By Drew Johnson
Thursday, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 1:46 pm
 

About 25 percent of new vehicles sold today would meet more stringent fuel economy regulations set to go into effect in 2016, new data shows.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1 in 4 new vehicles sold today would meet the agency's 2016 fuel economy regulations, which will require a 35.5mpg fleet-wide average. The EPA says about 90 new vehicle models meet the requirements.

Although positive news for the industry, there are rougher waters ahead. Just half of those vehicles that meet the 2016 regulations would pass tougher rules set to go in effect by 2025. Those regulations call for a 54.5mpg average.

However, Jeff Alson, senior policy advisor at the EPA's office, is impressed with the fuel economy improvements made over the last five years. Alson noted to The Detroit News that the automakers are on a "pace that none of us would have predicted a few years ago."

Continual improvements to the internal combustion engine should carry automakers through the 2021 model year, but electrification will likely be needed to meet the 54.5mpg average, which translates into a real world figure of 42mpg. The EPA estimates those rules will tack on about $2,000 to a vehicle's price tag, but some have predicted the 2025 standard could raise vehicle prices by as much as $10,000.