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Nearly 14% of vehicles will need to be EVs to hit proposed economy standards
NHTSA is investigating costs associated with changes right now

Automakers and the automotive industry aren't happy about the hefty increases in fuel economy ratings that the Obama administration wants. The issue with automakers isn't that they don't want to increase fuel efficiency in their vehicles, but that they fear the costs of making the vehicles more efficient will cut into sales.

The automotive industry still points to a report from the Center for Automotive Research that found raising fuel efficiency to 60.1 mpg across the fleet would increase the price of a vehicle by 22% and cut sales 25% while eliminating 220,000 jobs from the automotive sector. However, the NHTSA has said that it is researching the impact of increasing fuel economy on vehicle prices on its own.

Right now, the agency says that its investigation is focusing on the impact of raising economy 2% to 7% annually. The "tentative conclusion" is that 7% is the highest annual increase that is technically feasible for automakers. That increase would put the fleet wide increase in fuel economy in the 47 mpg to 62 mpg range by 2025. Those numbers are similar to what has been offered in 
previous reports.

The NHTSA notes that before it makes the changes into law, it is performing a study to look at multiple factors including the costs that would be placed on the automakers and the consumer, as well as safety factors. One route to better fuel economy will undoubtedly be for automakers to produce lighter vehicles, but lighter vehicle designs can’t compromise on passenger safety. Finding that delicate balance between powertrain efficiency, lightweight materials for vehicle construction, and cost will be weighing heavily on automakers in the coming years.

The Detroit News reports that the cost of meeting the 47 to 62 mpg efficiency number would cost $770 to $3,500 per vehicle.  On the high side of that range, about 14% of the vehicles would need to be full electrics according to the government. The estimates are that the driver would save enough fuel within four years to pay the higher cost of meeting the more stringent 7% fuel economy standard.





"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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