Your Thoughts Regarding The New EPA Mileage Mandate

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  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,840
    edited July 2013
    Due for MY 2015....That's 80mpg by the Japanese measure. Does anyone have a way to translate that into EPA? It's lower, but probably about 60 mpg. The Civic IMA hybrid gets 44 mpg, and the new system is supposed to represent a 30% improvement in mpg, which would give a number of about 57 or so mpg, which would far exceed the standard for that size car for 2025. Anyway, this is the kind of innovation that's being encouraged these days by high few prices as well as cafe.

    from Auto News

    "....Honda also is making another go at the small hybrid segment with the gasoline-electric version of the Fit.

    The new hybrid system, dubbed Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive, greatly boosts fuel economy over the current system. Honda has been using the outgoing Integrated Motor Assist system for years in such cars as the Insight.

    But entries such as the Insight, CR-Z and Civic Hybrid have failed to gain traction in the United States, even while rival offerings such as Toyota's Prius C successfully carved out a niche.

    Through June, U.S. sales of the Prius C subcompact climbed 27 percent to 20,575 units. That total is more than double Honda's hybrid volume during that period.

    The new hybrid version of the Fit hatchback, which will be sold in Japan, is expected to achieve fuel economy of 36.4 kilometers per liter, or 86 mpg, under Japan's testing regime. That marks a 30 percent improvement over the hybrid version of the current Fit, which is sold in Japan but never made it to North America.

    Those fuel economy figures don't translate directly into U.S. EPA ratings because the testing cycle differs in Japan.

    The car has not yet received an EPA fuel economy rating.

    Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20130722/OEM05/307229960#ixzz2ZnobbPiY
    Follow us: @Automotive_News on Twitter | AutoNews on Facebook
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    edited July 2013
    Is EPA really helping us with things like this? At first, it looks good on paper. But here's the reality of it; many of these super fuel efficient vehicles don't really work well with Americans and their families. The size of the family and the dimensions of Americans generally are going to dictate something bigger than a Civic, let alone the even smaller stuff like Fit. So what happens in the marketplace? The car companies have to sell these small things at very meager margins (or a loss) to meet government regulations. That means family sized vehicles have to be marked up higher to offset that artificial pricing. The reality is the EPA is forcing middle class Americans to pay more than they should for a family vehicle. We're not Europe and we're not Asia here. Americans have to travel longer distances and generally have larger size issues.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,840
    edited July 2013
    Many people do get the EPA numbers these days, since the 2007 correction, but not everybody. It's about right on the button for me, unless I do too many quick trips to the store. My 2013 Accord is rated 36 on the highway, and on one trip we got 38. Some people at driveaccord.net are taking pix of their mpg computers that show figures as high as 41 for a whole tank. But, as they say, YMWV. Sorry you're not getting the quite the mpg you want. The next gen CRV is supposed to be a bit better on gas.

    Agree that they should stop the silly subsidy of ethanol, which seems like pure boondoggle, to the tune of hundreds of billions of bucks over the last few decades.

    And you might be right about how difficult it will be to get an Odyssey up to 28 mpg. Time will tell. My guess is that Honda and the other companies will be able to do it, but the minivan of 2025 would need to be a bit smaller and lighter.

    Here are my make-believe guesses

    2014 Odyssey (22mpg) 2016 Odyssey (25mpg?) 2022 Odyssey (28mpg?)
    Length: 202.9 in c. 200? c.197?
    width: 79.2 c. 78? c. 77?
    height: 68.4 c. 67? c. 66?
    weight: 4396 c. 4000? c. 3800?
    engine: 3.5l c.3.2? c. 2.4/4cylinder turbo??

    So yes, there would be a little bit of downsizing, but nothing very radical.

    I don't know how old you are, but my guess is that you're younger than my 49 years.

    To take you back a little in time, in the mid 70s, after the first CAFE regs passed, the car magazines like Motor Trend ran ominous op eds about the end of the car as we know it. The gov't was going to come and take away your Caddy! My sucker 12-13 year old self believed it, and was against the CAFE of the time for a year or so. But by the late 70s and early 80s things weren't looking nearly so bad.

