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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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RE: I see SUVs selling very well
By mindless1 on 7/16/2011 5:06:00 PM , Rating: 3
It's because they aren't dumb. There's always a tradeoff of some sort whether it be inferior lighting, higher up front cost, vanishing profit once you account for the interest on the money spent, general longevity of the replacement goods, repairability of replacement goods, etc, etc.

Further, it is wasteful to throw away something that still works. There was energy, time, natural resources spent on the replacement product.

I don't know about you but I'm not paying remotely close to $0.30, let alone $0.50 per KWH. I'd buy a natural gas generator if electrical prices were so steep. In the end we need to quit thinking greedily and look at the bigger picture. Our energy needs ARE GOING UP, the only sane solution is to ramp up nuclear plant production.

Once we do that, we can gracefully transition to new products that conserve energy once they have matured into being as reliable as those they are replacing.

RE: I see SUVs selling very well
By jimhsu on 7/27/2011 3:56:48 PM , Rating: 2
A wise man once said that all societal problems - fossil fuels, poverty, war, hunger, etc -- can ultimately be reduced to a problem of energy. Energy production, energy distribution, name it. Ironically energy conservation also falls into that same category.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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