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How The 35 mpg Law By 2020 Will Affect The Cars We Will Drive

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Comments

  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Hey now mid 30s imperial gallon highway isn't bad for a 6,000 lbs plus truck.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,345
    Pardon me - I was reading the wrong line. Been taht kind of day.

    No, that's not bad at all.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    No, it isn't that bad and that is one of the things that drives me crazy right now. There isn't any mid-sized to full sized vehicle on the market that can seat seven adults and get over 30 mpg highway. The LR3 with the TDv6 can do that and it is available right now if California would get its head out of its [non-permissible content removed] in regards to diesel emissions.

    The Mazda5 comes close but it only seats six and doesn't have the all around capability that the LR3 does.

    I don't know if the TDV6 would do very well in the US market as 0-60 comes along in a leisurely 12.8 seconds with the automatic. :surprise:

    Still the TDV8 from the Range Rover only gives up a couple of mpg to the TDV6 and is just as fast as the V8 petrol motor.

    http://www.landrover.co.uk/gb/en/Vehicles/Range_Rover_Sport/Specifications/Engin- es%20and%20performance.htm
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,345
    Don't be trying to sell me an LR3 now..... I can't think of where the nearest Land Rover is...

    If I ever do manage to move myself back into the hills I could have a lot of fun in one of those.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    GM is taking the whole thing seriously: they are going to power their next compact models with a turbo 1.4, and may even make that engine standard in their midsize cars too:

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20080602/ANA02/847106937/1176/emailblast02&refse- ct=emailblast02

    Sounds like the Cobalt as we know it will be going away after 2010. They expect 40 mpg from the new powertrain, and 120-140 hp.

    They are also apparently reconsidering bringing the Beat to the U.S.

    In a separate piece of news today, it looks like Ford is already expanding the Fiesta lineup before it has even gone on sale, by adding 3- and 5-door hatches to the proposed launch in two years.

    Two automakers taking the new mandate seriously and making early strides to meet its goals...

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

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    It all looks very interesting, and I'm rooting for the success of these efforts, and a fair market return for the risks associated with these enhancements, but I wonder about the durability of a highly stressed turbo engine.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    That link requires registration. Any more info about that new model? Sounds mildly interesting....I wonder if there will be a hatch version...
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Sorry about that, here is the text as it pertains to the new car:

    "DETROIT -- General Motors will unveil a Chevrolet compact car at an auto show this fall, with production slated to begin early next year, say sources familiar with GM's product program.

    The vehicle will be built on the Delta compact car architecture at GM's plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

    The car will use a new 1.4-liter global engine that GM developed and recently announced in Europe. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine will be used in several GM vehicles worldwide.

    The Chevrolet compact will not be called the Cobalt, says one source familiar with the plans. GM will produce the current-generation Cobalt through June 2010 as a 2009 model. It was unclear from sources whether GM will continue to build the Cobalt after that.

    Shared among five nameplates

    The car's engine will be capable of developing between 120 and 140 hp. Sources say mileage could easily exceed 40 mpg.

    "It's a pretty incredible engine; it's direct-injected with great power," the source says. "The small-displacement turbos make it possible to get great power so that GM might put it in the mid-sized products, too. It's an extremely important engine and a very capable powertrain."

    The new engine will be shared among five nameplates: Chevrolet, Pontiac, Saturn, Opel and Daewoo, sources say. That means the Lordstown plant could build cars for export.

    The engine continues the trend that GM started with such cars as the Pontiac Solstice GXP and Saturn Sky Red Line. Those cars use smaller engines and high-technology devices such as direct fuel injection and turbochargers to boost fuel economy and performance."

    So the news is mainly powertrain-related, it doesn't talk about body styles. As for durability concerns, the turbo in the Sky/Solstice has a very high specific output, and it hasn't become known for problems so far. I expect that one of the very common techniques for meeting the new CAFE targets will be small engines with turbos...

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

  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Given the engine size and horsepower numbers I've seen floating about, it sounds like they're going to be low-boost turbos, maybe in the 5-7 pound range which isn't very much these days. Saab has been doing that with some of its cars the last few years.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    GM cuts truck production, considers selling Hummer brand
    "General Motors said today that it is shuttering production at four of its plants that build full-sized pickups and SUVs and it is considering "all options" with its Hummer brand -- including a possible sale.

