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New CAFE Standards In Effect

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The New Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards from the Federal Government went into effect last week. It requires automakers to raise the average fuel efficiency of the vehicles sold from 27.5 mpg to 34.1 mpg by the 2016 model year.  The new standards are expected to reduce CO2 emissions by about 30 percent between 2012 and 2016, and save the country $240 billion in fuel savings, reduce pollution, and possibly reduce imports.  The Federal standards usurp all state requirements in setting fuel efficiencies.  What can you expect from the new standards?  Well like in all things new you can expect a higher price tag to the vehicles you will be buying.  Consumer Reports estimates that it will cost an extra $1100 per vehicle, based on the automakers expected cost of $52 billion to implement the new standards.  But, on the bright side, they also expect your fuel savings to be significant: up to $3000 over the life of the car.  Expect the new cars to be smaller and lighter, and that automakers will herald in more hybrids an all electrics to their fleet offerings.  We may even see new dual-clutch and seven or eight speed automatic transmissions that can increase fuel efficiencies.  Even more diesel vehicles could become the norm to help boost fuel mpg. The new CAFE standards are focused primarily at improving gasoline engines to help boost fuel efficiency.  Hopefully, the new innovations to boost mpgs could result in some exotic new looks to the cars we drive too.  Perhaps a revolutionary design to reduce the airflow on a car could provide us that stealth car we all would love to drive some day.

Photo: Prius Concept Car    Photo By: John Vlahakis

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