Survey: Automotive Suppliers Don’t Want Current Fuel Economy Standards Changed

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A new survey commissioned by CALSTART has revealed that around 70% of major automotive suppliers don’t want policymakers to alter the current 2025 federal light-duty vehicle fuel economy standards in the US.

The survey — the first ever of its type amongst automotive suppliers — also revealed that most suppliers “see national fuel economy standards as important for long-term planning and investment.”

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The survey was performed by the global environmental consultancy Ricardo Energy & Environment, and involved the polling and interview of 23 different suppliers, most of whom are Tier 1 firms that sell parts directly to partnered auto manufacturers.

“This survey underscores the degree to which deploying new fuel-efficient technology is already baked into companies’ businesses plans,” started John Boesel, president and CEO of CALSTART. “Companies are clearly ready to innovate and see the upside in the standards.”

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Here’s an overview of the survey findings (directly from the press release):

  • 70% of suppliers said policymakers should not adjust the program’s goals.
  • 65% agreed with the decision to set new miles-per-gallon standards for 2025,
    with 30% saying they strongly agreed with the decision.
  • Among those who agreed, all but one named regulatory certainty as critical for the
    industry and half said the standards spark innovation.
  • 59% said that fuel-economy standards help spur job growth.
  • Suppliers identified a wide range of conventional and electric technology that could
    be used to meet the standards.
  • Three quarters agreed that setting targets beyond 2025 is also important for long-term
    planning.

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The director of technology planning and government affairs at Eaton Vehicle Group (one of those surveyed), Mihai Dorobantu, commented: “Eaton has cost effective technologies today that help manufacturers improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. We’re actively developing other fuel saving and electrification technologies for internal combustion engines and electrified propulsion, that will further improve vehicle performance today and into the future. Regulatory standards that are aimed at achieving real fuel savings are helpful for Eaton and for the industry as a whole. They create a clear path that allows for long-term investments in advanced technologies.”

Interestingly, when those surveyed were presented with a list of technologies that could be utilized further to meet fuel-efficiency standards, most chose “turbocharging and engine downsizing, along with higher-speed automatic transmissions, as the most critical.”

Continuing: “Hybrid technology was also viewed as important, along with variable valve timing, gasoline direct injection, and mass reduction. Suppliers were split on whether or not meeting the standards would ultimately require more electric vehicles than are already slated to hit the roads under state zero-emissions vehicle requirements.”

Hmm…..

Those interested in seeing an executive summary of the recent survey can find it here.


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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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