Shortly after the feds announced that stringent CAFE regulations would go into effect in 2016, reports poured in claiming that meeting these goals will add, on average, $985 to the price of each automobile. In addition, estimates have popped up suggesting that automakers will spend a staggering $51.5 billion over the next five years in an attempt to the CAFE requirements. So, what's all this gonna cost you?

Well, it's hard to say, but an op-ed article posted over at Automotive News (sub. req.) claims that buyers, not automakers, will determine a fair price for the technology that's required to meet fuel economy regulation. AN editorial director, Peter Brown, presents his take on the situation like this:
The automakers won't determine the price. The customer will. And if a customer will pay $325 a month for a car, that'll be the price. Maybe the customer will settle for a smaller car or a slightly slower one. But the customer is not going to pay $500 a month just because the automaker's costs went up. The customer doesn't care about the automaker's costs.
If true, then automakers will be tasked with designing vehicles that weigh less, are more fuel efficient, incorporate advanced technologies and don't cost more than the customer is willing to pay. Now, that's sure to be a challenge.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]