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Fuel Economy is Going Up. Vehicle Prices are Holding Steady

Parul Dubey on November 22, 2017 - in Energy

In responding to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action on vehicle standards, ACEEE found that average vehicle prices have remained essentially flat over the past 15 years, even as average fuel economy improves. The finding rebuts multiple claims from the auto industry that boosting vehicle fuel economy makes cars and trucks unaffordable for American consumers. Our analysis is once again relevant as federal agencies, acting on the Trump administration’s decision to review fuel economy standards, have resumed evaluating the appropriateness and feasibility of existing regulations and greenhouse gas emission requirements of cars and light trucks. Our finding complements the agencies’ 2016 technical report, which found that savings at the pump from better fuel economy would far offset the cost of the technologies needed to meet the standards. Bottom line: Consumers are saving money, and affordable vehicle choices remain.


Fuel economy naysayers have seized on vehicle price trends, often ignoring essential features of the data. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which pushed the Trump administration to reopen the standards, has claimed repeatedly that the average car today costs 60% more than the average car in the early 1990s, driven partly by the standards. Among recent industry comments to the EPA, Global Automakers claims that prices “continue to climb,” and that further increases will jeopardize new vehicle sales, pricing some out of the new vehicle market entirely. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative policy think tank, asserts that fuel economy regulations increased the cost to purchase a model year 2016 vehicle by at least $3,800 and that future standards will put new cars out of reach of millions of lower-income households…


To continue reading the blog post, visit: http://aceee.org/blog/2017/11/fuel-economy-going-vehicle-prices-are 


About ACEEE: The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications, and conferences, visit aceee.org

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