After President Obama’s joke at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner regarding his status as the top auto executive of the year – a pretty good joke, by the way – it was quickly revealed that the liberal Democrat prez decided to firmly pull forward the date for new CAFE standards. (Not in the know about CAFE? It’s not Tim Hortons or Starbucks – check it out.) Edmunds.com performed some relatively easy investigations in order to discover that the new standards for 2016, 35.5 miles per gallon, aren’t at all 35.5 miles per gallon.
In fact, when the Environmental Protection Agency began adjusting window sticker mpg ratings for the benefit of consumers in the recent past, CAFE didn’t follow along. So CAFE’s numbers remain inflated. If CAFE’s numbers are grossly inflated, which I just said they are, then the numbers you and I quote every day have nothing to do with the 35.5 mpg figure mandated for 2016. See that 29mpg vehicle parked outside? That’s a 39mpg vehicle in the eyes of Corporate Average Fuel Economy. Just as purple is the new black (judging by Le Chateau’s window mannequins), so 26mpg is the new 35.5mpg. Moreover, 35.5mpg applies to cars. Truck CAFe is “just” 30mpg. Although that’s a necessary average for trucks and not a minimum requirement, its translation to 23mpg on the EPA stickers ain’t so bad.
You were wondering why the automakers weren’t putting up so much fuss, eh? Considering the list of cars currently being produced that already meet the 2016 standard… uh, no wonder they’re not panicking. General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Hyundai/Kia all have multiple cars on the list of vehicles that are already, er, ready. Volkswagen’s diesel-engined Jetta, the smart fortwo, and the Mini Cooper are present and accounted for. On the truck side, plenty of small SUVs and trucklets, including the Ford Ranger and Toyota RAV4, meet 2016 standards.
Find the links you need to better understand this confusing story below.