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If 62 MPG Becomes Law...
As you probably know, new federal fuel economy and emissions rules took effect Jan. 1, requiring automakers to hit 35.5 mpg corporate average fuel economy by the 2016 model year.
That might only be for starters. Automakers and regulators from the EPA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the California Air Resources Board are now haggling over a tougher proposal initiated by President Obama. That plan calls for a CAFE range of 47 mpg to 62 mpg by the 2025 model year.
Industry spokespeople say the 62 mpg CAFE, supported by environmentalists, would be too costly and may not be feasible.
One industry estimate says hitting 62 mpg would require widespread vehicle electrification, and add almost $10,000 to the price of a new vehicle. Federal agencies say the cost would be $3,500 per vehicle, at most, and would be offset by fuel-pump savings.
Barring an unexpected technological breakthrough, I think that a 62 mpg mandate, by 2025, would force the auto industry to produce vehicles that motorists wouldn't want to own. For sake of discussion, though, let's assume that 62 mpg is the goal. In that case, as unpopular as raising the gas tax is, I'd prefer going this route over increasing average fuel economy through CAFE standards. What are your thoughts on this?