The Obama Administration is contemplating raising the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards much higher than the current requirement of 34.1 mpg by 2016. Documents just released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are recommending that the CAFE regulations be raised to somewhere between 47 mpg and 62 mpg for the 2025 model year. These new levels would represent an increase of between 3% and 6% per year from 2017 to 2025.
There’s still much to be worked out before the final rule is set – it’s not due to be published until 31 July 2012. Also, the data used to calculate the CAFE numbers don’t reflect real world driving – the real world mpg numbers that the EPA uses now run about 20% lower than the CAFE figures.