Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





If 62 MPG Becomes Law...

hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
edited May 2011 in General
Negotiations are going on in Washington that could radically change the design of cars and trucks over the next 13 years.

As you probably know, new federal fuel economy and emissions rules took effect Jan. 1, requiring automakers to hit 35.5 mpg corporate average fuel economy by the 2016 model year.

That might only be for starters. Automakers and regulators from the EPA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the California Air Resources Board are now haggling over a tougher proposal initiated by President Obama. That plan calls for a CAFE range of 47 mpg to 62 mpg by the 2025 model year.

Industry spokespeople say the 62 mpg CAFE, supported by environmentalists, would be too costly and may not be feasible.

One industry estimate says hitting 62 mpg would require widespread vehicle electrification, and add almost $10,000 to the price of a new vehicle. Federal agencies say the cost would be $3,500 per vehicle, at most, and would be offset by fuel-pump savings.

Barring an unexpected technological breakthrough, I think that a 62 mpg mandate, by 2025, would force the auto industry to produce vehicles that motorists wouldn't want to own. For sake of discussion, though, let's assume that 62 mpg is the goal. In that case, as unpopular as raising the gas tax is, I'd prefer going this route over increasing average fuel economy through CAFE standards. What are your thoughts on this?
«1

Comments

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,818
    I'd like that on the local highways. The speed limit here in Michigan off the interstates is 55. :-)

    100km/h - it's the law.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    I'd agree with you, but, unfortunately, the proposal is for increased fuel economy, not about raising speed limits.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,818
    If gas prices stay high, you have to wonder if the average rate of speed is going to drop.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,187
    Vehicles were travelling a lot slower on the NE Extension of the PA Turnpike than normal this past Sunday. Sixty-two MPG? Are we all going to be riding mopeds?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,796
    May not be feasible? May?

    3500 per vehicle? I'd like to see the public sector sucks quantify that one.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,003
    If this move to a 62 mpg average involves a lot of electrification, I hate to think of what that's going to do to electric rates!
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,359
    I hate to think of what that's going to do to electric rates!

    I am very interested in that too. I have heard estimates all over the map, including opinion that the rates will actually go down. The argument is that generating capacity will not need to increase because recharging will be done at night when other demand is low. Therefore, the fixed costs will not increase and will be spread out over a larger number of kilowatts delivered. However, this depends on just how many vehicles are charging at night and on the effects of running the power plants at higher output 24 hours a day so I am dubious.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    edited May 2011
    It's hard to apply the right auxiliary verb. "Won't" implies certainty, whereas "may" covers a range of probability.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    A moped is probably too thirsty with two aboard.
  • nine51nine51 Posts: 78
    edited May 2011
    I guess we will all be driving eggs with bike tires. You can't legislate physics. Even the best hybrids only get into the 50's on average. More electrification will help for those who drive short range, but "plug-ins" will be running on coal or nuclear power. Is that a good thing?
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    I agree with you.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    edited May 2011
    62 mpg is the raw number - Prius is already well ahead of that proposed 2025 standard in the year 2011. The new compacts like Focus and Cruze are at 50+ mpg on this scale, as are larger hybrid sedans like Fusion hybrid.

    It won't be hard to get to 62 mpg for cars, I don't think. The problem is for automakers to get their fleet average to 62 if they also sell trucks, SUVs and large crossovers. But if they could sell 100K 75-mpg compacts per year for instance, they could sell lots of those big guzzler vehicles even if they made only high-40s (which would equate to a rating in the low 30s on the Monroney sticker).

    This isn't as extreme as it sounds, and it is certainly a much needed step. But I'm sure the automakers will succeed in diluting it for the sake of their profit margins, so I'm just hoping the feds do instigate at least the much weaker 47 mpg standard.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    The administration wants new American cars and trucks to average as much as 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025, roughly double the current level. Regardless of what the final number is, the big question remains, will American motorists want to buy these cars? The verdict for hybrids and electric vehicles so far is, not so much.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,638
    Regardless of what the final number is, the big question remains, will American motorists want to buy these cars?

