A CAFE standard of up to 62 miles per gallon by 2025, which we first heard about last October, will certainly increase the cost of vehicles, but by how much varies depending upon who you ask. Automotive News (via AutoWeek) has gathered a few opinions and estimations on how this will affect vehicle pricing and people's pocket books over the life of a vehicle.
Before we get into the impact of these proposed regulations, though, we wanted to clarify what these lofty CAFE mpg figures actually mean. Plain and simply, a CAFE mileage value does not equal an EPA mileage figure you would see on a window sticker. CAFE values use unadjusted measurements and are significantly higher than EPA or real-world mileage figures. While there is no easy conversion in going from one to the other, we used Hyundai's slides (seen here) and calculated a 62 mpg CAFE rating equates to 43 'window sticker' miles per gallon. Keep this in mind whenever you read about CAFE targets.
So, how much would a 62 mpg CAFE standard increase the price of vehicles? According to government agencies, about $3,500 at most. On the other end of the spectrum you have Sean McAlinden, from the Center for Automotive Research, quoting $9,970 per vehicle. Depending upon who you believe, this fuel economy target may end up saving consumers money. In a federal notice of intent to create rules, the EPA and NHTSA estimate lifetime fuel cost savings of $5,700 to $7,400. Let us know what 2025 CAFE standard you would like to see adopted in the comments.
[Source: Autoweek and The Truth About Cars | Image: choking sun – C.C. License 2.0]