US car buyers might be treated to the proverbial sticker shock during the next ten years as carmakers will implement costly technology to be able to cope with the upcoming tough US fuel economy standards, says the National Research Council.
All new cars and light trucks sold in the US in 2025 will have to reach an average fleet fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon – which is around double the targets seen today. “New vehicles will be more fuel-efficient, lighter, less polluting, safer, and more expensive to purchase,” according to a report released by the Council on Thursday. The National research Council is a division of the independent, nonprofit National Academy of Sciences, which was asked by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to research how automakers are doing in the process of falling in line with the new fuel-economy targets. “The increasingly stringent fuel economy and greenhouse-gas emission standards will drive the development of new powertrain designs, alternative fuels, advanced materials, and significant changes to the vehicle body,” added the report.
There’s just one catch – are consumers willing to pay for the added technology to deliver the fuel-savings – and the report says the studies made so far have come up with inconclusive findings. And carmakers are left wondering if the buyers will opt for the more expensive cars when they’re not sure if the fuel savings will overcome the added expenses within a few years of usage. So far, customers have been willing to pay the extra dollar to gain access to safety and infotainment features and analysts and industry experts say the coming decade will show what the costs are and how the automakers will pass them to the customers.