Obama to Announce New National Fuel Economy Standards

Tom Ludwick

The New York Times is reporting that President Obama may announce new national fuel economy standards as early as tomorrow. The national requirement will limit both emissions and fuel consumption for cars and light trucks.

The president is expected to combine California's tough new auto-emissions rules with the existing corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard to create one national standard. Under the new standard, the national fleet mileage rule would be roughly 42 mpg for cars and roughly 26 mpg for light trucks by 2016. Current standards are 27.5 mpg for cars and 24 mpg for light trucks.

While the new standards will be quite a jump from the current standards, the auto industry is not expected to challenge the rule. Instead, the standards provide two things the industry has been asking for: the certainty of a timetable and a single national standard.

Standards will be written to ensure the automakers will already be on track to meet the standards set in the first few years of the program. Cars and trucks to be sold in that period already are in the design stage. Although the higher standards will be enforced in 2016, the rules are expected to really begin to take hold in 2013 and 2014.

Source: The New York Times

MazdaManiac, the only problem with that is the increasing crash standards. Adding airbags and structural steel adds weight. There's no other way to do it unless you make cars too expensive for normal people to buy...
I say the government should begin Corporate Average Mass (CAM) standards to combat the increasingly fatty automobile fleet. I think by 2016, the entire global automobile industry should be subject to a 3,000 lb CAM standard, where each manufacturer's automobile fleet must average 3,000 lbs per vehicle or be subject to penalties. I don't get how everyone can be so concerned about fuel economy, yet the majority of new cars are becoming bigger and heavier with each redesign. Doesn't anyone realize that a fleet of ultra-light vehicles would be amazingly fuel efficient? And that decreased mass would simultaneously make cars more agile, and therefore more fun to drive and better able to avoid accidents?Don't worry- I realize this'll probably never happen. It's just a little fantasy of mine. :grin:
Toyota Prius = Soviet-era Zil. Beware car-guys, beware...

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