No Surprise Here – Tesla Tops Consumer Federation Of America’s Fuel Economy Report

MAY 1 2016 BY MARK KANE 19

Tesla Model S in Australia

Tesla Model S

According to the Consumer Federation Of America (CFA), carmakers in the U.S. are improving fuel economy numbers, with more and more models compliant with Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and related emissions standards.

The range of fuel-efficient options has never been broader.

CFA notes that now 63% of all-new 2016 models are CAFE-compliant.

“In comparing the CAFE compliance of “all-new” models in 2015 and 2016, there was a significantly higher percentage of CAFE-compliant vehicles in 2016. In fact, 63 percent of the “all-new” 2016 vehicles were CAFE-compliant, compared to 41 percent of the “all-new” 2015 vehicles (see Figure 3).”

There are two manufacturers that are 100% compliant – Tesla Motors, which offers only zero-emission cars and Mazda, which by offering only passenger cars (no SUVs) was able to meet the requirements without a plug.

source: Consumer Federation Of America via

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19 Comments on "No Surprise Here – Tesla Tops Consumer Federation Of America’s Fuel Economy Report"

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I wish Mazda would start making EV. Their 3 has small drag coefficient, and would make for a good EV platform. Yes, I know they don’t need EV to meet CAFE, but I think they’d do well with EV.

Mazda recently partnered with Toyota and plan on using Toyota’s hybrid tech and hydrogen tech to meet future CAFE and CARB standards.

That was a year ago and nothing has come of it.

I don’t think drag would matter as much with FCV. They have to go to H stations regardless whereas BEV would want to drive home to charge (most convenient / cheapest), making longer range via aero to be more beneficial.

Same argument goes for hybrid. They can simply fuel up. Even for PH, their typical low AER would make it easier to simply gas up than plug in.

My FrankenEV: Mazda 3 hatch body, SparkEV motor, 30 kWh Leaf battery cooled like SparkEV, configured like Tesla (easy swap), priced like SparkEV ($24K, $15K post subsidy).

This explains a lot on why Mazda has not bothered with EVs of plugins. I think they might end up being the last hold to Electrify their line-up, Yes even the much dreaded FCA might convert before they do.

Yup, and it’s a shame, because I bet Mazda would make really good EVs if they set their minds to it, and I would very likely buy one.

So is there any sanction for those companies who hardly manage to meet the standards?, or is it all theoretical? I don’t understand, obviously.

I am not an expert, but I think (as GSP states below) that automakers have to meet emission standards as an average of all vehicles sold. Not all vehicles have to meet the standard, so they can offset some truck/SUV sales by selling more efficient compact cars. This report is looking at which models meet the standards. Assuming they sell more of those than their other non-compliant cars, they should meet the standard. I’m not sure what the penalty is for falling short, i.e. different vehicle sales mix than predicted.

Wikipedia to the rescue:

“If the average fuel economy of a manufacturer’s annual fleet of vehicle production falls below the applicable requirement, the manufacturer must either apply sufficient CAFE credits (see below) to cover the shortfall or pay a penalty, currently $5.50 USD per 0.1 mpg under the standard, multiplied by the manufacturer’s total production for the U.S. domestic market.”


Mazda has the demio EV since 2012. We will see a Mazda EV in 2018 when they are required to have zero emission vechicle. They are currently testing BEV and plugin hybrid.

What the heck does “CAFE compliant car” mean? CAFE is the Average of all cars sold by an automaker. There is no way a single model can be “CAFE compliant” unless the automaker only makes that one model.

Also, Tesla is not the most energy efficient EV, other cars have better kWh/100 mile EPA ratings.



Motors are more efficient than engines, but it still takes energy to make electricity, much of that using fossil fuels.

I like the fact that already 78,4% (2013, I found no newer numbers right now) of Austrian energy production was renewable (water, wind, solar, biogas etc.)

So no bad feeling needed for driving EV here.

No need to have “bad feelings” whowever the truth gets ignored. It takes energy to make electricity, that is NOT calculated in the eMPG figure.

It also takes considerable energy to pump, transport, refine and deliver gas/diesel sjc and that energy is not reflected in mpg.

And since electrictype will keep rapidly getter greener unlike petroleum it’s literally a no brainer.

You could count the energy to make the cement for the power plant, haul the coal by rail or install a wind turbine. That is NOT what I am talking about.

The eMPG pretends the energy put in the batteries just comes out of the plug, when it took TWICE that energy to make it.

I would be glad to have them account for the TOTAL costs of both, but they do not.

Pretending that 30 kWh is equivalent to a gallon of gasoline is misleading, it took about SIXTY kWh of energy to make it.

“already 78,4% (2013, I found no newer numbers right now) of Austrian energy production was renewable”

I am finding that quite difficult to believe. I think you must have swapped the fossil fuels v. renewable numbers. That would be more than pretty much everyone else. And Australia is well know for being coal barons.

LOL VW and Fiat/Chrysler. Dieselgate and Sergio FTL!

Shouldn’t BYD also have 100%, because they only sell electric busses in US?