    Here's an example of a car I myself owned that was downsized due to CAFE, the 1985 Oldsmobile 98. This was a radical downsize compared to the 1984 98

    1984 Olds 98 1985 Olds 98
    Length: 221 inches 196 inches
    Width: 76 in 72 in
    Weight: 4024 3300
    engine: 5.0l V-8 3.8l V-6
    front HR: 39.5 39.3
    front LR: 42.2 42.4
    rear HR: 38.1 38.1
    rear LR: 41.7 40.8
    trunk: 20.5 16.2
    mpg: c. 16? c. 20? (couldn't find these numbers)

    Anyway, as you can see, the 1985 Olds 98 lost a whopping 700 pounds compared to the previous year, but had almost the same amount of interior room. It wasn't as wide, but otherwise the headroom and legroom were virtually identical. You lost 4 cu ft. of luggage space, but you accelerated to 60 faster and got something like 30% higher mpg (3 speed auto on the 84 Olds vs. 4 speed on the 85).

    Until 6 years ago I owned a 1988 Olds 98, and it was one of the best cars I've ever had. Amazing comfort, visibility, and good enough handling and power.

    So, I'm not sure I believe these days those who say doom on you when there's a little downsizing.

    For instance, for the Odyssey, if it has a smaller engine it'll need a smaller engine compartment, which might mean that's where much of the length gets taken out. The passenger compartment might be almost the same size. And right now the Odyssey is huge and cavernous. It's also rather ponderous to drive around town. I think it would be less of a chore to drive if it were a little bit smaller.

    Frankly you could take an inch out of the leg room for each of the three seating positions and you'd still have more legroom than you have in most cars. In other words, in the next ten years I think with good engineering, they can probably take 600 pounds out of the Odyssey and still have almost as much interior room as the model today, and probably get 28 mpg combined without hybrid tech. If you had a big 4 cylinder turbo that turned off 2 cylinders for highway cruising, you might get c. 36 on the highway. Just my 2 cents. Time will tell. And man am I trying to waste time on this today lol!
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    It's been a huge source of frustration to me to have hit 29.9 mpg twice in my minivan but I've never been able to crack 30. :D
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,840
    edited July 2013
    "Americans have to travel longer distances and generally have larger size issues."

    On the distance part, that's all the more reason to encourage higher mpg. Average American families will save thousands and be better able to take family trips.

    If someone has size issues, the big vehicles will still be available, and also get better mpg.

    The big secret of CAFE is that it isn't really a mandate, at least not the way I would think about what a mandate means, which is "An authoritative command or instruction," with something dire happening if you don't obey.

    You know what happens if a car company doesn't hit CAFE? They pay a small fine. Mercedes has missed CAFE at least half a dozen times, pretty much by choice so that they can sell big ultra powerful cars. The fines haven't gone up one dollar since 1978 for missing the targets, and so have been eroded by inflation. MB just pays a few million dollars out of the billion or so dollars in profit they make every year in US, and then they go on their merry way.

    CAFE isn't really punitive. It's more like it's a good idea, and they are giving guidelines and encouraging everyone to do it. But companies can sell credits to other companies, use all sorts of loopholes and extras, and there's even a time in c. 2020 when they get a chance to derail the whole last 5 years, if they can claim it's too hard. But I don't think they'll even do that. The car companies already lobbied successfully to get standards that are low enough that probably almost all the manufacturers are going to make it.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,840
    You hit 29 mpg on a car rated 18? That's incredible. Truly. You'd probably hit 42 in my Accord. I've got too much of a lead foot. How fast were you going? 55?
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    edited July 2013
    The first time it happened was nearing the end of a long road trip in '99 and we were heading to Arizona at the time. So easy highway cruising in loafing vacation mode. Then I had a 29.9 tank in March '04, followed by a 29.3 one the next tank. But there was a 15.2 tank before those two, so I could see throwing out the 29.9 as an anomaly. But not two great tanks in a row. :-)

    No idea why the perfect storm hit in '04. I looked back on my calendar and was just running around town mostly that month. Maybe the station screwed up and filled the regular tanks up with ethanol free stuff.

