Various science and environmental groups said there’s still a serious flaw in the revised study conducted by the Center for Automotive Research of possible 2017-25 fuel economy targets. The center had made revisions to its study when errors were detected in these methods.
Last week, its report indicated that increasing federal fuel-economy standards up to 56 mpg in 2025 would yield net savings to consumers. However, raising targets to 62 mpg would lead to vehicle price increases that go beyond fuel savings over a five-year period.
The Union of Concerned Scientists and the International Council on Clean Transportation said that the study made use of obsolete data, disregarded cost-saving provisions in federal rules, and made baseless assumptions that skewed findings against the highest mpg targets.
What the UCS prefers is a 62 mpg standard. The center submitted released the results of its first study in December but the environmental group ICCT found some research errors.
This is what led to the revised study. The ICCT isn’t actually favoring any specific target. David Friedman, deputy director of the UCS’ clean vehicle program, said that the revised study remains biased and still makes use of defective methods to “reach a predetermined conclusion.”
He also referred to this study as an “industry-advocate propaganda piece.” ICCT Executive Director Drew Kodjak said that there had been several improvements and corrections but there was very little change in the actual costs and fundamental analytics. He also said that several new errors were found in the new study.
What makes this study so controversial is that the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the leading automaker lobbying group, has cited it to support its stand that before a 62 mpg target is adopted, there has to be more research.