A recent study indicates that the Obama administration's push to raise Corporate Average Fuel Economy to 35.5 mpg by 2016 might be only the beginning of higher consumer expectations for efficiency.
The non-profit group Consumer Federation of America has released the results of a study in which 59 percent of those surveyed agreed with a 60 mpg standard by 2025. According to the survey, the "60 mpg" figure takes into account a 73 mpg average for cars and a 40 mpg average for trucks. Hyundai recently pledged to hit 50 mpg by 2025, going beyond the target of 35.5 mpg by 2016.
While respondents argue that they would pay more for a new vehicle that gets significantly better fuel economy, the cost of developing the technology has proven prohibitive in the past. Although a diesel-electric Mini Cooper hybrid would undoubtedly raise the efficiency quotient to match its fun-to-drive performance, Mini has vetoed the idea due to the high cost of development and implementation. While production hypermilers may be entering production in Europe (the Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 comes to mind), they're not likely for the United States anytime soon.
Competitions like the recent Automotive X Prize are designed to heighten awareness about advancements in fuel economy technology, and the Edison2 Very Light Car's efficient body style and powertrain show what is possible by going back to basics. The CFA study notes a linear relationship between the rising cost of development and the cost of maintaining fleets, but it's tough, however, to imagine doubling or tripling the current CAFE average for cars within a decade.
Today's Snap Judgment:
Do you support a 60 mpg standard? Is 60 mpg by 2025 a realistic target?
Sound off and let us know what you think in the comments section.
Source: Consumer Federation of America