Is reaching US emissions standards proving to be more of a dream than reality for automakers?

Honda Fit EV It appears automakers are finding themselves in a bit of a pickle in their push to comply with tougher emissions standards.

Working to meet U.S. regulations that require their model line-ups to have an average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, nine states have joined California in setting a goal where electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen-powered vehicles will account for 15 percent of those new-car purchases.   

The trouble is, it doesn’t seem like enough consumers are showing an interest in zero emission vehicles to meet those goals, according to an Automotive News report.

For example, the industry news source cites that Honda only sold a total of 83 plug-in electric Fit models, according to market-researcher Autodata Corp.

“They are essentially forcing vehicles to be built and delivered to dealers who are forced to sell them,” said Bailey Wood, legislative director of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), as reported by Automotive News.

Honda initially set a goal of delivering 1,100 electric Fits over two years, which has forced the carmaker to offer additional sales incentives on the vehicle to try to lure in potential buyers. General Motors and Nissan have launched similar sales strategies for the Chevrolet Volt and Leaf to boost sales.

Edward Cohen, Honda vice president for government and industry affairs, told Automotive News that requiring carmakers to sale a certain number of plug-in vehicles is a risky strategy.

The mandate “directs manufacturers to offer consumers technology options along a pre-determined time frame and with specified numbers notwithstanding whether the technology and market are ready,” Cohen told the news source.

About one-third of one percent of the 6.4 million new vehicles sold in the first five months of the year, were zero-emission vehicles, according to NADA as reported by Automotive News.

To meet the fuel standards set for 2025, the industry news sources reports that one percent to three percent of all vehicles sold would have to be electric cars.

It all makes you think even more − are the fuel standards being set for 2025 just too farfetched? 

Photo Source:  Breaking Energy

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