Concessions in New CAFE Proposal to Have Positive Impact

Kevin Riddell

The White House has made a couple of important concessions to automakers in the 2025 fuel economy proposal that doubles CAFE standards to 54.5 mpg. President Obama announced the revised proposal last Friday, July 29.

The first concession is that fleet fuel economy increases for light trucks and SUVs will rise at a slower pace than the requirements for cars during the first few years. Since trucks are generally much heavier than cars, it requires more adjustments to help them go further on a tank of gas. Two good examples are the Ford Edge midsize crossover and Ford Fusion midsize conventional sedan, which are both based on the same platform. However, with the V-6 powertrain option, the crossover’s curb weight is over 600 pounds higher than the car’s, making significant fuel economy gains much more difficult to achieve for the Edge.

Trucks continue to make up a high percentage of US new-car sales (50% of new light-vehicle sales through June 2011, according to our Automotive Forecasting Division’s analysis). This trend continues in the face of higher fuel prices and increases in the CAFE requirements over the last couple of years. Continue reading ›