There’s a chance that the White House may lower its original target for the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard set for 2025. The Obama Administration met with auto industry officials and members of Congress last week to discuss a new possible target.
Now, the White House may likely go with a 56 mpg standard, according to a report by The Detroit Free Press. Following the 35 mpg CAFE target already set for 2016, automakers would have to achieve a 5 percent increase per year from 2017-2025 in order to reach 56 mpg. The report states that White House officials held meetings with Detroit automakers as well as Congress members from Michigan and that the 56 mpg figure was often discussed.
The administration, however, isn’t ready to confirm the new target. “No decision has yet been made yet, but our goal remains to propose the rule this September," White House spokesman Matt Lehrich said in a prepared statement.
"With that target in mind, we are ramping up engagement with auto companies, members of Congress, labor unions and others as this important proposal is developed."
The administration initially considered a much higher 62 mpg CAFE target for 2025 after receiving pressure from environmental groups that have been pushing for higher standards in order to reduce greenhouse gases and dependency on foreign oil. And just last week the White House received a letter from current and previous Republican congress members who urged for a 60 mpg standard.
"Strong, forward-looking standards for new vehicle fuel efficiency and emissions will provide industry with needed certainty for investment in new technologies while also driving reductions in oil consumption and carbon pollution that fuels climate change," the letter states.
A 60 mpg target would require a 6 percent increase in fuel efficiency, which would likely receive backlash from automakers, some of which are still scrambling to meet the upcoming 35 mpg target. The National Automobile Dealers Association estimates the increased standards would raise the price of vehicles past what most middle-class families could afford. A recent study released by the Center for Automotive Research confirms the NADA’s concern. According to the Center, the fuel savings from a 62 mpg target would not be enough to offset added cost of technology need to achieve that number. Instead, they say that the current 56 mpg target discussed in last week’s meetings would be the most cost effective and reasonable standard that automakers could achieve.
Source: The Detroit Free Press