New 2017-2025 Fuel Economy Standards Will Be Tough on Trucks

New 2017-2025 Fuel Economy Standards Will Be Tough on Trucks

President Barack Obama announced tough new fuel-economy standards this morning that will increase the corporate average fuel economy in the U.S. to 54.5 mpg for cars and light trucks built between 2017 and 2025. For truck-makers, the hyper-efficient requirements will force major design and powertrain changes in future pickups.

“This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we’ve ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” Obama said. “We’ve set an aggressive target and the companies are stepping up to the plate. By 2025, the average fuel economy of their vehicles will nearly double to almost 55 miles per gallon.”

The new standard requires passenger cars to meet annual mileage increases of 5 percent from 2017 through 2025, while light trucks, including crossovers, vans, SUVs and pickups, will need to improve 3.5 percent a year from 2017 to 2021 and then by 5 percent between 2022 and 2025.

Exact annual fuel-economy targets haven’t been posted by the federal government, but current light truck CAFE standards are 25.4 mpg for 2012, rising to 28.8 mpg in 2016. They’re expected to be over 40 mpg in 2025, representing at least a 60 percent jump in efficiency over the next 13 years.


CAFE numbers are cacluated using a different formula than EPA mileage figures found on a truck's window sticker, but here's how the tough new rules could impact light-duty pickups.

A 2011 Ford F-150 with two-wheel drive and a 3.7-liter V-6 gasoline engine has a combined city/highway rating of 19 mpg. That same F-150 would have to achieve approximately 30 mpg combined (60 percent improvement) by 2025, which is an increase of about 11 mpg.

Can truck-makers build 30-mpg combined full-size half-ton trucks, the most popular pickups sold in the U.S. today? If they do, they will be radically different from the body-on-frame trucks driven today. We can guess at some of the technology that will be required.

Weight reduction, which is already important in the development of next-generation pickups, will likely shift frame and body structure materials from metals like steel and magnesium to much higher use of lightweight materials like composites and plastics. We wouldn’t be surprised if the half-ton of the future weighed at least 25 percent less than today’s pickups.

The truck of the future is also likely to be much more aerodynamic. Tough-truck looks are likely to disappear to get the best fuel economy possible.

Powertrains will probably feature extensive electrification and hybridization, similar to the plug-in series hybrid setup of the Chevy Volt. Four-cylinder diesels are also a strong possibility, like the research effort Cummins has been leading in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and Nissan.

There’s one thing we can say with certainty. Though you’ll save money at the pump, the truck you buy is going to cost a lot more in the future to pay for all that advanced fuel saving technology. Don’t be surprised if your used 2012 Silverado, F-Series, Ram, Tundra or Titan holds its value strongly in the next decade.


Hmm the government $14,000,000,000,000 in debt $100,000,000,000,000 in debt from unfunded liabilities 20,000,000 or more people out of work 3 or 4 wars , butt the hell out of our lives you deadbeats in government , to bad republicans do not have the guts to fight this crap !!

@Taylor, so the new fuel economy standards are the republicans fault??? Which party wants to control every aspect of your life and impose there will on what you drive, eat or live??? It sure isn't the Republicans I can tell you that.

Liberals think they know what's best for you and everyone else.

I started garage keeping my current truck because I know it's going to have to last a loooonnnggg time.

I wonder how many Americans this is going to kill. Towing your 800LB ATV in your 2000LB 1/2 ton truck and you hit something. I guess it would work though, dead Americans don't need fuel.

@Michigan Bob. Re-read what Taylor was saying. He said too bad the Republicans won't fight this. He is saying that the Repubs need to fight the Democrats way of controlling.

I personally am all for fuel economy, but don't force me to buy a full size truck that can't pull itself around. If I want a "truck" like that, I'd send GM emails about bringing in it's South American Chevy Tornado (it's FWD with a tiny 4 cylinder engine) or Australia's Holden Ute (RWD, looks & acts like the El Camino, but handles better & starts with a V6).

