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U.S. regulators say it isn't a big deal, since consumers will save on fuel over the vehicle's lifetime

A National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) official said a new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) proposal could add as much as $5,000 to the sticker price of a new vehicle.

The new CAFE proposal aims to increase the average fuel economy of cars and light trucks sold here in the U.S. to 54.5 mpg by 2025 in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen the country's dependency on foreign oil.

Don Chalmers, chairman of NADA's government relations committee, announced in a Detroit hearing for the proposal that nearly doubling today's fuel economy standards would force manufacturers to use expensive "fuel-saving technologies" that would bump up the sticker price of a new vehicle an extra $5,000. NADA is expected to release a study next month showing that the costs for the new higher fuel-economy standards will overshoot government estimates by over 60 percent (meaning an extra $5,000 to the sticker price for new 2025 models).

Chalmers argued that an extra $5,000 would put many potential buyers out of the new-car market because it could add another $60 to $70 to a monthly car payment and hurt a customer's chance to receive financing.

"I want to sell more fuel-efficient cars," said Chalmers. "If the customer can't get financing, it makes no difference."

U.S. regulators see the situation differently, though. Many believe the extra $5,000 wouldn't be an issue because customers save on fuel over the lifetime of the vehicle.

"We're hearing broad support," said Margo Oge, director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at the Environmental Protection Agency. "What we heard is that this standard will create green jobs. This is what the consumer wants. This is where the companies want to invest. So, overall, it's been very positive."

Other supporters for the new CAFE proposal by the Obama administration include 13 major automakers, such as Ford Motor Co., General Motors, and Chrysler; United Auto Workers (UAW), and environmental groups like the National Wildlife Federation.

"These proposed rules will reduce the pollution that contributes to climate change, significantly reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and save American families money at the pump," said Bob King, UAW President, who added that the proposal could save customers around $4,000 over the life of the vehicle. "They will also create jobs in the auto industry and throughout the economy."

"This proposal provides our industry both a single program moving forward, as well as regulatory framework that enables manufacturers to plan and invest for the future with confidence," said Sue Cischke, Ford Motor Co.'s vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering. "We are committed to working with you to finalize these regulations. The standards proposed are aggressive, but so are the demands from our customers for greater fuel efficiency."

Others, such as Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG, are on Chalmers' side with opposing the new CAFE proposal. They say the new proposal offers "no new incentive for diesel cars."

The hearing for the proposal was one of three that will be held to give the public a chance to comment. The other two are scheduled for January 19 in Philadelphia and January 24 in San Francisco.

Source: Automotive News

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By twhittet on 1/18/2012 10:47:11 AM , Rating: 1
I can't:
Travel 500 miles in my car without refueling
Fuel my car in three minutes or less
I doubt it will last 15 years

So am I in the 1% because I own a normal car?

By mgilbert on 1/18/2012 10:53:38 AM , Rating: 2
I might have to refuel, but my car can travel 400 to 500 miles on a tank. It only takes a few minutes to refuel a gasoline or diesel car. Any car will last at least 15 years if halfway taken care of. Don't get caught up in the semantics. You know what I mean.

By FITCamaro on 1/18/2012 11:23:44 AM , Rating: 1
Idiots thrive on semantics.

By GotThumbs on 1/18/2012 2:08:30 PM , Rating: 4
The REAL key often do you drive 500 miles...400 miles...300 one go? Most drivers do nothing like this. So for those who commute between 20 and 50 miles each electric car would be fine. Most families have two cars. Use one for daily driving...and the other for when the family DOES go on a 100+ mile trip.

The reality is that Americans don't live in the reality of a global society. It all revolves around YOU...the single person. How else can you explain the tons of garbage people freely toss from their cars. I just see that as evidence of the number of low class people on the road. fyi...low class has nothing to do with your wealth. There are very wealthy people who are still low class. Low class exemplifies the dung of society who are do nothing to help...but are almost always a drain on our system and of course are always the victims. Lack of self-responsibility = Low Class Person. IMO.

Best wishes to all.

By Spuke on 1/18/2012 3:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
Most families have two cars. Use one for daily driving...and the other for when the family DOES go on a 100+ mile trip.
Most families have two cars because Mom drives one way to work and Dad drives another other way. One car is typically "upsized" to accommodate putting extra people and stuff in it for trips or the kids extra activities or to accommodate visiting families.

The reality is that Americans don't live in the reality of a global society. It all revolves around YOU...the single person.
LOL! Then you go off the deep end.

By FITCamaro on 1/18/2012 11:26:05 AM , Rating: 2
Fuel my car in three minutes or less

Then you're doing it wrong.

I doubt it will last 15 years

Then actually take care of it. Don't wait until things fall off to replace them.

My parents had an 88 Honda Accord with over 300,000 miles on it. The only reason it was replaced was because my parents totaled it. It didn't leak oil, it shifted smooth, and the suspension was in good shape.

By brybir on 1/18/2012 11:42:43 AM , Rating: 3
But, there are plenty of cars that even when taken care of, will not last 15 years.

By brybir on 1/18/2012 11:43:50 AM , Rating: 2
That is your line in the sand, so to speak, about what you would require before you would buy an electric car.

I for one would be happy to drive 300 miles, charge in 10 to 15 minutes, and have my car last 10 years. But that is just me. I suspect that "line in the sand" is different for everyone.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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