The end of the SUV?
When the Obama Administration and automakers announced agreement last week on a plan to make the U.S. car fleet average nearly 55 mpg by 2025, there was widespread applause from environmentalists. Surveys also show consumers largely in support of higher fuel efficiency standards, especially since gasoline prices remain at around $3.70 a gallon, on average, nearly $1 more than a year ago.
But wait. Other than the two new electric cars on the market, the most fuel-efficient car is Toyota's iconic hybrid, the Prius. It gets 50 mpg. Will the average car 15 years from now really be 10% more efficient than the most efficient car today?
Will car lots be packed only with tiny two-seaters? Is this the first sentence in the obituary of the internal combustion engine? Is the bell tolling for the SUV?
Probably not, as The Daily Green learned when it asked experts to help us understand, from a consumer perspective, what the car lot of the future will look like. The first thing we learned is that those fuel-economy numbers are deceiving, or at least confusing.