Basically, the system might allow plug-in vehicles to count as 1.2 or even 2 vehicles in the fleet calculations,and so each EV could offset something big and fuel inefficient. This might result in getting plug-in vehicles to market while also allowing bug SUVs to remain in production. Unsurprisingly, the Auto Alliance, made up of most of the big OEMs, loves the idea. Alliance spokesman Charles Territo said that, "The ability to earn, trade and bank credits" by producing electric and hybrid vehicles "is essential to meeting the goals of the national program." The next big CAFE goal is 35.5 mpg by 2016.
John DeCicco, senior lecturer at the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment, told HybridCars that the EV credit system under discussion is potentially confusing. "Funny math can't substitute for engineering breakthroughs. EVs of any sort can only make a real difference if they succeed on their merits for both customer value and emissions reduction. Bonus credits may fool a few starry-eyed policymakers, they won't fool either the marketplace or the Earth's atmosphere."