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Concession would make fuel economy standards easier for large trucks  (Source: Dodge)
Concession would reduce the yearly increase rate for new standards for large trucks and SUVs to 3.5% per year

The Obama administration wants to significantly increase the CAFE standards that govern fleet wide fuel economy for automakers. The problem is that there is a huge amount of backlash from those in the automotive industry. The backlash is so far keeping the Obama administration and automakers from coming to an agreement on proposed fuel economy standards moving into the future.

The Obama administration has put a concession forward in an effort to woo the Big 3 automakers to agree to the economy standards. The concession would see the makers of big trucks and SUVs forced to move to the higher fuel economy standards at a much slower rate than makers of cars and light SUVs. Hopes are high that the agreement between the Obama administration and the Big 3 will be made by early next week. 

Washington wants the CAFE requirements to be set at 56 mpg by 2025. The concession would allow the Big 3 to adopt the CAFE standards for the larger, gas guzzling vehicles, at a rate of 3.5% per year rather than the 5% annual improvement rate that the Obama administration wants for light trucks, cars, and light SUVs.

CAFE standards are currently targeting 35.5 mpg fleet wide by 2016 and that number will grow to 56 mpg by 2025 under the proposed regulations. The final rules are hoped to be ready by September.

However, automakers outside the Big 3 are not happy at all about the proposed concession. Carmakers that do not produce large SUVs and trucks see the concessions as giving the Big 3 an unfair advantage. The companies feel that the concession would encourage consumers to buy less efficient vehicles. 

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It sounds like a fair compromise to me.
By CurseTheSky on 7/15/2011 2:08:05 PM , Rating: 2
This will hopefully continue to push auto makers to innovate and design more fuel efficient vehicles across their spectrum while still giving them a break which will make larger vehicles a viable option.

So, as consumers, we get to choose between smaller vehicles that are more rapidly becoming fuel efficient and larger vehicles that haven't all but disappeared from the market (and are still improving in efficiency, albeit at a slower rate). The key word here is "choose."

Seems like a win/win for consumers to me.

RE: It sounds like a fair compromise to me.
By FITCamaro on 7/15/2011 2:46:15 PM , Rating: 2
A brick can only be so fuel efficient.

But people still have the choice of what kind of vehicle they want and can afford to buy.

By Spuke on 7/15/2011 7:06:17 PM , Rating: 2
This only gives the automakers more time to get more fuel efficient vehicles on the market to counter the less fuel efficient one's. FIT is right. I will add that, IMO, 25 mpg (EPA rating...don't care what you get at home at all) is all you'll get from a truck without a significant redesign.

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