Automakers Push for Expanded CAFE Standards
Automakers usually protest stricter fuel consumption guidelines, but last week at the 2010 SAE World Congress they took a different stance and urged lawmakers to start implementing plans to enhance the CAFE standards that will expire in 2016. Ford Motors and Toyota both surprised audiences with their concerns that additional measures need to be devised soon, to assure the partnerships started under the CAFE standards are not compromised once the requirements expire. They even went so far as to suggest developing road-use fees and a rise in gasoline taxes combined with carbon cap-and-trade strategy, to assure continued pressure is put on all automakers to make their vehicles more energy efficient.
Toyota's director of environmental technology, Tom Stricker, explained their strategy. "We're encouraging the state and national governments to continue to work together beyond 2016. We have some concerns that the two sides could pull further apart. They share climate goals, so a single national framework (on fuel economy) would make a lot of sense." Ford's environment and energy planning manager Bob Holycross agreed, saying that "the priority has to be to assure the framework remains in place for 2017 and beyond."