Design News - Experts Split on New 54.5MPG Rule
Gillis's position was echoed by numerous other consumer advocates, as well as by Design News readers, many of whom contended that even if the new rule is eventually abandoned, it will still push automakers to find new ways of squeezing more miles out of their vehicles. "I fully expect that this is too ambitious a goal and the government will eventually have to backpedal," reader Scott Orlosky wrote on our Website, "but we will ultimately end up with cars that make more efficient use of a gallon of gasoline."
Automotive engineering consultants were not enamored with the new rule, however. Two who talked to Design News argued that the mandate would add far more cost to each vehicle than the often-quoted government figure of $2,800. The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) cited its study showing that the 54.5mpg technology could add as much as $11,000 per vehicle. Scenaria Inc., a consulting firm specializing in the study of technology investment decisions, contended that the figure would minimally reach $5,000 per vehicle, and might hit more than $8,000 on many models.