After three and a half years of political wrangling, the Obama administration has finalized the fuel economy regulations for all cars sold in America over the next 13 years. By 2025, the average fuel economy of a carmaker’s fleet will be 54.5 miles per gallon.
The rules are complicated, and have been discussed previously here. It factors into account new fuel-saving technologies that carmakers can implement in turn for credits, such as electric cars and plug-in hybrids (sometimes derided as “compliance cars”). But the 54.5 mpg average has won support from 13 major automakers in America, even though it will cost them and the industry overall somewhere around $157.3 billion.
There’s more controversy too. On average, the requirements of building a new car to match these standards will increase the sticker price by at least $2,000. It’s something that auto dealers have balked at, as they’ll have the problem of explaining to consumers why their cars now cost more. And with people buying less gas, the government won’t collect almost $57 billion in fuel taxes that would otherwise go towards $48 billion for fixing roads and $9 billion for environmentally-friendly mass transit—which seems ironic.
On the good news front, the administration claims that by 2025, drivers will have saved $1.7 trillion in gas costs—and society, in terms of pollution, health risks, and time not spent pumping gas, will have saved $252-358 billion as a result. And that’s just judging based on the almighty dollar. By 2025 greenhouse gas emissions will be cut in half, reduce emissions by six million tons, and reduce oil consumption—including the scepter of foreign oil—by 12 billion barrels. Sometimes a bit of medicine is hard to swallow.
Source: The Detroit News