    The moves are the result of high gas prices, which GM now views as a permanent market condition, CEO Rick Wagoner said.

    The automaker also announced it will add a third shift to its small-car plant in Lordstown, Ohio, Wagoner confirmed.

    GM will be building an all-new Chevrolet compact car at the Lordstown plant, as first reported by Automotive News on Monday.

    Finally, GM's board of directors has approved the production funding for the gasoline-electric car, the Chevrolet Volt, Wagoner says.

    "In other words, the Chevy Volt is a go" Wagoner said in a teleconference before the company's annual meeting today in Wilmington, Del.

    Wagoner said GM still intends to put the Volt for sale at the end of 2010 and to build it at its plant in Hamtramck, Mich.

    PRODUCTION CUTS

    GM is reacting to $4-a-gallon gasoline prices by making major cuts in its full-sized pickup and SUV production.

    The automaker said it will cease production at its Oshawa, Ontario, truck assembly operations in Canada, which builds the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, likely in 2009.

    GM said its plant in Moraine, Ohio, which builds the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy and Saab 9-7x, will end production at the end of the 2010 model run, or sooner, if demand dictates.

    Janesville, Wisc., will cease production of medium-duty trucks by the end of 2009, and of the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon in 2010, or sooner, if market demand dictates."

    "WILMINGTON, Del. - GM today announced a range of strategic initiatives to aggressively respond to growing demand for fuel-efficient vehicles and to economic and market challenges in North America. Rick Wagoner, GM chairman and CEO, made the announcements here as part of the GM annual meeting of stockholders.

    Major initiatives announced by Wagoner include:

    • A new global compact car program for Chevrolet, a next generation for the popular Chevy Aveo, and a high efficiency engine module for the U.S. market.

    • Funding for production of the Chevy Volt extended-range electric vehicle.

    • Addition of third shifts to Lordstown and Orion, which build hot-selling Chevy and Pontiac cars.

    • Cessation of production at four plants that build pickups, SUVs and medium-duty trucks.

    • A strategic review of the Hummer brand.

    "From the start of our North American turnaround plan in 2005, I've said that our goal is not just to return GM to profitability, but to structure GM globally for sustained profitability and growth," said Wagoner.

    "Since the first of this year, however, U.S. economic and market conditions have become significantly more difficult," he said. "Higher gasoline prices are changing consumer behavior, and they are significantly affecting the U.S. auto industry sales mix."

    In North America, GM has been moving rapidly and successfully to revitalize its car lineup and grow its crossover business. New GM cars and crossovers, including the Cadillac CTS, Chevy Malibu, Pontiac Vibe and Buick Enclave, have been selling strongly, and GM intends to build on this success. In fact, 18 of the next 19 new GM products for the U.S. will be cars or crossovers.

    Additional operational and strategic actions will be required to position GM for sustainable profitability and growth. These initiatives fall into three broad areas: product and technology, manufacturing facilities and capacity, and the Hummer brand.

    New Chevrolet models and a high-efficiency engine module approved

    To further strengthen GM's lineup of fuel-efficient cars, the GM board has approved a next-generation compact Chevy for the U.S. and global markets, a next generation of the popular Chevy Aveo, and a U.S. production module of GM's 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

    The new Chevy compact will be better equipped than today's compact cars, and will be designed to set quality and safety benchmarks for the compact class. Production will begin in mid-2010 at GM's Lordstown, Ohio, plant, subject to final negotiations with state and local authorities.

    "This car will represent the first U.S. application of our global architecture strategy," said Wagoner. "This strategy will pay major dividends as we leverage our extensive car product development capability in Europe, Korea, and other locations to accelerate the shift in our U.S. product portfolio."

    The next-generation compact will be pure Chevrolet in design, and will feature the 1.4-liter turbocharged version of GM's global four-cylinder engine. With this engine and a manual transmission, the new Chevy is expected to achieve a 9 mpg improvement over Chevy's current entry in this segment. The engine will be produced in Flint, Michigan, again subject to final negotiations with state and local authorities.