Seems to me that Obummer has a slightly more important issue on the table today?? But instead of dealing with the US losing it's AAA rating, which he has done NOTHING about, he is introducing this untimely BS and smothering the US economy even more!!! Obama is clueless and dangerous. This is absolutely infuriating. Somebody tackle this guy!!!! AAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!

I just can't wait for my new 2025 F-150 with 3-cyl quad turbo diesel, 20 speed transmission, unibody chassis, and FWD. It should be spectacular.

Bring on the Natural Gas passenger trucks :)

Good one Paul, I can't wait to have a Seirra HD with a v2 Quad Turbo Deisel engine. It should never have to hit the pump. I don't know why they're forcing this on trcus, why not real passenger cars, with small influence on trucks to keep the fuel numbers going up, but not as fast as the price. This is just because too many people who don't need a truck are buying them, why can't they get cars and minivans, a minivan is just as functional as a truck.

I won't believe a thing these pantywasted elite liberals tell us until they have to drive everywhere like us, or park there private jets an stand in line at the mercy of the TSA. Can they realy be this stupid?

Now you guys know what Obama meant when he said "we are 5 days away from fundamentally transforming America". Unless this is changed by the next election, get ready to say goodbye to the wonderful sounds of the V8 engine.

That sounds like a real winner up here in Alaska. Nearly every family has at least one pickup in their driveway. Hybrid power? a band-aid at best. Composite frames? That'll go over really well, especially when hitting a moose. Computer controlled everything? That works fantastic already, why not electronic-ify everything!

The Dems have already moved to take away our American-made incandescent light bulbs, now they're forcing these "pickups" made by playhouse on us. Get out of my life, quit forcing me to give up money so it can fund your astronomical salaries and benefits, and stop telling me what I can and cannot buy. These people are cowardly, greedy and un-American at best.

It's easy to see the direction the automobile industry is headed. Let me elucidate: the American auto and truck manufacturers, knowing full well they can't possibly meet these unreasonable and preposterous CAFE standards, will gradually go out of the auto/truck manufacturing business altogether. All their money will be used to build new factories in China from where the former American manufacturers will now be involved exclusively in importing cars into the USA and exporting only the difficult-to-manufacture parts. These cars will not be required to meet any CAFE standards. GM, Ford, Chrysler etc. will become giant import/export companies. Former Detroit corporate chiefs will take up new headquarters in the "People's Republic". No more unions. No more employment problems. No more pension payments. No more insulting "tax the rich" leftist hysteria. And best of all, unprecedented profits for the investors. And we can thank the liberal democrats for helping it all to happen.

wait and watch, the EndofAmerica (google it) is near.

I have been a liberal for years I am now a independent because I dont agree with everything dems and repubs are doing their needs to be a fair balance betwen the 2 I think we need to get better mpg's but as someone else on here has already stated we need to do it less aggressively and let technology catch up I would do 22mpg by 2015 and 25mpg by 2022 and 30mpg by 2030 assuming the country isnt going through a recession and truck sales are down in which case we would alter the schedule.

our govmnt is f'en crazy.

I just wanted to clarify that this 54.5 CAFE number is based on the original fuel economy scale. Using the current scale, it means companies need to average around 37actual mpg combined.

That's actually not in the realm of impossibility, as the 4 cyl Cummins shown in that Nissan truck a while back got around 28mpg combined. With 40+mpg cars taking up the slack, a 37mpg corporate average could be achieved.

Unfortunately, I'm sure this new standard means the end of naturally aspirated V8's in all but low volume specialty models. Instead, small diesels and hybrids will likely become the norm. Either way, expect trucks to get significantly more expensive as time goes on.

Ha! You guys are talking like this country has a chance of holding together until 2025.

Wow... Pretty sure I have an easy solution to the foreign oil problem...

Drill our own... And stop funding those people. Open jobs here and we can drive what we want.


Why would we want to drill our own oil? Lets burn through theirs first! That way, when they don't have anymore oil, we can sell them some of ours for 100 times what we paid for theirs, making back all we sent to them and then some. Plus, it will give us a little time buffer to acclimate to whatever alternate fuel we'll use to replace oil before it all runs out for everyone.


