24 August, 2005

CAFE update

So, today, the NHTSA announced that it was pushing up CAFE standards for light trucks (for 2008-2011). This is good, especially since it's been a full decade without any substantial tweaks in standards. The bad news: they're creating SIX new categories of light trucks (based on their "footprint" size in square feet), each with their own average fuel economy requirement. So while the Ford Excursion and the Toyota RAV4 will have to become slightly more fuel-efficient by 2011, this also means that more Americans can start buying heavier cars without affecting manufacturer's bottom line. While previously Ford had to sell an Escape (average 24 mpg for a 5-speed 4WD) for every Expedition (average 16 mpg for a 4WD) it sold, now it can sell as many as it wants of each. Meaning Ford is free to discontinue the Escape and sell only Expeditions without fear of penalties. And the U.S. fleet can migrate towards becoming even gassier.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?