New federal regulations aimed at increasing fuel economy and reducing emissions could increase the price medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles anywhere between several hundred and 15,000 dollars, a new study from the National Academies says.
“There is no question that using new technologies to meet federal fuel economy targets will be necessary and many of these technologies have the potential to add significant cost to new vehicles,” said Charlie Territo, spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a Washington, D.C.-based organization comprising a dozen automakers. “Costs will depend on the specific fuel economy targets and the cost of the technology that needs to be added,” he added.
Therein lies a great challenge for manufacturers, as the pressing economic times have cause many consumers to really cut corners to reduce vehicle costs. Consumers beware, as many vehicles labeled “˜heavy-duty” by automakers, are considered medium-duty by the feds for all intents and purposes of the new regulations.
Measures that have to be considered to bring these vehicles compliant include weight reduction, aerodynamics, hybrid technologies, and more efficient engines and drivelines. The numbers add up, and it is indicated in the study that the costliest modifications tend to be the most effective.
The complete series of measures recommended by the study increase fuel efficiency by over 44%, but add a cost of about $14,710 per vehicle. Another recommendation of the study, and an inevitably much less popular one is for the government to utilize a higher fuel-tax to drive up the cost, and hence lower consumption across the board.
– By: Stephen Calogera