The EPA proposed new fuel mileage standards that car manufacturers must follow in 2026. It will require all cars and light trucks manufactured to have at least 40 miles per gallon. This is the most ambitious fuel mileage standard in US history.
Aside from the obvious benefits of cutting emissions and lowering the cost families will spend on gas, there is another goal. To get car manufacturers to switch to electric vehicles because it will cost more to produce fossil fuel-dependent cars with hire standards.
There’s a lot of benefits to this plan, but many are concerned about the timing.
How Does It Differ From Current Fuel Mileage Standards?
Fuel mile standards change with each administration.
During the Obama years, the standards were 38.2 miles per gallon (mpg). The Trump administration rolled these back with the current Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) standards at 32 mpg. And now with a new administration, they are changing again.
At 40 mpg, it is slightly stricter than the Obama years, and there are many cars that already meet or exceed these requirements. The real challenge will be for light trucks, which include pickups. Many of these may not meet the new standards.
However, new technological breakthroughs could change that by 2026. If not, the price associated with manufacturing these vehicles could make them go extinct.
There Are A Lot Of Benefits
Having more fuel-efficient cars will help lower emissions. The announcement highlighted that if the proposal’s standards stay as they are, it will prevent 3 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.
The EPA estimates that this will save an additional $190 billion as a result of improved public health from less air pollution.
Additionally, the benefits of the drivers are another major consideration. Gas prices are shooting up. Using more gas-efficient vehicles to travel can save a lot of money on a yearly basis. Especially when replacing older cars.
While the report acknowledges that the initial price of a car will increase, the fuel savings will still be around $1000.
However, many raise concerns over the price increase amongst inflation.
The Global Chip Shortage and Inflation Have Made Cars More Expensive
It’s no secret that inflation is raising the prices of just about everything. Cars are no exception, in fact, you can expect to pay several thousand dollars extra if you buy a car today. And you will have a limited selection.
In the past, electronics played a small part in car manufacturing. But today, 40% of a car’s price is from electronics.
While we all hope that by 2026 the pandemic and global chip shortages will be behind us, this might not be the best time to raise the cost of manufacturing cars. This also isn’t a problem exclusive to fossil fuel cars.
Electric cars have even more electronics in them, and if the demand for chips continues to exceed production, prices will continue to go up.
While there is goodwill behind this change, timing is everything. In normal circumstances, this bill would be a home run, but amidst the pandemic, it’s questionable.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.