NRC: Meeting CAFE standards won't be cheap but it's doable
Light-weighting, 8-Speed Transmissions May Do The Trick
The National Research Council says typical midsize sedans will have a good shot meeting the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mandate for 2025. It states that cars need have an average of 54.5 miles per gallon on the CAFE standard (which translates to a "real world" average of about 40 mpg, or about 15 percent higher than what cars get now). Automakers will be able to meet these mandates with strategies such as light-weighting, eight-speed transmissions and smaller gas-powered engines, as opposed to the more costly proposition of using electrification in those powertrains.
That means that the average midsize car may cost about an extra $1,500 or so to produce in a matter that will meet the CAFE standards, according to the non-profit. Of course, many automakers say that more electrification will be necessary and that it could be cost-prohibitive to meet that 2025 mandate. Recently, the Consumer Federation of America begged to differ, saying that current fuel-efficiency gains indicate that the CAFE figures are feasible.
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