President Obama recently announced plans to define fuel economy regulations beyond 2016. He briefly outlined a new plan that would regulate the mileage requirements of cars and light trucks through 2025 and medium- and heavy-duty trucks through 2018. The overall goal of his plan is quite simple: create a national, long-term standard for fuel economy and emissions.
Despite complaints over previous CAFE regulations, automakers appear to be on-board with Obama this time around. By creating a long-term standard, automakers have ample time to tool-up and develop the technology necessary to meet the stringent regulations. In addition, automakers are thrilled to hear that a single standard will govern the entire nation. To automakers, national standards will spell the end to special California-emissions models, which will undoubtedly reduce development costs and simplify the entire process for automakers.
Perhaps more importantly though, standards for future products will be laid out well in advance, allowing manufacturers to determine what vehicles to produce and what technologies to employ to meet those goals. It's no longer a guessing game of whether or not new standards will roll in, forcing automakers to change or cancel products mid-cycle, as has happened in the past.
[Source: Automotive News – sub. req. | Image: Geocam20000 - C.C. License 2.0]