EPA Gives Green Light for California’s Costly Car Program

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted a waiver to the state of California to move forward with its Advanced Clean Cars Program.

The EPA waiver allows California to implement even tougher fuel efficiency standards than theWhite House announced last summer in an attempt to integrate more zero-emission vehicles into the market.

The promises of California’s program are similar to those touted by proponents of the federal fuel-economy standards: Clean up the environment by reducing emissions and save consumers money on fuel costs. The regulations are to assist in commercializing fuel cells (both electric and plug-in hybrid) and help meet the state’s goal of 15 percent of new vehicle sales being composed of these technologies by 2025.

The reality is that these regulations will drive up the upfront cost of vehicles significantly, and consumers will likely realize only a fraction of the fuel savings that the government claims. While California’s regulators admit that the regulations will cost buyers almost $2,000 more to purchase a new car, proponents argue that the regulations will also save drivers an average of $6,000 in fuel costs.

Consumers already place an extremely high value on saving money through fuel expenses, but they also consider a car’s safety, size, performance, price, and many other factors. Auto manufacturers, not the government, are much better equipped to meet the demands of consumers.

Read more at The Foundry. By Nicolas Loris.

Photo credit: Hot_Rod_Gal (Creative Commons)

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