The Obama administration is currently in talks with the three big automakers — General Motors, Ford and Chrysler — about future fuel efficiency standards, and it looks like the President’s team is calling for an average of 56.2 miles per gallon mandate by 2025. After a failed attempt at climate change legislation, the Obama administration has focused their efforts on more specific ways to reduce our national carbon emissions. While some automotive representatives are dragging their feet saying this mandate would increase the cost of vehicles in the US too much, companies like General Motors — who built the 93 mpg Chevy Volt — say they’re primed for the challenge.
Going into the talks the government announced they would be aiming for a 2025 average mpg mandate of somewhere between 47 and 62 mpg, and although the talks have just started the administration seems set on reaching the higher end of that range. “We continue to work closely with a broad range of stakeholders to develop an important standard that will save families money and keep the jobs of the future here,” White House spokesman Clark Stevens said in a statement. “A final decision has not been made, and as we have made clear we plan to propose a standard in September.”
Based upon current estimates the adminstration says that the new mandate would raise the price of an average car by somewhere between $2,100 to $2,600. As General Motors noted in a statement, it is likely that the technology available today will become cheaper and more widely available before 2025, making that price differential come down. “When you put those things in for the first time, they may be more expensive,” Mark Reuss, General Motor’s North American president, told the Washington Post. “But this is a volume and scale industry. What was very expensive in the past is no longer very expensive.”
In a written statement, Ford Motor Company — who’s recent lobbying expenditures pushed heavily on an electric vehicle tax break — said that it, “supports increasing fuel economy requirements with one national program that is data driven and factors in the impact … on jobs, the economy, consumers and safety.” Due to the fact that these talks are still in their early stages, we are hesitant to say this, but it looks like we all might be on the same page here. Higher fuel efficiency standards could mean great things for the US ecomony and our emissions quotas.
Lead photo © Riza Nugraha