Edmunds.com Discovers CAFE Discrepancy; New Goals Not What They Seem

Edmunds.com Discovers CAFE Discrepancy; New Goals Not What They Seem


Edmunds.com Discovers CAFE Discrepancy; New Goals Not What They Seem

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — May 21, 2009 — Even supporters of CAFE might be surprised to learn that the standards announced this week will actually require automakers to make much less progress than implied.

"Turns out that there are loopholes almost big enough to drive an SUV through," quipped Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl to AutoObserver.com.

One might think the government would use a single set of ratings for both CAFE and vehicle window stickers. But the well-known EPA mileage ratings are not used to calculate CAFE, and the difference can be significant. For example, a vehicle that scores an EPA combined rating of 29 miles per gallon actually contributes 39 MPG to its manufacturer's CAFE average. There are 29 car models and 36 truck models that already achieve the new standard, and about a third of the cars and half of the trucks are produced by a domestic automaker. (Please see the complete list at http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2009/05/when-cafe-meets-epa-a-tale-of-two-fuel-economy-standards.html.)

Edmunds.com Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds explained, "CAFE miles per gallon ratings and EPA window sticker MPG ratings were originally generated simultaneously through government lab testing. Window sticker ratings have been downrated twice in the last 25 years to make them more realistic for consumers, while CAFE mpg methods remained the same. So, with each EPA revision, EPA window sticker MPG and CAFE MPG drifted further apart."

Edmunds' GreenCarAdvisor.com Editor John O'Dell originally reported on this discrepancy in December 2007, in an article entitled Fuel Economy: Doublespeak at its Best (at http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2007/12/fuel-economy-doublespeak-at-its-best.html.) In that piece, he wrote, "Most people have been trained to think only of the EPA numbers when talk turns to fuel economy, and they aren't aware of the differences between the EPA and CAFE figures. That makes the standard a little misleading."

Dan Edmunds will take questions on this topic during a conference call scheduled for 11:30 AM Eastern on Thursday, May 21, 2009. Interested participants should dial (866) 649-5540 and reference conference ID # 11481911.

Some Edmunds.com spokespeople are available for interviews in Edmunds.com's television studio in its Santa Monica, Calif. headquarters.

About Edmunds (http://www.edmunds.com/about/)
Edmunds.com publishes four Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers and enthusiasts. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its most popular feature, the Edmunds.com True Market Value® , is relied upon by millions of people seeking current transaction prices for new and used vehicles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM), was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated "#1" in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. Inside Line launched in January 2005 and is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. CarSpace launched in February 2006 and is an automotive social networking Web site and home to the oldest and most established automotive community. AutoObserver.com launched in 2007 and provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.

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