    We won't talk about the 10.3 and 11.1 tanks in '99. Had a 12.7 five tanks after a "tune-up" in August '08. Next worst was 13.1 in May 2011.

    Fascinating stuff eh? Kind of like watching slide shows of some stranger's vacation cataloguing wheat varieties. :shades:.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 15,244
    Hahahahaha; excellent visual, Steve!

    I posted a couple of sub-18 tanks on my 2010 Forester. The complicating factor on those, however, is that I was pulling a trailer that was, um, less-than-aerodynamically-ideal, at ~70mph. I could have done that well with a full-size pickup pulling the same trailer, and had a lot more room to boot! But, the ~28 I get on that car during the times I *don't* pull said trailer more than makes up the difference.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,840
    edited July 2013
    Understandably, they left room for big powerful pickups in cafe, and so they don't have as much of an increase from 2012 to 2015. I agree with this, actually, because a lot of people and businesses do use their trucks for work.

    For instance, small cars like Corolla and Civic are encouraged to move their EPA sticker combined mpg from 27 in 2012 to 43 by 2025. That's a c.60% increase

    Trucks, like the F-150, are encouraged to move their EPA sticker from 17 in 2012 to 23 by 2015, which is an increase of 35%. And most of that increase is focused in the last few years. Here's how it plays out for large trucks:

    2012: 17
    2014: 18
    2016: 19
    and then it stays at 19 for several years
    2022: 20
    2023: 21
    2024: 22
    2025: 23

    So between 2012 and 2021, a period of 10 years, CAFE only goes up by 2 mpg for F-150s. That's an increase of 12% for a whole decade.

    Between 2012 and 2021, a Corolla is encouraged to go from 27 to 37, which is an increase of 37%.

    Again, I actually mostly agree with this loophole for big trucks, but it is definitely something of a gap in CAFE.

    The current F-150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost that has 360hp and 420lb of torque gets 18mpg.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    What's the mpg?

    Who cares?

    What's the gpm? That's the number that matters.

    A Closer Look at an Ill-Conceived Fuel Economy Standard
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 9,750
    Even Consumer Reports doesn't seem to understand consumption vs. mgs. Recent issue had an article on how turbos and hybrids miss their epa ratings under CR tests. How did they rank them? By difference in mpgs! So a car that missed by 5 mpg was ranked 'worse' than a car that missed by 4 mpg, even if the first car was a hybrid making 40 mpg, and the second a turbo sedan making 25. OOPS!
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Get your own mpg sticker.

    Feds Roll Out Used-Car MPG Stickers
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Do you get a burning sensation at the gas pump when your car falls well short of the EPA fuel economy estimates? Edmunds.com's Green Car Editor John O'Dell discusses this phenomenon and offers tips on how to get the most out of your car's fuel economy when he appears as this week's guest on "Cars, Trucks and Bucks" on TalkZone.com (http://www.talkzone.com/shows/199/CarsTrucksAndBucks.html).

    The show is live from 4-5 pm EDT on Thursday, September 19, and we encourage you to call 888-463-6748 with questions and comments about real-world mileage experiences and what you think of your car's EPA estimates.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    I get a burning sensation when Congress and the bureaucrats start dictating and limiting what producers can offer, thereby limiting my choice. Let me decide for myself if I choose to buy a larger or quicker vehicle. I'll be the one choosing to pay out the higher gas cost if I do. I don't need Uncle telling me what I should drive, or basically forcing car companies to start putting out vehicles with even less differentiation from each other. I don't want or need a consumer Nanny!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Actually sometimes people do need to be constrained. The problem with the "let the market decide" argument is a lot like the "let nature decide" argument. The decisions that the market/nature makes FOR you are often pretty gruesome.

    Oil, clean air, adequate energy, are all NATIONAL resources meant for our well being. Can't have too many pigs at the trough, so to speak, no offense intended.

    I mean, there were people lining up to buy Zimmers and Hummers--is that what you really want to see on the road?
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,080
    Today we have idiots who can barely handle a Spark who are lining up to buy GLs and Range Rovers...is it any better? No constraints at all for certain demographics.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    restrictions inspire genius IMO, whether it is art, music or auto design.

