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



  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    I don't specifically know GM's European products, and while I wouldn't be surprised if they have diesels, my point is that merely being a diesel is not enough, due to the USA's incredibly strict standards.

    Thus, the diesel today has to be of the "BluTek" (Urea injection) type for the USA market.

    So the question is: who's already has a Blu-Tek diesel?
    I know Mercedes does, and a few others. But I don't think GM has one.

    If GM doesn't, then their only options are "make or buy".

    "Make" - means doing the Blu-Tek type of development work in-house themselves, and not violate any existing patents or IP. This requires at least a couple of years of engine development, followed by a couple more years to figure out how to integrate those engine changes into a specific production automobile - - I think its safe to say 5-6 years absolute minimum until they get production product out to retail, which equals the 2014-2015 Model Year as their first opportunity for relief through this strategy.

    "Buy" - means that for whatever reason -- ie, GM is bleeding and might not survive to 2014 -- then they have to slash the schedule by buying (licensing) someone else's Intellectual Property (IP). This cuts off the 2-3 year's worth of the engine's half of the development timeline and if they were dead serious, could have a product out by 2011-2012.

    Of course, there's also the option of:

    "Cheat" - get Congress to change the rules. Relaxing the diesel pollution standards would let them bring over their current (Euro) motors immediately. However, due to lack of fleet commonality, there still would be some engineering integration work to be done, so while they could conceivably get a few models by 2010, the 2011-2012 timeframe is more likely. What's "in it for GM" is that they won't have to be licensing someone else's technology - - but the problem for them is that Europe and possibly also Japan already have this engineering work done and can beat GM to market.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Well, I dunno: just how many engines do you think they will make available for each model? I am sure they will be keeping the monster engines they use in AMG models now, but take the E-class or S-class for instance. I doubt they will ADD a turbo to the line-up, I think they will add a turbo and REMOVE one of the other optional engines. There go a couple of V-8s...

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

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509
    In Europe there are many engines per class, where here we usually see no more than 2 or 3, including AMG.

    I could see all smaller engined cars reach a turbo design, and perhaps the upcoming hybrid S-class will work its way down the line, too. But the current performance engines aren't suddenly going away by 2010, too much invested in the 6.2 unit especially. The article is somewhat misleading.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    If we get real lucky, we will use natural gas in place of some gasoline, as we move on to a future fuel such as hydrogen. Our natural gas resources are very high, and using them will not compete with food as does corn-based ethanol, although we use natural gas for heating, etc.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,511
    "I think it likely that the reality is that both represent very expensive oil, which is no solution to the oil price problem, obviously. "

    You are exactly right. The undrilled onshore leases held by oil companies large and small are being explored as fast as the rigs allow, but the basic truth is that the large, easily-produced onshore oil accumulation in the US were found years, well decades, ago. High oil prices allow exploring for high-cost oil, but these aren't the wells that'll produce at high rates.

    edit-I almost forgot - if an oil company actually 'sits on' a lease, they can (and are) sued by the property owner for 'failure to develop', so it's really a myth that there are all these millions of acres of productive land that the oil companies just don't want to drill. Simply untrue.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,511
    In other words, has the rapid sales switch to higher-mpg vehicles made the government mandate unnecessary? Is there any data on what the current weighted-average mpg is of the cars being bought today?
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    edited October 2010
    It's happening, and the trend is bound to accelerate, as the next increase in mileage regs goes into effect in 2014. It is evident among my neighbors and friends who've traded their cars since the last message was posted on this forum, in July 2008.

    Did the last car you bought have better fuel economy than the one it replaced?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,170
    probably the next car purchase in my family will be something to replace our Odyssey minivan. And I hope to make it be something that gets better MPG, especially around town!

    the Ford C-maxx (or whatever it will be called) or Mazda 5 look perfect. To me at least, not sure about the wife! she probably wants some sort of CUV, and most of those dont get any better MPG than the van, unless you go real small (and I doubt that is happening).

    MPG though will not be the primary consideration, but it will be in the equation.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    edited August 2011
    Well, we're seeing it already, but the pace will quicken, maybe exponentially as we get to 2020, and then race to even tighter standards to meet 54.5 mpg by 2025. Virtually every major manufacturer is introducing or expanding its offerings of hybrids. Most, such as Nissan/Renault, BMW, and Fiat are developing full electrics. Weight reduction and space efficiency are being given more attention than at any time in the past. Finally, a wide array of technology, such as start/stop (just one of countless examples), are being employed to improve fuel efficiency.

    Among the effects of the sum total of these changes will be significant vehicle price increases. More buyers will be relegated to the used market. Cars will become throw-away items to a greater extent than even today, as the cost of repairing a car that's been in an accident becomes increasingly uneconomical. I'm also thinking that driving and car ownership will probably be less fun.

    And that's just for starters.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,680
    I see it as half full because of this...

    But, I wonder if the moderators should focus the CAFE threads. It seems we have three. Maybe we need just one? Close the other two?? I don't care which one, but it does seem like people here should have one thread in news and views to talk about this important issue...
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010
    Let's pick it up here.

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