A new study finds that by tweaking the design of the window sticker, the EPA could push more buyers towards fuel efficient vehicles, like hybrids and EVs.
Epa Fuel Economy
Despite the ballyhoo that accompanied Ford's lowering of the C-Max fuel economy figures, the Blue Oval is still seeing strong demand for the five-seat MPV, as Automotive News reports. Speaking to marketing boss Jim Farley, AN says that the controversy surrounding the C-Max's fuel economy figures won't force Ford to change its marketing strategy.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, which first started keeping track of such things way back in 1975 around the time of the first fuel crisis in America, the average fuel economy of all vehicles sold in the U.S. hit a record high in 2009. For those favoring hard data, that equals 22.4 miles per gallon. Not surprisingly, average fuel economy has been on an upward path over the last several years (excluding a small dip in 2008).
Last week the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its proposals for new fuel economy labels and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has responded with a thumbs down. Specifically, NADA is unhappy with the proposed letter grades that would indicate where the labeled vehicle stands relative to its direct competitors. NADA is concerned that the new grades would confuse consumers, especially when comparing different fuel types. This is a dubious argument.
Now that we know the price tag of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, the car's last big secret is what will be on the EPA mileage sticker. We had a chance to talk with vehicle line director Tony Posawatz at the Plug-In 2010 Conference in San Jose, CA and got a little bit of insight into the matter. Posawatz acknowledged that General Motors is very close to a final agreement with the EPA on what must appear on the sticker for the 2011 models.
It's not all that often that you hear automakers cry out for stronger regulations and stricter guidelines. In fact, the cries typically go the other way, begging for less oversight and looser laws. So, when automakers band together suggesting changes to CAFE guidelines beyond 2016 that would take fuel economy figures to new heights, we should probably listen, right?