Fuel gaugeEnlarge Photo
Yesterday, we revealed the news that the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for 2025 have been confirmed after a long political battle.
Essentially, the standards will require a carmaker's range of cars and trucks to meet an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
That sounds like a difficult target to hit--after all, the most efficient hybrid-electric cars on sale at the moment average around 50 mpg, and getting large sedans and sports cars to meet that target won't be an easy task.
For most cars and light trucks, it will require efficiency to double. The expected benefits are clear: Greenhouse gas emissions could reduce by 6 billion metric tons, and dependency on oil will decrease.
But what do the new standards mean for you?
Pay less for gas
The first benefit will be reduced gasoline costs. With prices rising all the time, even those who are happy to fill up a 25 mpg car today may not be quite so happy by 2025.
Though the cost of new cars is expected to rise by $1,800 to meet the new technology demands, analysis claims that each driver could save $8,000 in gasoline costs during the ownership of a car.
That benefit isn't restricted to the future either, as manufacturers are already building more efficient cars and will continue to do so, aiming to meet that 54.5mpg average in 13 years time.
And the less efficient your current car is, the more you'll have to gain.
Research also suggests that the ruling will open up the automotive jobs market, as the U.S. auto industry recruits an extra 570,000 people to develop new technology and manufacture new products.
Toyota FT-Bh ConceptBetter cars
Toyota FT-Bh ConceptEnlarge Photo
While fuel economy standards have their detractors, there's no denying that current standards have been making cars cleaner than ever, yet still offering us all the things we like in cars--performance, technology, comfort and safety, among others.
For the average car to reach the 50 mpg mark, carmakers will have to innovate even more--using exciting new materials, technology, improving aerodynamics, reducing weight and more. These benefit far more than just fuel economy--handling and performance look set to improve too.
At the moment, your options are fairly limited if you want a genuinely fuel efficient car--you can select from a handful of hybrids, or take another step up and go electric.
By 2025, that choice should have increased--not only will cars like the Prius still be around, no doubt with some impressive economy numbers to its name, but even your average car will be a gas-sipper.
It'll all be relative--after all, a high-performance sports car will still lack the ultimate economy of a compact car--but you won't have to make so much of a compromise as you do today. At the moment, some market segments entirely lack hybrids, diesels or electric vehicles. Want a hybrid, Miata-style sports car? Don't be surprised to see it by 2025.
The 2025 standards may have caused rumblings in some areas of the industry, but for consumers, the 2025 ruling looks like providing plenty of benefits.