The proposed fuel efficiency standards, known as CAFE for "corporate average fuel economy," would mandate 30 percent better mileage by 2016. Cars would need to get 39 miles per gallon; trucks, 30 miles per gallon.It's good to see Washington following California's lead in forcing Detroit's hand to do something it should have done a long time ago. I swear, it seems they spent as much time and money fighting these inevitable changes as it would have taken to just go along with them, for the greater good, I might add.
The president said the U.S. could save 1.8 billion barrels of oil as a result. And together, he said the mileage and emissions rules would amount to taking 177 million cars off the roads.
The emissions target is to cut carbon dioxide coming from tailpipes by one-third as of 2016. And it could mean longstanding legal battles involving carmakers, the states, and the federal government will be abandoned.
Today's changes hew closely to a proposal long advocated by California. The industry and the Bush administration resisted that effort for years.
Indeed, the decades-long habit of GM, Chrysler, and Ford to rely on big cars in the wake of wildly fluctuating fuel prices has been seen as one reason why Japanese and Korean automakers have been gaining so much ground and Detroit has been floundering.
There is no reason why meeting these targets is technologically not possible, but the consumer savings will come with a cost: an average of $1300 will be added to each vehicle's price tag, but the savings over the lifetime of the vehicle would average about $2800.