54.5 in 2025 Subject of Critical CAR CAFE Seminar

The Center for Automotive Research will examine the implications for product development of the 54.5 mpg CAFE fuel mandate that is now a federal regulation. Currently, estimates for the cost of compliance range from zero to $10,000 per vehicle for what is a difficult engineering task that has become – once again, and as always – an ideological battleground, with posturing from automakers, regulators and pressure groups. (DOT and EPA Issue Record 54.5 MPG Fuel Economy Standards)

The ability of product development engineers and their auto companies to meet the new standards and/or garner credits to offset some vehicle shortfalls will determine the type of vehicle you can buy, and how much you will pay for it. With safety regulations already on the books potentially adding thousands to the cost of a new vehicle, the social implications for automobility are serious; Moreover, if the implementation of CAFE regulations goes badly it could damage one of the U.S.’s best wealth and job creating industries at a time when growth is desperately needed.

“Predicting the production readiness and cost of a plethora of fuel-saving technologies out to 2025 is a formidable task with inherent uncertainty,” Jay Baron, CAR’s president and CEO.  “The mid-term review (2017) provides a critical safety net for the industry to gauge progress and evaluate the need for adjustments to the CAFE ruling. To ensure that the government is well-informed on numerous technological options at the mid-term review and even beyond 2025, the knowledge-gathering process is rigorous and relies on the expertise of numerous stakeholders.”

The National Research Council for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has asked a committee to assess technologies and costs for improving fuel economy of light-duty vehicles. The committee is also supposed to look at barriers to commercial deployment of technologies. The project already underway is expected to take up to three years to complete.

Some members of the NRC will be at a CAR breakfast briefing, which is intended to provide a broader perspective on CAFE; and to look at how the auto industry will position itself to meet stringent fuel economy mandates.

Speakers include:

  • Dr. K. John Holmes, Associate Director, Board on Energy and Environmental Systems, The National Academies
  • Dr. David L. Greene, Corporate Fellow, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Research Professor of Economics at the University of Tennessee
  • John Viera, Director, Sustainability & Vehicle Environmental Matters, Ford Motor Company
  • Julie Becker, Vice President, Environmental Affairs, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

A panel discussion will follow the speakers’ formal remarks. The briefing is one of a series CAR offers on relevant topics of interest to industry stakeholders, and begins at 8 a.m. To register, visit www.cargroup.org

About Kenneth Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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