White House Finalizes 2025 ‘Historic’ Fuel Rules for Automakers
by David Shephardson (Detroit News) The Obama administration has finalized the landmark 2017-25 fuel economy rules that will nearly double the efficiency of the nation’s cars and trucks over the next 13 years to a fleet-wide average of 54.5 miles per gallon.
The new rules will reshape what Americans drive and will prod automakers to add fuel-saving technologies at a faster rate.
…The agencies say the new rules will spur widespread adoption of vehicle advances, including eight-speed transmissions and higher-efficiency gearboxes. The agencies predict that hybrids, plug-in electric vehicles and fully electric vehicles may rise from less than 3 percent of all sales today, to 26 percent to 49 percent of all sales by 2025.
…In total, drivers will save $1.7 trillion at the pump, including the 2012-16 mileage increases that were finalized in 2010. That’s far more than the costs of more expensive autos. Society will see net benefits of $326 billion to $451 billion.
The new requirements also will add about $1,836 to the cost of an average vehicle by 2025 — or $2,900 including the added costs from the 2011-16 rules. A vehicle buyer in 2025 will save on average $3,400 to $5,000 over the life of the vehicle after accounting for the higher upfront vehicle cost.
…Rising fuel efficiency standards will reduce gas tax revenue by $57 billion through 2025, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report released in May.
The government should consider hiking the 18.4 cent per gallon federal gas tax — which hasn’t been increased since 1993 — or cutting spending on road repairs or paying for repairs through the general budget, the report said.
The $57 billion reduction would mean $48 billion less to fix roads and $9 billion less for mass transit spending.
… In June, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told The Detroit News he would reconsider the 54.5 mpg requirement by 2025.
Romney said he’d seek “a better way of encouraging fuel economy” than corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) mileage requirements “as the sole or primary vehicle,” he said. READ MORE and MORE (New Scientist)