    Also recently approved was a next generation of the popular Chevy Aveo. Based on a global architecture, the Aveo is also expected to have segment-leading fuel economy when it goes on sale in the U.S. market in the second half of 2010.

    These new Chevy models will help build on GM's leadership in fuel efficient vehicles. For example, GM continues to offer more vehicles with a 30-mpg or better highway fuel economy rating than any competitor."

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20080603/ANA02/455137809/1176/emailblast02&refse- ct=emailblast02

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

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    "Ford F series loses title as top-selling vehicle in May

    Honda Civic sets new record of 53,299 sales


    The Ford F-150 pickup truck has been dethroned as America's favorite vehicle for the first time since 1991 -- by four sedans.

    According to preliminary sales figures released by automakers, Ford Motor Co. sold 42,973 F-series trucks in May, while Toyota Motor Corp. sold 52,826 Corollas and 51,291 Camrys.

    The Honda Civic beat all vehicles with sales of 53,299 vehicles -- an all-time record for any month -- while the Honda Accord raked in another 43,728 in sales, according to American Honda Motor Co.

    The last time a car outsold the F series was October 1991.

    Ford CEO Alan Mulally said the fact that cars are outselling trucks is further evidence that the industry is undergoing a change in consumer preference.

    "We really believe we are seeing a structural shift with the fuel prices going through the $3.40-to-$3.60" range. It's interesting that a lot of others are saying the same thing now," Mulally told reporters Monday, June 2, at a dinner in Washington.

    "So I think we're seeing a structural shift where, with the prices being high in the United States, we're seeing exactly what happened in Europe a number of years ago, where the customers are going to make economic decisions, and they're going to move toward smaller and medium-sized vehicles.""

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20080603/ANA05/959951360/1078/emailblast02&refse- ct=emailblast02

    Looks like gas prices are going to accomplish what the Congress never could, using CAFE: a shift to fuel-efficient vehicles in the U.S. The thing about consumer preference, of course, is that it is fickle, so I'm glad that there is added pressure on automakers to improve fuel efficiency, even if it comes from a relatively weak tool in the form of CAFE 2020.

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

  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Yeah, I saw those articles too. They really have nothing to do with this law though; the trend away trucks is due to current market forces.

    This new CAFE law is already obsolete, as the average mpg will rise quicker and further than this law sets as a goal.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Yeah, that's kind of what I was trying to point out. I guess I didn't need to copy over the whole article to accomplish that, eh? :blush:

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

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    The automakers went to Washington to go whaa whaa whaa about the schedule of fuel economy increases they must meet by 2015.

    http://www.autonews.com/article/20080701/ANA02/527230349/1128/emailblast02&Profi- - le=1128

    "The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to reconsider its plan to raise standards by 4.5 percent a year during the 2011-15 model years.

    By 2015, under the plan, cars would have to average about 35.7 mpg and trucks would have to average about 28.6 mpg -- about 25 percent higher overall than today.

    The proposal "would require manufacturers to expend resources at a pace that is excessive given the fact that the auto industry is already under economic stress," the alliance said in formal comments reacting to preliminary rules NHTSA unveiled in April."

    I find it ironic that many of the automakers are partly or mostly under economic stress because the fuel economy of their vehicles sucks so bad. If only they would comply with the new regs, their economic stress would likely decrease significantly!

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

  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    Their trip to the nation's capital has little to do with fuel economy. They're not so much crying about the new CAFE standards, as laying the groundwork for a bailout.

    GM stock is at $12 per share -- a 40 year low. Ford is languishing around $5 per share. The execs see the meteor coming, and they want the taxpayers to give them shelter.

    However, unlike Chrysler in the 1980s, the Big 3 have fired so many workers in the United States, along with moving so many factories to foreign countries, that they'll have a tough time convincing folks that a bailout is "good for American workers."

    The upcoming dog and pony show will be interesting.
    .
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Interesting. I hadn't thought about that potential angle. I really don't think they will get their way on delaying CAFE increases anyway, now that California's GHG emissions law has passed the courts.