    Ask yourself what gasoline will cost in 2025 and the question answers itself With gas at $7-$8/gallon we'll want 75 or even 100mpg. Mileage standards have saved the bacon of the Detroit makers more than once in our lifetimes.

    That said a gas tax is a better way to make our fleet more efficient.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    edited July 2011
    "...a gas tax is a better way to make our fleet more efficient."

    I agree, and it's also simpler.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    and I think will punish any politician who raises it more than 5 cents a gallon...

    So I'd say don't waste your time hoping for that one. But I agree it would help.

    I believe in CAFE and I think it has already helped bring about a revolution in internal combustion engines since 1975.

    56mpg is really more like 42 by the way the mpg is measured today. A few cars are already reaching or exceeding that standard 12 years before 2025. Another decade of progress on ICEs should make it work for cars. Trucks, SUVs, and Vans are tougher, but I think they can be done too with smart engineering.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    I think that CAFE is politically expedient in the U.S., but not the best way to go. Which countries have achieved the greatest gains in mpg and lower carbon emissions, the U.S. and Canada, or Europe?
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,359
    How about if the use of the increased revenue from the increased tax could be specified (irrevocably)? What specified use or uses would lead you to support the increase?

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,552
    These gas milage requirements will mean the end of SUVs and performance cars. Who is going to want to buy a 2025 Mustang with 90hp and an electric heater for power? I don't want to get too political but this is just more class warfare by the people in Washington. Unfortunately like many of the hairbrained schemes hatched in that city it will end up slamming the middle class. What did they say? An extra $10000 for a car that will get beat by a Tata Nano? Baloney. :mad:

    I'm buying a 2015 Mustang GT and by 2025 I'll own the fastest car in America. :)

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited July 2011
    More likely it's a way to save the middle class money. Rather than spending c. $2500 a year on gas, as many people now do, a lot of people will be spending half of that by 2025, and some even less.

    There will still be room for some sports cars. And very fast ones. I'd bet on it.

    The SUVs, however, are likely to get a smaller and less powerful. That too is a good thing, imho.

    Saw a bumper sticker the other day: "Support OPEC! Buy an SUV!"

    There will still be SUVs after all this is said and done. They'll just get 35+ mpg.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,853
    Don't forget that the mileage requirements are based on CAFE - Corporate Average Fuel Economy. They will have to average 62 MPG based on sales.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    yeah. And the number they are floating now is not 62 but 56. Furthermore 56 is by the inflated way of calculating mpg that the feds came up with in 1975. By today's more realistic figure the real number is likely to be something like 42.

    So, with c. 42 the real target, by sales weighted average some can be below that, even substantially below, as long as they are balanced by vehicles above that.

    If Ford, for instance, pops out hundreds of thousands of Fiestas a year with advanced 3 cylinder ecoboost ICE engines that get 60 mpg by the 1975 measure, that would allow them to sell a few 6 cylinder ecoboost (turbo) Mustang's that will probably equal in performance any mass production Mustang built and still let Ford meet CAFE in 2025.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,638
    edited July 2011
    When CAFE standards were first proposed that was supposed to be the end of performance cars. It was for a little while but then the technology evolved that allows better performance and that's because the makers knew that people wanted it.

    The bottom line is that the cost of fuel is a bigger determinant of how much performance you can have than CAFE Standards. How far are you gonna go in a 30MPG Mustang if gas is $8.00/gal?

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    What andys says makes total sense.

    But I think we will have performance. A Ford 2.0 ecoboost turbo has about as much power as a 5.0 V8 from the 80s. And yet it's dramatically more efficient. Pop that puppy in a mustang and you're done. Don't even need to worry about making it a hybrid. You'll still have to sell some 1.0 liter ecoboost fiestas, but that can and will be done...
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 6,552
    "...A Ford 2.0 ecoboost turbo has about as much power as a 5.0 from the 80s..."

