2025 Fuel Economy Standards Set by EPA
Manufacturers have some work to do.
It's no secret that the EPA is tough on automakers. Honestly, they have to be. In order to continue on the increase of vehicles on the road while still maintaining the environment, change has to be made. The agency recently announced the standards for average fuel economy in 2025, jumping the gun and doing so before their April deadline.
More than likely, this will cause quite the stir for manufacturers. Despite the decided figures being slightly lower than expected, many feel that it will be exceedingly difficult to meet requirements without costing a lot more in production. Originally, the intended average fuel economy for 2025 was 54.5 MPG; however, due to the leap in large vehicle sales, it's been relaxed to 50 MPG and 52.6 MPG.
When looking at current numbers, it's clear that these figures won't be easy to achieve. Trucks and SUVs are still stuck in the low to mid 20's, meaning that they are expected to double their efficiency in the next 8 years. This is the major concern for many automakers as they have to do so while keeping production and sales costs comparably low to today.
While this is good news for cleaner air and environments, the standards are going to take a considerable toll on the development of other technologies. We're sure the money and time will still be spent on autonomous developments -- there's no doubt. But aside from that, it will distract manufacturers from working on diverse projects ranging from convenience features to performance. If anything, this only reinforces the promotion behind electrification, a catch all that satisfies most needs for the EPA and manufacturers alike.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in the release "“My decision today rests on the technical record created by over eight years of research, hundreds of published reports including an independent review by the National Academy of Sciences, hundreds of stakeholder meetings, and multiple opportunities for the public and the industry to provide input".
So what do you think? Is this a reasonable (and attainable) goal for the next eight years? Will it spell trouble for automakers who must now dump even more finances into efficiency? It's hard to tell right now. We see how much technology advances every year, let alone how much it can change in the next eight. Regardless, this is an interesting development that could switch up the automotive landscape.