    And I don't support a bailout. The industry has failed to contract sufficiently or quickly enough, and as they are positioned now, I think there is only room for one domestic in the car industry of the future, 20 years out. As of this moment, I am convinced that one survivor should and will be GM, and it doesn't need a bailout to accomplish that. It just needs to aggressively and unswervingly stay the course it has been on for about three years now.

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

  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    "one survivor should and will be GM, and it doesn't need a bailout to accomplish that."

    GM will only need a bailout if it can't secure $15 billion in financing from the private sector. How much of your money are you willing to invest in GM bonds?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Nah, they won't need a bailout. They need to get that new 2-mode hybrid in everything they possibly can, they need to get Korea cranked up to deliver new small cars with much better fuel economy than the existing ones, and in terms of long-term survival they probably need to cancel Saturn and maybe Pontiac, and make Buick a China-only brand (and dump Hummer and make Saab a Europe-only brand). Let Buick China stand on its own, from R&D through production, and if it can't make it over there then just kill the brand entirely.

    And don't spend one more nickel working on replacements for the GMT900 trucks. These things were supposedly the most fabulous trucks ever built, completely redesigned less than two years ago - let them have a decade-long run and see what full-size pick-up sales look like then. I think they have already made the decision to do this.

    Instead spend the money getting 50-state diesels ready for the big vehicles, new small engines including a turbo or two for smaller cars, and get fuel economy way way UP across the board.

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

  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    I would generally agree w/ everything you've said (remember, GM let their trucks go from 1973-1987 w/o a major redesign) except Buick. When GM showed the Park Ave, Riviera, and Invicta concepts in China, people here said why can't we get these here??? So, the designs definitely are a hit, and were designed by teams here AND in China. They would have a big meeting on what would work here and there, discuss it, and go to work. When the team here was done, they would leave it for the crew in China, and when they came in in the morning, they would just pick up where the Chinese left off. Kind of like a 24 hr design team. this cut costs and design time, and insured everybody was on the same page. I'm sure they could be built here AND there, as well.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I hear what you are saying, but the issue with the domestics is not only fuel economy, but also way too many brands and rapidly shrinking market share. GM is the biggest offender there, and if you figure that ultimately the market will probably give about the same amount of share to GM as to Toyota, 8 brands just makes no sense (it is 8, right?). Buick sells mainly large cars and crossovers, one of which (large cars) is a segment that has seen wholesale abandonment in the last 12 months. And can you really see some huge thing like the Lucerne with a turbo 4? Nobody would want it even if GM could engineer and produce it.

    One has to question the business case for GMC if the full-size segment gets down to 1 million annual units total in the U.S., which it well may (it is well on its way already). Seems like a GM with just Chevy and Cadillac for sale in the U.S. would be about right for the year 2025. I could see maybe having one more specialized brand, and maybe you could turn either Pontiac or Saturn into that brand. I know people have just gotten used to the idea of having Buick Pontiac and GMC dealers combined, but in reality all GM will really need in 20 years is Chevy - (Pontiac or Saturn) - Cadillac. And it will need more small Chevys, with Korea standing ready to provide everything smaller than an Impala, hopefully with significantly boosted fuel economy.

    If they keep Buick and GMC, it will tip their product mix too much towards large cars and trucks, and that will screw up their CAFE fleet average. They don't need any more problems like that than they already have, particularly for the handful of sales Buick and GMC produce each year.

    Once the California GHG legislation becomes law and the other 11-14 states follow suit, GMC and Buick will become major major liabilities (as will Hummer of course, but I bet we will see that sold off any day now). Even Pontiac and Saturn will have to change dramatically, but at least they have diverse enough product mixes not to be totally hopeless.

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

  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    I do see your point about shaving brands. Selling Hummer, and Saab, and restricting GMC to the Commercial nameplate only makes sense. Maybe one way to keep some brand names around, and successful, would be to "value price" the brands. First, instead of separating the brands at different dealerships, put them all under one roof. If someone wants a mid to large sedan, and has say $26k to spend, they should be looking at 3 brands only. That would be Chevy, Pontiac, or Saturn. now the question becomes what type of car are you looking for? If they want value, Chevy, Euro styling, Saturn, sporty, Pontiac. Currently, they would have 5 choices: Malibu, Impala, Aura, G6, or G8. By right, the Lacrosse should be above these, luring people looking for a Lexus GS, or Avalon. If they have say, $35k to spend, that is where you turn their attention to a Lacrosse, or CTS, and the Lacrosse should be BIGGER than the CTS, so they have a decision to make.

