To su up: North American automakers will have to conform to a corporate fuel economy fleet average of 33.3 mpg (7.06 L/100 km) for cars and 25.4 (9.26 L) for trucks for its 2012 models. And by 2016, to 37.8 (6.22 L) and 28.8 (8.17 L) respectively.
As the Star’s Peter Gorrie points out, there will be loopholes in this legislation—there always is. But there’s no way around it: getting today’s cars to sip less fuel will mean more expensive cars.
U.S. government officials estimate automakers will spend $51.5 billion (all in U.S.) over the next five years putting the standards into effect. And no surprise here: the average price of a new car will rise by $985 by 2016.
The same officials say the average consumer will net an extra $3,000 in fuel savings over the life of the vehicle.
Because the U.S. will use the older, more generous mileage cycle test for this new legislation, (for example, an older 34.1 mpg CAFE rating is roughly equivalent to a current EPA combined sticker value of 26-27 mpg) the jump up required for many cars isn’t crazy. Just expect more and more hybrids on dealer lots.
Family cars like hybrid versions of Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion and subcompacts such as the Mini Cooper, Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit meet the 2016 standards today.But those driving full-size pickup trucks better enjoy them while they can.
Hybrid trucks like the Ford Escape, Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX450h all meet the raised bar. But full-size trucks—the vehicles that are primarily driving Canadian new car sales—don’t.
Knowing that new cars will inevitably rise in price, are you on board with this program to “save the planet”?
Are you willing to drive a more expensive, less fun-to-drive, or smaller vehicle?
Or is this merely more motivation to hang on to your current, less fuel-efficient car just a little bit longer?