Captain Obvious Sponsors Study, Says Cars Will Be Getting More Efficient in 2013

By Jacob Brown | December 21, 2012
Would you believe it, there are analysts who say that cars coming out in 2013 will be more fuel-efficient than even the ones that came out this year? It must've took some sort of amazing prognostication to come to that conclusion. Well, pulled from the depths of Alan L. Baum, principal of Baum & Associates, and Luke Tonachel, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) senior vehicles analyst, we're supposed to believe that they have figured out the wonders of the auto industry. Their crystal ball has given them all sorts of insights us mere mortal auto journalists just couldn't have figured out otherwise. Heck, if you're in the market for a new car and have been paying attention to trends, this might come as a huge shocker. Try not to faint.
Cars are getting more efficient. These two well-credentialed dudes are saying that all cars will become more efficient, including gas, hybrids, and plug-ins. They say electric cars will double in sales in 2013--there are a lot more of them and they have nowhere to go but up--and hybrids will increase by a quarter. Unless gas gets up to $5 per gallon, we doubt that. Growth, sure, but we're on the fence about massive increases.
Further down their list, they say midsize sedans and pickups will be the biggest movers in fuel economy, perhaps because the CAFE 2025 standards that go into effect at the end of 2016 say they have to be. Also, there are new Ram and Chevrolet Silverado pickups coming out, and each is significantly more fuel-efficient. Once again, that doesn't take much effort to see. Electric cars will decrease in price. That's not news, either, as the Nissan Leaf is set to have a new entry-level version debut next year, and the Chevrolet Spark EV is also on its way for a price under $30,000. Diesel vehicles and new technology like auto start-stop are making cars more efficient. It helps that some automakers are jumping in with both feet, like Mazda, with diesel technology. And, finally, automakers are well on track to meet the CAFE standards. Why wouldn't they be? They'd be fined into uncompetitiveness if they weren't. Once again, a little common sense goes a long way. This study is fairly redundant to everything automakers have been saying for years. All you have to do is look at what's come out at the recent auto shows, from hybrid Porsches to diesel-powered family cars. Automakers aren't like Congress; they can't wait for a CAFE "cliff," whereby if they do nothing they'll be fine. The world's automakers are busy coming up with new technologies--hybrids, hydrogen, electricity, and fuel-management technology--to satiate the demands of the government and the needs of the consumer. Potentially, a new study can come out every year, spouting the aforementioned truths and be no less accurate. The technologies mentioned, among a long list of others, are the tools automakers are forced to use to achieve better fuel economy numbers. This study appears to be nothing more than a copy and paste. Source: National Resources Defense Council