    Without boundaries or limits, car design turns into the 1950s, which was certainly 'vital" in styling, but function followed form all the way.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    edited September 2013
    Yeah, there was a period when people lined up to buy Hummers, but Zimmers?

    Incidentally, will Hummers some day become the poster child of excess of today's '59 Cadillac?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Zimmer was a profitable company--the other "arms" of the corporation failed and dragged the automotive division down with it. I think somebody took up the nameplate yet again.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,080
    But did the Hummer and Zimmer fade away due to restrictions, or simply to naturally changing tastes?

    I was just saying it seems some demographics are less limited than others, and usually show less genius as well.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,705
    I mean, there were people lining up to buy Zimmers and Hummers--is that what you really want to see on the road?

    And where are those brand names today? Looks like two perfect examples of "let the market decide" right there!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I don't think either of these monstrosities were killed strictly by market forces--it's way more complicated than that.

    "Giving people what they want" is pretty much how the worst television programs were born.

    Apple didn't give people what they thought they wanted...Apple TOLD people what they wanted and needed.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    edited September 2013
    I think many Hummer driver's would have been one time owners given the reliability, ownership costs and depreciation dollars on those beasts. On top of it all, they were mostly just body shells on GM truck platforms. Few could afford a real Hummer military vehicle. And why is it that the US is expected to shoulder the bulk of the impact of all the world's problems? China is now the biggest polluter and the fastest growing economy. I think it's far time that America start focusing on American interests and let the rest of the world pay their share. Europe and Asia need to pony up!

    As for gov directed impacts, I think we're just going to disagree. Regulations should apply to avoid extreme situations, not everyday decisions. Washington has the same near term focus as Wall Street and often ignores longer term impacts, let alone unintended consequences. What happened when the EPA was formed and started butting into auto decisions? First, lots of driveability problems followed by big price increases, and then as the regs got tighter, it just moved buyers from the now too small cars into less efficient trucks, SUV's and minivans. When politics and bureaucrats start driving decisions the results aren't often very pretty and we pay for it. Some of the improvements you've pointed to as a result of gov regulations may actually be better correlated to technology changes derived from advances in things like CAD/CAM.

    As for environmental ramifications, well hybrids and turbo's aren't perfect either. Manufacture of batteries is pretty toxic and then there are the disposal issues and possible landfill and water table contamination from them. Batteries are still the biggest failure and problem area in computers and can cause fire ignition. What's causing most of the problems on the B787 Dreamliner - battery and electrical problems. Turbo's - I guess we'll see if their issues have all suddenly been cleared up. They've tended to not run optimally without higher octane fuel and their higher speed and operating temperatures can impair engine life through faster wear and tear. These are real world cost tradeoffs from improved mpg, but I'm sure the EPA is out in La LA Land ignoring these realities and their potential problems. The mileage estimates have so frequently been way out of whack from reality on these new technology vehicles (Ford come to mind?) and the purchase prices are generally notably higher than conventional engined cars. Yep, more gov reg induced cost impacts on the consumer.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I don't agree with most of your conclusions. I don't think regulations have vastly increased the price of a new car, adjusted for inflation, and certainly 54,000 deaths a year and horrendous pollution in some American cities in the 1960s quality as "extreme situations".

    To choose to pollute at the same rate as China does is to impact adversely the lives of future generations. Besides, China is no dummy. It is investing massively in green tech, which is going to be the next source of prosperity for a country.

    We'd better climb on board.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    The price of new cars went up far faster than the inflation rate after these initial rules were implemented in the early to mid 70's though. I think a big reason that prices on vehicles moderated over time is more technology than the result of gov regs. I don't think the US is anywhere near the polluter China is right now, so why are we supposed to tighten up further and faster than they are? Green tech will grow no doubt, but the current government leadership seems to want to push it faster than is economically sensible - Solyndra for example! Seed money is one thing, but gov investment in choosing technology winners is not right. The marketplace will straighten that out over time, and much more effectively and efficiently I think.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well all governments invest in their new technologies, to get them from R&D to the global marketplace. Sometimes the government is no better or worse than you or I at making investments of this sort---win some, lose some. There were plenty of winners that got government money, too.