    Yes, and a Mitsu EVO 2.0L turbo is a rocket but it costs $45,000. I just don't see getting today's performance out of a gas sipping engine without it costing a fortune.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd love to save money at the pump but I don't trust people with a different agenda to give me the performance I might want at a price point I can afford.

    2009 PT Cruiser, 2008 Eclipse, 1995 Mark VIII, 1988 GMC Van

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited July 2011
    I agree that the feds haven't given us a lot of reasons to trust em. To me it's more the two wars we're in, but never mind on that ot situation.

    Bottom line is that 50 mpg CAFE is going to happen whether people like it (me) or not (you). But I think there's hope for people who like performance and economy--which is both of us and and millions of others out there.

    I just looked up the stats for the pretty much top of the line Mustang from 25 years ago in 1986 (argh, time flies, I'm getting old!). The 302 was actually heavily revised for that year:

    "In 1986, Ford released the first multiport fuel-injected 302 cu in (4.9 L) V8, rated at 200 hp (150 kW). With high swirl E6SE heads, the early production High Output EFI engine intake possessed higher compression and dual exhausts."

    Now here's what you can get in a 2.0 Ford Ecoboost:

    2.0-LITER ECOBOOST GIVES FORD FOCUS ST OWNERS TURBOCHARGED, DIRECT-INJECTED THRILL RIDE

    2.0-liter EcoBoostâ„¢ in Ford Focus ST will deliver up to 247 horsepower and 250 lb.-ft. of torque using high-tech tools like turbocharging and direct gasoline injection

    Twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) working with turbocharging and fuel injection maximizes horsepower, torque and fuel economy at all engine speeds, helping eliminate lag and flat spots in power delivery

    Focus ST powerplant marks another milestone in Ford goal to offer 90 percent of its North American lineup with EcoBoost by 2013

    If they are putting this in a high end Focus, it is not an engine that is impossible for people to afford. It's probably only a bit more than an old tech V8. And yet it gets more power. Great work Ford!

    Here are the full stats direct from Ford:

    http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=33575
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    Bet you could put one of those 2.0 ecoboost engines in a full size truck and it would perform just fine and get 30 mpg hwy...
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,853
    Bet you could put one of those 2.0 ecoboost engines in a full size truck and it would perform just fine and get 30 mpg hwy...

    Which I think Ford is working it's way to slowly. The V6 Ecoboost has a good take rate in the F150. As people get over the need for a V8 and they find the V6 to work just fine, then the 4 will be the next step.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,003
    Bet you could put one of those 2.0 ecoboost engines in a full size truck and it would perform just fine and get 30 mpg hwy...

    Personally, I'd have reservations about an engine that small in something that heavy. I'd think it would constantly be working its little butt off, and would wear out.

    But, who knows? It might work out just fine. I'm sure back in the late 60's and early 70's, people would have thought the idea of something as small as a 3.8 V-6 in a nearly 4,000 lb car getting 30 mpg on the highway, being able to do 0-60 in around 7.5 seconds, AND being fairly reliable to the stuff of pure science fiction.

    But, I just described my 11 year old Park Avenue Ultra. And, since then, cars have only improved for the most part. So, I'm sure that the auto makers will be able to get more hp and fuel economy out of ever smaller engines as time goes by.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    andre: Good point. But a lot of people buy something like an F-150 more for style and light duty, not really for super heavy duty stuff. For them, once they get used to the idea, a full sized cab plus truck that can get 30 mpg on the highway will be a plus. And more than that it will be required whether people or manufacturers like it or not by the new CAFE requirements for 2025.

    People who truly need heavy duty trucks with huge towing capacity will still be able to get an ecoboost 6 or 8 cylinder, but my guess is that in a dozen years a large 4 might become standard....Just a guess.
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.