    Fuel economy isn't going to be as big a deal as you think, if they are willing to put 2 mode hybrid trannys in these cars. Volume production should keep the cost to a minimum
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    It is precisely because the US Automakers have turned to DC for bailouts (such as the E85 charade) and keeping competitors out of the US market (such as diesel pollution standars), instead of being themselves a key innovative leader that is better alligned with world realities (the handwriting has been on the wall for expensive oil for years) and what all of the consumer market segments want, for why they've been losing market share everywhere except in big honking SUVs.

    And insofar as the fuel economy angst, Blu-Tek technology exists in diesels -- all GM has to do is licence it from Mercedes: technical risk: ZERO!

    If they want to beg for regulatory relief, then let them relax the diesel pollution standards to harmonize them with EU ... GM can then licence the VW / Audi TDI, as well as the plain Mercedes CDI. Again, technical risk is zero.

    -hh
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    Why would GM have to "license" anything from anybody, when they have those products for sale in the EU already??? Tech risk: zero. Cost: ZERO
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,676
    Don't you know? According to GM, we don't want that European stuff here. They understand that Americans only want big pickups and Suburbans.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    The Prez commited yesterday to a 50% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050. Needless to say, that's not nearly a big enough reduction, and other countries called him out on that score. But even if we just settle for the 50% figure, the automakers won't have any time to rest in 2020 - they will have to get cracking on improving fuel economy even further, just as quickly....

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

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    "Needless to say, that's not nearly a big enough reduction..."

    How much is enough, and why?
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    MPG being the question is a situation that won't last long, if we turn to the more important question of just what alternative (to gasoline) fuel shall we use to replace gasoline. We have a tremendous supply of natural gas in America. We could "quickly" begin this substitution process while we work on a future fuel of whatever sort for the long haul.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Well 80% by 2050 is enough to negate the worst effects of global warming by the year 2100, according to the report by the IPCC. That is for all developed nations, but especially for what is by far the biggest energy consumer and polluter in the world, the United States.

    If we switch to natural gas, we will still be consuming a non-renewable energy source that produces greenhouse gas emissions.

    If we can manage to produce massive quantities of cellulosic ethanol, then I like E85's chances. But that's a long way off, if ever. We need to diversify our automotive energy sources as much as possible, as soon as possible.

    Oh yeah, and my original remark was slightly tongue in cheek, as there were no specific obligations agreed to by the G8 leaders on Tuesday, and no-one expects them ever to have the courage or the foresight to actually oblige themselves in any specific way, so automakers don't really need to worry...

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

  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    Let's get graphically fundamental: The natural gas for IC engines is aimed at fueling our transportation to get us to work each morning, after which we will do our jobs developing the future fuel. Eventually we start using the new future fuel and quit using the natural gas, which had itself already replaced gasoline in significant proportion. None of this will occur instantaneously. Yes, we will use gasoline and natural gas for a while. And on another vein, we should consider the conversion of our vast coal resources to other fuels. Key word: consider. We really must also consider that to get from A to Z, we may need to linger briefly at F, K, O, and V. Patience and pure science are mandatory. Double punt the emotionality! (he said, with some notable emotion...) :shades:
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    We have a tremendous supply of natural gas in America.

    You are right about the tremendous supply - but it is in the ground or under the oceans.

    The problem is how do you deliver it economically? I live in NH and the vast majority of the state does not gas-lines. The areas that do have natural gas, usually run short on supply near the end of the winter. So there is no extra supply for more people to run there houses, never mind running their vehicles on them too.

    LNG also comes into the area on tankers, and the LNG is stored in tanks. There are a lot of safety and terrorist concerns even at present levels of use.

    We use many fuels right now to heat our homes, and power our cars ... You can't eliminate any unless you have a viable - economic and quick way to do so. It's just theory and dreaming to state otherwise.
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