The latest federal rules issued for the 2015 automobile fleets are likely to drive the cost of cars up by at least $1,000, experts say. The newest ruling ups the average from 27.5 mpg for cars and 23.1 mpg for light trucks to a fleet average of 35.5 mpg. The ruling also requires automakers to implement new technology packages in every vehicle segment. This challenges automakers to see who is best at curbing costs while integrating higher costing technology.
The federal rules force automakers out of utilizing generic technology for all of their vehicles. Instead, each car category, or “footprint,” will receive their own unique technology set that will allow them to gain higher mileage while staying as close to their current price level as possible.
For the more inexpensive footprints, like subcompacts, the new rulings mean technologies like electric power steering, dual clutch transmissions, and variable valve timing will mostly likely become standard. For big pickup trucks, this means more diesel engine vehicles, which can keep up with the increased mpg standard while delivering the same payload and hauling capabilities.
Experts from both the automobile industry and environmental groups agree that the new rulings will increase the cost of vehicles. For lower priced cars, the increase will most likely be between $1,000-2,000. For trucks requiring diesel engines, this could mean an $8,000-9,000 increase.