Much has been made about the new fuel economy numbers, everyone from auto industry executives proclaiming the death of sports cars to state legislators who feel the law doesn’t go far enough. As lofty of a goal as 35MPG seems to everyone, it’s not quite as high as we all thought.
In the 1980’s the EPA numbers were deflated by 10% city and 22% highway to ‘come closer to real-world numbers’ and then again just last year they were deflated as part of an initiative that included changing the testing procedures slightly. The CAFE numbers do not include such ‘corrections’ and as such, the 35MPG number is actually equivalent to 26.5MPG that one would see on a window sticker according to Dan Edmunds. The previous CAFE number, 27.5MPG was more like 21MPG. And the actual increase is closer to 24% then 40%.
Automakers will still complain and environmentally-concerned state leaders will still ask for more, of course. But what else is new?
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