Ok so you wanna spend more on fuel?

As for who controls what we should do in our lives? I'd take a hard look at who try's to control our lives and who discriminates more. It's Rep. That wanna control who can marry, what drugs I can use socially, impose religion in schools, courts etc. And rewrite American history. (look up he new Texas history books for public schools) also the worst of all they wanna control what pickup I drive!!!

Don't completely discount what technology there will be. It would be possible in a half ton truck to squeze 30 mpg with hybrid technology and different gearing. It might not be as realistic on a 3/4 ton or a ton but then since their volumes are not as much then it might be possible to have hybrid v-8s or v-6s with smaller more efficient autos increase the overall mpg. Mid size or compact trucks could eventually have hybrid 4s that would achieve better than 30 mpg. Who knows what kind of technology we could have in 10 to 15 years. Fuel standards might be the least of our worries. We might have fuel shortages and 8 to 10 dollar a gallon gas and if that happend people would be driving their large trucks less. I agree that the price to meet these higher standards would go up but it seems like everything will go up as well despite mandated fuel standards. Get ready for a continued future of higher prices and people keeping vehicles and everything else longer.

Considering the current fiscal crisis in the USA - this is suicide. Like Ken E pointed out "we are 5 days away from fundamentally transforming America"
Would that be "repo" signs on the White House "from China with love"?????
@ America - a minivan is not a functional replacement for a pickup truck. I tried that experiment for 2 years. It didn't work.
I am in the same boat as Devin.
There are people who just need a truck, whether it is for work or for climate.
Hybrids do not work well in cold climates.
Propane and natural gas vehicles need modifications to function in cold climates therefore they cost more to set up.
Solar panels don't work covered in snow or short winter days.

Are we going to trade places with China? We'll all be riding around on bicycles, rickshaws, and mini bikes and they will have the Big Three making real vehicles for them?

Love this "free" country we live in.

Next thing you know, those commys will tell us we cant give guns to are kids!

sorry but if trucks start lookin like that i would rather walk why cant people leave things the way they are

So why isn't OBUMMER leading by example and paraiding his a-- around in SMART CARS instead of raping the American people like he is. Here in TX and much of the U.S. we need trucks to do our jobs and get things taken care of - not an over priced plastic molded P.O.S. There are some people who still need and use a truck for what it is intended for.

OBUMMER - what a SPINELESS LEADER!!! The country is about to default on its enormous debt and all he is worried about is mpg. I hope all of you who voted for this scum bag got what you wanted - you better HOPE he can get something done by Aug 2. or there will be some major CHANGE!!!!!!!!

GREAT JOB GM, FORD AND DODGE for giving us the workhorses that you do!!!!!!

I for one CAN'T WAIT for these new technologies.

These gas prices are killing us. I bought my last truck 8 years ago when gas was a little over a dollar a gallon. Had I known what was going to happen to gas prices I would have stuck with something more efficient and just used a trailer to haul the occasional heavy load.

To think we can someday achieve 30+mpg in a full size truck with increased payload capacity is a desperately needed dream come true.

Every other country on earth has pickup trucks that get 40mpg, it's going to take 2 and 3 liter diesels. This isn't a political post but right now legislation is interfering with our ability to buy small diesel cars and trucks. Some adjustments to these legislation could enable truck makers to meet cafe standards by 10 oclock tomorrow morning.

The whole thing is silly, Bama... Do away with V8 half tons as they exist today, we'll just have to get something a little bigger to 'Git er Done!'

@DenverMike - great idea. I've always wanted to restore a "B" model Mack from the '60's. Put a Cummins in it and because of the trucks age - no emission rules to worry about.

not to mention you just wont be able to afford somebody to work on them, dealership rates and any other will be so high. What are they gonna be getting by then? 120 an hour? I guess I will hold on to my old 83 W150 Ram as well as my 2010 1500 which i will buy an extended warranty on. after that it will cost so much to afford a truck. now wait to see what these people in charge will do to the economy with big truck regs? that will drive the cost of everything up.

