With strict CAFE standards set at 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016, automakers have a long, tough road ahead of them. If you compare recent fuel economy increases over the past five years, the task that lies ahead is downright daunting.
Edmunds.com analysts compiled a list of fuel economy numbers for five of the most popular groups of vehicles sold in 2005. Then they put together an identical list for the vehicle groups sold in 2010. The results show that progress has definitely been made, but a lot of work lies ahead.

Here's a breakdown of some of the numbers: In 2005, compact cars achieved an average combined mpg of 23, by 2010 the number had climbed to 25.6. Large trucks went from 14.5 to 16, while mid-size cars climbed from 21.1 to 22. The remaining categories underwent a similar increase in efficiency, but all groups are still far below the target numbers. The increases may seem sacrificial, but they are more significant when percentages are factored in. For example, large truck efficiency increased 10 percent in five years and mid-size SUVs increased a remarkable 27.4 percent.

Progress has definitely been made, but it has taken a significant amount of time to realize relatively small increase in efficiency. Meeting new CAFE standards will require some car categories to basically double in efficiency in less than six years and, while doable, the task amounts to the largest effort towards increased fuel economy that automakers have ever undertaken. Good luck!

[Source: Green Car Advisor]

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