting in less fuel-efficient vehicles on U.S. roads, increased fuel consumption and more pollution. Looks like this could turn into a "less is more" scenario if things don't go right.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      Steven
      • 4 Years Ago
      or a lie...
      GoodCheer
      • 4 Years Ago
      This result must be VERY sensitive to fuel prices. Just how accurately do you think you can predict fuel prices in 2025? Me, I would give a $1/gal window for 1 year from now.
        ELECTRIC4ME
        • 4 Years Ago
        @GoodCheer
        Also, in an ideal world we'd stop using oil for transportation simply because it's the right thing to do and the oversupply would drive the price *down*.
      Peter
      • 4 Years Ago
      The wrong metric. We don't need better fuel efficiency to save consumers money, we need it to save 1) the planet (the cost of replacing the planet is...) 2) our health (the value of life years gained from improved air quality is...) 3) gain oil independence (the value of not sending money to people who finance terrorism is...) Any price of technology goes down with volume, and the price of gas will only go up, so even if you buy into their argument (implicit) that it is only about saving the consumer dollars, the argument should require 56mpg next year for new models, and including the old models in the calculation as they would normally meet the end of their product cycles.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Believe it or not the price of gasoline in the US is the among the lowest for any country that imports as high a percentage of it's oil as the US. The long term trend has been for the US to import more and more of it's oil since US production peaked somewhere around 1970. Many oil importing countries have increased taxes significantly on motor fuels, preffering to keep more of their money in their local economies but, the US seems hell bent on spending as much money as they can with Hugo Chavez and a couple other folks who aren't really fond of the US or it's citizens. Unless somebody gets really lucky and makes some major find in some US territory that hasn't been explored yet (hint: such a place does not really exist.) then I have a feeling that by 2025 Americans will either be paying more than $10 per gallon (in 2011 dollars) or they will be using a lot less. This reduced consumption could either come as a result a choice to use less oil through more efficient vehicles, mass transit etc. or, it could come when people have no choice as a result of a never ending economic depression, brought on by high oil prices/shrinking oil supplies. Those of us who are young enough to live to see 2025 will see how it plays out.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I suggest reading the book "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely. Because the purchase decision actually deals with real money that is something that a consumer treats differently than future savings or other altruistic ideals. Most often, consumers will say they want fuel efficiency and willing to pay for it but when it comes time to hand over the money they will often act irrationally (according to their own stated beliefs). Perhaps if you make the consumer Pre-Buy their fuel and pay for the other costs (environmental, etc.) then you may see more rational decisions.
      postpast
      • 4 Years Ago
      By 2025 I expect to be floating on pixy dust.
      William
      • 4 Years Ago
      According to Al Gore, and nearly 100% of Democrats, and various acolytes around the world we won't last as long as is discussed in this article.
        Ford Future
        • 4 Years Ago
        @William
        I'm not sure Al said that. Do you have a link? But, here's a look at the North American Drought Current Conditions, this has been going from bad to worse for 3 years. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/drought/nadm/nadm-maps.php?lang=en&year=2011&month=5&submitted=true It comes down to are you going to believe the Koch funded Liers, or are you going to believe your own eyes, the global glacier melt, and the world wide drought and it's effect on Food Prices Today. Remember when the "Oxycotton" radio fool said there was going to be no problem with a 2 degree temperature increase, and that we were all going to adapt? Well. Adapting to lack of food is hard and expensive. It's now time for a Manhattan Project for Green Energy on a Crash Course Basis. We could have done this Nice and Easy, but, no, now it's got to be an Emergency.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, if the Supremes decide the medical mandate is OK, Congress could just pass a law fining people for not buying a new car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Or the Supremes may just ask 'What's love got to do with it?'
      Steven
      • 4 Years Ago
      Has anyone taken a close look at what constitutes a 62 mpg vehicle? I can think of one or two, and can't be imported into this country because they can't pass our crash safety standards. The $2,500, 2-cylinder TATA comes to mind. Would you drive one on the Interstate? How much will (all) cars have to change in 11 years to achieve 62 mpg CAFE? Change in the automotive industry comes slowly, very slowly. In 1982, Audi produced the 100/5000, it was the first bubble shaped car with integral bumpers to be mass produced, a car that you could look at today and think it was a new model. It had a dual over head cam engine with EFI, four wheel anti-lock disc brakes, independent suspension, power everything and got 25 mpg. Except for air bags and stability control, cars have changed remarkably little over the next 29 years. What miracle are people expecting in the next 11 years? I'm a large man, I own a 20' power boat and a camp located a couple hours from my place of employment. I can't live my lifestyle without a full-sized pickup or SUV. I've worked hard for many years to earn what I now enjoy, it is my right to continue doing so.
        GoodCheer
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Steven
        "it is my right to continue doing so" I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, and yes, it is unequivocally your right, but it is not you right to be able to afford to do so. If the price of gas goes up, or the availability down, and you can't afford that 2 hour trip, tough titty.
        Chris M
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Steven
        Well, it is possible to produce a vehicle that passes safety standards and exceeds 62 mpg, just make it plug in. A plug-in hybrid like the Volt could do it, a pure electric would exceed it by several times. But remember, this is Corporate Average Fuel Economy, it doesn't require that all vehicles meet such lofty numbers, only that the average fuel economy of all models produced by an auto company meet that standard. So selling enough high mileage plug-ins would allow them to sell some lower mileage trucks and SUVs as well, and I can assure you that's exactly what Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, and several other auto makers are planning to do.
        ELECTRIC4ME
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Steven
        Speaking of your "rights", is it your right to be allowed to pollute as you see fit? You may have worked hard for years for such things, but as time goes on we all learn more about the side affects of our behavior. If your personal AFE mirrors the CAFE then you'd be doing fine though. I.e., commuting in an electric, towing in an efficient truck.
      Tagbert
      • 4 Years Ago
      So the additional cost is about what you might pay for an "appearance package" or similar option package on a new car purchase? Doesn't sound so outrageous.
      The Libertarian
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why can't we just buy the car we want to buy? Whatever happened to freedom of choice? Why do I have to buy the car the government forces me to buy?
        bvz
        • 4 Years Ago
        @The Libertarian
        You can buy any car you want, assuming you have the money. CAFE standards (which, by the way, seem to me to be the wrong way to go about raising fuel economy) merely fine manufacturers who make thirstier cars. These manufacturers then pass the cost on to you. If you want a car that consumes more gas, then feel free to pony up and buy it. There are companies that make guzzlers and will happily charge you for the privilege of driving one. Not really sure where your freedom of choice was infringed upon. Or was it an expectation that you should be able to buy a specific car at a specific price point? 'Cause I never saw the document that outlined that right.
        Sean Francis-Lyon
        • 4 Years Ago
        @The Libertarian
        If you are a libertarian then you should understand the tragedy of the commons. When people are allowed to consume resources that don't belong to them they consume those resources even when its not worth it. When you pollute, even just CO2, you consume a common resource. A more libertarian solution would be to change people for consuming common resources. If you want to build a bubble around your property you can drive whatever kind of car you want inside it. It is not reasonable to expect to consume other peoples resources without any limitations or a requirement to pay for it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't think an increase in fuel economy standards should only be looked at for cost reductions... If we only consider conserving fuel for monetary reasons, we aren't going to find an eco-friendly solution any time soon. Who cares if people are holding onto their vehicles longer, its better to save resources and not over-produce vehicles that people aren't going to buy.
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