Several senior auto executives met up with the White House on Friday in order to talk about the latest fuel economy standards. The proposed fleetwide target average of 56.2 mpg by 2012, according to analysts, are proving to be very difficult both financially and technology, especially since cars have continued to get bigger and heavier.
One of the downsides to the 56.2 mpg standard is the potential for car prices to jump by as much a $2,100 or more. So the purpose of the meeting was to figure out whether the current standard is sensibly feasible and if not, work slowly towards a balance that automobile manufactures can achieve without risking too much financially and politically.
That said, one of the ways that automobile manufacturers can get an easier break at meeting the fuel economy standards is by requesting credits. For example, the current 56.5 standard says that majority of the major automobile companies have to increase overall fuel economy for their products by 5% on average per year, which for some, like producers of trucks, can be a lot. As a result, the administration is content with allowing for a 3.5% increase for light trucks between 2017 and 2021 instead of the aforementioned f5%.
“Automakers are eligible for a mileage and emissions credit if they switch to cleaner air conditioning fluid before 2016. The plan would give them the same credit again after 2016, even if they had made the switch,” said Dan Becker, the director of the Safe Climate Campagin. “Another would give a disproportionately large break to companies that make electric vehicles, allowing them to sell additional nonelectric vehicles that give off more emissions than the electric vehicles save.”
– By: Chris Chin
Source: Detroit News