Last updated: February 17. 2013 8:23AM - 28 Views

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CAFE rules could cost consumers

The article "New fuel economy rules to double efficiency to 54.5 mpg by 2025," which refers to the government's boosting of CAFE standards, suggests motorists might save money at the pump; but these standards might cost us more than we anticipated.

The manufacturers' cost to comply: roughly $3,000. This could prevent millions of potential customers from qualifying for car loans. No car – no gas – no environmental benefit – no business for the auto industry.

Hybrids and electric vehicles will show up on dealer lots despite little interest from consumers. Manufacturers, in a push to sell, will likely offer higher rebates on the hybrids and EVs. The result: The current lower-priced, best-selling, fuel-efficient, 40-mpg, gas-powered vehicle will end up costing consumers more. Like it or not!

Completely electric? I'm not the only one not sold on this. GM closed its plant for five weeks due to lack of sales of its Chevy Volt. No consumer demand, yet hundreds of thousands invested.

And the worst part of it: Manufacturers will need to make cars thinner, lighter and more compact, with more plastic and less steel, trading safety for lower mpg. The cost of repairs will undoubtedly lead to increased insurance rates.

Government's goal of getting gas guzzlers off the road could end up forcing people to keep what they have. I predict no sales and/or less gas buying, generating billions less in federal gas-tax revenue through 2025. This we can't afford.

Michele Piccolini

Old Forge

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