It's been a long time since there has been any movement at all in the corporate average fleet efficiencies (CAFE) for cars and Trucks in America. I've stood by and campaigned for higher targets for years, and car companies (yes, even Toyota) kept saying it couldn't be done (meanwhile, it was being done without trouble in other countries.)
But now someone (President Obama) is finally taking a stand and will be catching America up to the rest of the world by 2016. The current fleet fuel economy laws require companies to have an average of all their cars at a powerfully inefficient 27.5 MPG. Obama's regulations will bump that up to 42 MPG, something only three cars in America currently beat.
Light trucks (read SUVs) will only be required to bump from 24 mpg to 27 mpg by the 2016 deadline. However, the rules would require a total fleet efficiency for cars and light trucks of 35.5 mpg. So if car companies started relying heavily on SUVs, the law would require greater light truck efficiency.
The auto industry looks as if it is actually 100% behind this new fuel-saving, greenhouse gas-reducing plan. The President of the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers had this to say:
For seven long years, there has been a debate over whether states or the federal government should regulate autos. President Obamaâ€™s announcement ends that old debate by starting a federal rulemaking to set a National Program. Whatâ€™s significant about the announcement is it launches a new beginning, an era of cooperation. The President has succeeded in bringing three regulatory bodies, 15 states, a dozen automakers and many environmental groups to the table. Weâ€™re all agreeing to work together on a National Program.
The final obstacle to this legislation is that, by 2016, all major car companies will be selling electric vehicles. How CAFE legislation will treat electric and range-extended electric vehicles could have several effects. If the government creates huge loopholes for companies that create a few hundred EVs, it could significantly weaken the legislation. But we play our cards right, this could help usher in the age of electric vehicles.
It finally looks as if we might have effective fuel efficiency legislation in this country for the first time in 30 years. We're still waiting on details...but it looks like tomorrow will be a good day for fuel efficiency legislation.
written by John, May 19, 2009
written by Brooks Boliek, May 19, 2009
written by HeadTater, May 20, 2009
written by torahmike, May 21, 2009
written by Fred, July 28, 2009
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