I trust you all will be attending my 50th birthday bash and fundraiser in Chicago on Wednesday after this silly debt thing is over? I'll have my people pick you all up in my many Suburbans and Escalades. I'm buying!!! We you are actually. Haha!!!

See you there!


(rolls eyes)

Evil commie presidents and liberals that take away our freedoms like starting wars overseas for no reason, requiring phone taps on all of us good citizens, pat downs at the TSA where the little old lady can't even have scissors to open her pills, TARP money going out to banks, bailing out all of those automakers that should have gone under, increasing CAFE on those same auto makers, running up unprecedented debts on our country, seeing the complete outsourcing of good ol' American jobs, running the economy into the ground, stopping us from drilling. Damn that liberal, left wing Bush and all of that stuff he did to us! (rolls eyes yet once again)

Both sides have done stupid stuff since.........forever and no side has ever really wanted to pay any of it back.

Come on people globalization is happening so deal with it in a logical way. We still have some of the lowest fuel economy targets for automakers across the world and I got news for you, we are now number 2 in the world for vehicle purchases behind China and yet they have stricter standards than we do and all of the companies are managing fine. The standards have been high in Europe for years and how many of us would jump at the chance to buy a Hilux?! That seems to fit the Euro model quite nicely yet we shun something less strict here.

For those who haven't had a science class since about 1860 the strongest materials on this planet are ALL composites and man made. Your 2000 lb truck made of carbon fiber and Kevlar would be massively tougher than the strongest steel. Do you really think you are going to die in a fender bender in a composite made vehicle?! Why don't police and our troops use 800lbs of steel in their vests instead of Kevlar then?!

I want a 2000 lb truck that can get 30 mpg combined, tow 8000 lbs, haul 2000 lbs and keep me ultra safe. It would be a ton of fun to throw around and it would tackle the great outdoors like a champ, and sandy beaches like a hovercraft. Why wouldn't anybody want this? It's not going to cost $90k to buy either, that tech is getting to be very cheap and the cost of steel, aluminum and other metals (sorry aluminum isn't truly a metal but you get the idea) is going up and up. Carbon is abundant and easy to access and work with. I think this is all wonderful stuff and I just honestly can't fathom why so many have their heads in the sand or can't see the forest for the trees.

@ Roger
I agree with you. If you want government out of people's lives then stop telling women what to do with their bodies, keeping consenting adults from getting married (think of all the extra money), so on and so forth. If people want to live under theocratic type rules in government there are countries you can go to, Iran comes to mind. I'm sure they'd love to have you there, but they might be too friendly, inviting and open minded for the religious right. (They really are very nice people and very welcoming of outside people, plus the food is dynamite and there is a crap ton of history and beautiful artifacts/ruins there)

Mike Levine, please don’t ban these posts since you have allowed all of the rest of the garbage to be published up above. I really want a fair chance to respond.

On another side note it is the House of Reps duty in the Constitution to construct all budgetary laws so you guys can hold off on all the Obummer isn't doing this or that. It isn't his job to write legislation, that is what the legislators (Congress) is for and in the case of debts and budgets it is on the House. Boehner should be getting stuff on the table and they aren't going to be ready with even the first round of anything until probably tonight or Sunday, way to be ahead of the curve there guys.

mhowarth, the European model is definitely not fine. We need legislature that creates jobs, not stifles growth, in order that we don't end up like Greece, Spain, Portugal, or Italy.

I second that, Mike.

All responses to this post have been very civil and some amusing as hell.

@MHOWARTH Last time I checked Obummer was the Commander and Chief not the House of Reps. The House of Reps. didn't say we need corporate fuel economy at 54 or whatever mpg. - Obummer did! It sounds to me that you are the one that has a problem with America. If Europe and Asia is so good why dont you go there. At least Boehner is workin his a-- off the get something done wether it be rite or wrong.


