When Ford launches its new C-Max hybrid microvan later this year it will deliver a solid 47 mpg in the EPA’s combined city/highway test, making it one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the road. Yet that’s still about 15% short of the target the White House has set for the auto industry with the new mileage standards that will be phased in between now and 2025.
Most major automakers signed onto the compromise regulations announced last year and officially released on Tuesday. But most echo John Krafcik, the CEO of Hyundai Motor America, who admits “We don’t yet know how we’ll get there.”
Electrification will almost certainly play a role, in some form or another. But don’t expect to see America switch to battery cars, most industry analysts contend. The technology will likely remain too limited and too expensive over the next dozen years – and the infrastructure just won’t be there, contends Jim Hall, of 2953 Analytics.