Gas pumpEnlarge Photo
The lobbyists for automakers have made their views on Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards through 2025 quite clear.
The majority of carmakers would prefer to see those standards relaxed, delayed or altered.
Today, they call for a fleet average of 54.5 mpg (or about 38 mpg on window stickers) for vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2025.
But carmakers aren't the only powerful voices in the auto industry.
Automotive suppliers too will be affected by any changes to fuel-economy standards, so what do they have to say about CAFE?
The majority want the current standards to be left alone, according to a survey, conducted by Ricardo Energy & Environment, that was commissioned by advocacy group Calstart.
U.S. Capitol BuildingEnlarge Photo
The survey included 23 Tier 1 suppliers, which are companies that sell components directly to carmakers. Of that group, 70 percent said they do not want policymakers to change fuel-economy standards for 2025.
The majority of these respondents noted that consistent fuel-economy standards are important because they create a predictable regulatory environment that makes long-term product planning easier.
All but one of the suppliers that agreed with the current CAFE standards cited "regulatory certainty" as an important factor. About half said the standards also help promote innovation.
In addition, three quarters of suppliers surveyed said that setting standards for beyond 2025 would be helpful, again because it would facilitate long-term planning.
The suppliers seemed to agree rather less, however, when it came to how carmakers will meet the 2025 standards.
They had no clear consensus on whether carmakers will need to build more electric cars and hybrids to meet the standards, or whether improvements to the efficiency of internal-combustion engines will be enough.
2016 Nissan LeafEnlarge Photo
Suppliers were also divided on the question of how low oil prices are affecting sales of efficiency-related technologies: 45 percent said they had no effect, and 45 percent said low oil prices had in fact reduced demand.
The majority of suppliers surveyed also chose not to comment on cost estimates for the mass deployment of various efficiency-related technologies.
The debate over whether CAFE standards should be changed heated up recently with the release of a "Technical Assessment Report" charting how well automakers have done thus far in meeting them.
Produced by a coalition of federal and state agencies, the report concluded that carmakers are technically capable of meeting the 2025 goal, but may fall short due to low gas prices, and higher-than-anticipated sales of SUVs.