I was referring only to Euro fuel economy and emissions standards not economic models. Those don't seem to be halting any automakers' development. The rest is a different story that really doesn't belong on this site. :)

Things change and not all change is for the bad. More efficient vehicles made from composite materials will not necessarily be a bad thing. I am sure there will always be 3/4 ton, 1 ton, and larger trucks available and they will probably be exempt for the tougher standards because farmers and businesses need them. For most of the rest of us a more efficient 1/2 ton will be welcome. As one of the posts above stated some of the carbon composite material is actually stronger than steel. The price and availability of fuel will determine the consumers acceptance of more efficient trucks and not just the government regulations. If the price of fuel jumps too high then the truck buyer will start to demand more efficient vehicles. The consumer can still vote with their wallets. Also a truck owner can keep their trucks longer. No one is forced to buy the latest truck. Many of the trucks on the market can go well over 200,000 miles with proper care regardless of make. I know people with Fords, Chevys, Toyotas, & Nissans who have well over 200,000 miles and one with 400,000 miles. Think how much money you can save with proper maintenance. I think the car industry still has the power to push back on unrealistic standards and it is not impossible to have light duty trucks get 30 mpgs or better. Fourteen years is still a fair amount of time to develop more efficient fuel standards and the auto industry can always ask for an extension which they have in the past. The industry will want more efficient standards in the future anyway because customers will demand it. Not too long ago 20 mpg was considered great mileage which is what the early VWs, Toyotas, and Datsuns would get and many of these vehicles are getting 30 and 40 mpg. Let's not get so negative and blame everything on the Democrats or the Republicans. We still have a choice of to buy or not to buy. Also lets not get so negative on technology. If we can create body parts from stem cells and create space stations and space shuttles then I think we can improve the efficiency of trucks. We are still a great nation with gifted scientists and engineers. Don't give up.

@mhowarth - with all due respect: you think a carbon fibre, composite framed Raptor and high tec twin turbo aluminum block 4 banger is going to cost the same as the current Raptor?????
Yeah right.
Ask any racer how much it costs per pound of weight savings.
A 2,000 lb vehicle is in the realm of exotic supercars.
Anyone for a $ 500,000 dollar Super Raptor???
Last I heard - the Bugatti Veyron costs VW 5 million each to make.
How can that sort of technology find its way into a pickup and not cost more?
I'm all for improved fuel economy but only if I can afford to buy it or fix it.
Everyone is pissed off at government intervention.
Big Government does not know what is best for me.

Looks like my 2010 F150 will be a collectors item. The last of the metal pickups with V8 engines.
I'm taking bids, starting at 250,000....
correction $300,000.
It has the man step afterall ;)

mhowarth, It's not the new standards that upset me, it's the timing. In this instance economics unfortunately warrants consideration. Now is simply not the time for these announcements. Obama is a wet blanket on the economy. He is numb to the real world.

No need to worry....These regulations will be rescinded in January 2013 by President Palin, along with the new Tea Party majorities in both the House and Senate.. ;)

Just speculatin....

Is it November 2012 yet?

Hey I like the man step and I am 6 and a half feet tall. It’s a nice thing to have!

BTW an F1 car costs roughly $650k to make each one and I can guarantee you that it would stomp a mud hole in anything that can be made by a mainstream automaker. (of course our potholes and speed bumps might even things out)

I have a distinct feeling that producing 500,000-700,000 of a certain product a year and likely a good 3,000,000-5,000,000 during a model cycle allows for huge economies of scale and no a composite Raptor would not be half a million dollars and I highly doubt anyone would be bending those frames ;)

All of us are jumping immediately to the vast extremes to try and prove our points but reality lies in the middle and not one of the manufacturers is upset by the measure (they already have to meet much worse around the globe) so none of us should be worrying a whole lot about a measly 28 mpg (when adjusted) CAFE number that is 14 years away.


