Before we get into the impact of these proposed regulations, though, we wanted to clarify what these lofty CAFE mpg figures actually mean. Plain and simply, a CAFE mileage value does not equal an EPA mileage figure you would see on a window sticker. CAFE values use unadjusted measurements and are significantly higher than EPA or real-world mileage figures. While there is no easy conversion in going from one to the other, we used Hyundai's slides (seen here) and calculated a 62 mpg CAFE rating equates to 43 'window sticker' miles per gallon. Keep this in mind whenever you read about CAFE targets.
So, how much would a 62 mpg CAFE standard increase the price of vehicles? According to government agencies, about $3,500 at most. On the other end of the spectrum you have Sean McAlinden, from the Center for Automotive Research, quoting $9,970 per vehicle. Depending upon who you believe, this fuel economy target may end up saving consumers money. In a federal notice of intent to create rules, the EPA and NHTSA estimate lifetime fuel cost savings of $5,700 to $7,400. Let us know what 2025 CAFE standard you would like to see adopted in the comments.
[Source: Autoweek and The Truth About Cars | Image: choking sun – C.C. License 2.0]