Vehicles will be more fuel-efficient, but will cost more

Vehicles will be more fuel-efficient, but will cost more

To meet fuel economy standards by 2025, vehicles will likely be lighter than expected, but will also be safer, says a new report from the National Research Council. Vehicles will be more expensive, however, as the report estimates costs to comply with the regulations amounting to $1,181 to $1,689 per vehicle. The new report is required by the law that created the standards, as is an upcoming midterm review by the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Most of the reduction in fuel consumption will come from improvements to gasoline internal combustion engines, which will continue to dominate the market through 2025. But a wide range of technologies will be needed to meet the 2025 standards, including improved transmissions, reduced mass and greater use of hybrid electric engines.

The report found that automakers will likely reduce vehicle weight more than NHTSA and EPA expected, leading to greater fuel economy benefits and greater costs than originally estimated. The downsized, turbocharged engines that are expected to replace many current ones may cost more, but produce less fuel savings than the agenciesê original analysis showed.

The agencies should research consumer behavior for their midterm review, the report says. Consumers do not appear to fully factor in how much money they will save on fuel when deciding how much to spend on a vehicle.

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