Please re-read my comment. The House is supposed to initiate all bills concerning money matters in our country (this is their authority as outlined in the Constitution). It isn't Obama's job any more than it was Bush, Clinton, Bush or Reagan's role. They can offer their thoughts on what they'd like to see but the executive office is to enforce and carry out laws NOT write them. BTW "W" increased CAFE the first time around since the 80's and that didn't cause the end of the world either and look you were still able to purchase a truck. It's not Armageddon people to be efficient, it's SMART!

I'd love to move to Europe if I could find a job there (don't really even know how to find one outside of a US company with Euro operations and I have been looking since about 2005) Think of all that rich history you could explore.


Why are Jaguar and Toyota getting into prototype racing? Why do Audi and Peugeot compete in prototype racing? Why did Lamborghini (a VW/Audi subsidiary) build the Aventador? How did Toyota justify sinking money into the LFA project for 10 years? Why are Ford and Subaru entering WRC again?

There is only one reason: carbon fiber. Motorsport is the development ground for all automotive technology. Sure carbon fiber is too expensive for road cars today, but every automaker is developing methods to mass-produce carbon fiber components relatively inexpensively. It will be some years, but a 2000lb large road car is coming. Make no mistake.

But that's no reason to mourn. Carbon fiber cars and trucks will be stronger, lighter, get better fuel economy, have much better crash performance, and will last longer (no rust). People walked around 150 years ago bemoaning horse-drawn carriages that had metal parts.

Looks like my 2011 LML Duramax is in it for the long haul, lol what a joke.

@a different Luke -
They race for more reasons than developing new technology.
If developing new technology was the sole reason for racing, we'd be looking at a Raptor with 20 inches of suspension travel or we already would be driving high performance 4 bangers and V6's, or all wheel drive, or driver adjustable suspensions, composite bodies etc.
Those technologies have been used in racing for quite a long time.
Does NASCAR or NHRA contribute to technology?
Nascar rules restrict engines to what amounts to a 351 Cleveland.
Are they allowed fuel injection?
or VVT?
or overhead cams?
Toyota said racing NASCAR was like having to build a better dinosaur (in reference to engine rules).
How about NHRA.
The rules allow what amounts to 426 Hemi.
Everyone could make a better engine.
Where is the impetus for development?
Even F1 has restrictions.
IF engineers had their way, we would see some truly astonishing performance levels.
Racing does improve the breed, but it doesn't always mean a better car or truck.
Since you brought up Lamborghini and the Aventador - what is the price of that car???
Lamborghini has been using carbon fibre, composites, and other technologies for a long time.
Is the Aventador cheeper than a GALLARDO???
If these cars are built to further technology - shouldn't they get cheeper in price?
The penultimate supercar is the Bugatti Veyron. It costs VW 5 million a pop to build and they sell for around 2 million.
Why did they do it?
They aren't making money.
Was it so they could build a carbon fibre Golf?
or perhaps so they could built a Passat with composite brakes?
The Touareg underpowered and needing to develope a 1,001 hp engine?
It was done so that they could say we built the fastest supercar ever.
A flagship model.
Why did they build the Sistine Chapel?
Because they could.

@ a different Luke
I'm not mourning.
I'm far from being a Luddite.
I don't miss my 1984 Ranger, or any other vehicle I've owned.
If they can build something durable, economical to run, and economical to buy, and it doesn't look completely stupid - sign me up.
I don't see it yet.
Ultimately I have to agree with UncleBud.
The timing is bad, real bad.

All I'm saying is people will buy what they want/need same as before but the trucks will say F-250 or F-350 instead of the F-150s that will resemble South American Couriers.

Truck owners will just drive a different emblem. Nothing else will change. Also, congress pass ridiculously tough standards so the lobbyists shower them with billions to soften them.

You are going to see Diesel/Hybrids and a greater use of composite materials in the future. US Pickups will probably morph into "global sized" models to make them competitive ,in a global market . That market will heat up considerably with more players from Asia, joining the competition and in around about way increasing the overall global demand.
HD Pickups will still be be produced, maybe with RHD to cater for the over 30% RHD global market. All of this reminds me of how tiny smartphones replaced the "bricks" of the 1990's, smaller but vastly more capable.


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