California is suing the federal government. It’s not a pointless issue either; in fact, it could set the tone for the auto industry for years to come.
So what’s the suit about? California is suing the government so that it may implement its own stricter fuel economy standards for cars.
The new standards, which call for an eventual 30% increase in fuel mileage to more than 40mpg for passenger cars, would be among the most stringent in the world. According to the Detroit News, the drastic increase in mileage would cut down tailpipe emissions by millions of metric tons by 2020.
Unfortunately, the auto manufacturers feel that the division in standards these guidelines would create would cause a situation in which they would be forced to make their cars on a state by state basis. It would be a logistical nightmare in their opinion, pointing out that the added cost to the consumer could be as much as $6,000 per vehicle. While others have countered stating that the increase should only be around $1,500, there would no doubt be some sort of increase in cost that would have to be taken up by the consumer.
Note that already 11 other states currently have adopted California’s guidelines as well, and another 5 more are debating as to whether or not to adopt them, too.
Our take? California is doing what the government is afraid too. Really, it sounds as though Detroit is afraid they won’t be able to sell their SUV’s, which just so happen to have the largest profit margins of all the vehicles. Regardless, necessity is the mother of invention, Detroit will be able to rise to the challenge.
[Editors' Note: The courts have agreed with the state. Be on the watch for a future post detailing the next stage of this battle.]