Alliance wants feds to consider fuel prices in evaluating CAFE

Alliance wants feds to consider fuel prices in evaluating CAFE

The Auto Alliance, representing the major automakers, is asking federal regulators to consider consumer preferences when fuel prices are low, as part of their mandated midterm evaluation of fuel economy targets. The Alliance posted a report on its website with recommendations on the CAFE standards, which require an industry fleet-wide average of 54.5 mpg by 2025.

The challenge for automakers is that the target applies to vehicles sold, not just manufactured. Thatês why consumer preference is critical. Past studies have shown that consumer interest in fuel-efficient vehicles is closely tied to the price of gas. The recent spike in SUV and light truck sales as gas prices remain low bears that theory out. The Auto Alliance report says that fuel economy is not a top purchase reason for new-car buyers.

The Auto Alliance also points out that to meet the stringent fuel economy targets, up to 47 percent of the U.S. fleet will need to be as efficient as modern hybrids by 2025. That figure is based on real world modeling.

Overall, the report says, –Future CAFE requirements may be overly optimistic based on historical data.”

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