    Yeah, I think all the safety and fuel efficiency requirements has added a bit to the cost of a car---but it's certainly worth it to the consumer I think. If your Hummer gets 10 mpg and your 2013 diesel SUV gets 18, that's a lotta money at the end of a typical 9 year life span for a car. And what price can you put on multiple air bags, etc.

    I don't think we have to race China to the bottom, if it wants to continue polluting at the rate it does. They can do their way, we can go ours. I'm betting on green tech. Whoever can market the best green tech, will rule the global marketplace IMO.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,080
    Then we'll need to put equalizing measures on goods sent in from high pollution areas/environmental criminals.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I guess it depends on whether it blows our way or not. It's possible that some Chinese cities will become unlivable and that they'll be self-correcting in that case.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    Be careful Shifty - don't you live in the Pacific NW? You're right in the Pacific ocean wind current flow. The main reason airliners from Asia go further north is curvature of the earth, otherwise they'd be flying right overhead from there.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,080
    I've heard dust from Chinese dust storms reaches the US west coast. Wouldn't be surprised to learn of other impacts that "free trade" brigade might try to hide.

    I've read that Beijing can be pretty unlivable right now.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    you know berri, I *have* noticed my eyes were a bit red today.....

    I'm in Sonoma, not the NW, but California, Oregon and Washington are allies under NACTO--the northwest & coastal treaty organization. :)
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    edited September 2013
    You're going to get hit with radioactive stuff from Fukushima soon enough anyway. I've read that the spray will carry at least 50 miles inland. Best quit eating fish out there too. (ENENews)
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    I think I'll need to report this left wing NACTO group to the Tea Party!
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 9,750
    No radiation risk in the US, the dilution is HUGE. Just don't eat fish caught offshore Fukushima.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Not gonna happen. The ocean has a LOT of water in it.

    Way too diluted. Reminds me of when daughter of famous movie actor tried to kill herself by swallowing ALL her homeopathic medicines at once----she was fine afterwards---LOL!
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Right, because tuna and other fish don't move anywhere else. 5.3 quake in Fukushima today.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    So is the UAW now controlling the weather gods over there!
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    edited September 2013
    I love combining the Global Warming and UAW topics in a whole 'nother thread. :-)

    Back, sort of, to automobiles, I'm trying to get my wife to sell her small Toyota position since the stock is relatively high right now. Tepco is clueless trying to control the meltdowns and runoff.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I would opine that worrying about a radioactive fish swimming 6000 miles to land on your dinner plate constitutes marginal paranoia? :)
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    edited September 2013
    Your tax dollars at work - the feds (and state fisheries) are monitoring seafood with Fukushima in mind. It only takes a few days for a fish to leave Japan's shorewaters and get to U.S. fishing waters.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,840
    edited December 2013

    Ford unleashes a 3 cylinder Fiesta turbo with great mpg. Look at these numbers....epa rated 32 mpg city, 45 hwy, and 37 combined.

    Formula 1-style cleverness in a three-cylinder package
    Now that the transmission is the key to both performance and fuel economy in so many cars, we can't remember the last time we made a fuss about an engine. Yet this three-cylinder turbo is really clever, and even Ford boasts that this is the trickest engine it makes. The 999cc inline-3 makes 123 hp @ 6000 rpm, not to mention 125 lb-ft of torque @ 2500 rpm rpm. When the Fiesta SFE is equipped with its five-speed manual transmission, the result is an EPA-rated 32 mpg City/45 mpg Highway and 37 mpg Combined.

    Read more: http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1312-2014-ford-fiesta-sfe-ecoboost-review/#ixzz2ooeXCe11

    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,840

    Ford's extensive use of aluminum on its 2015 F-150 seems like a bold way to give truck buyers more payload and higher mpg. Seems like cafe might be encouraging some good innovation?

    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482

    It's in the automakers best interests. If cars become too expensive to fuel and drive, where does that leave them? Gas and diesel is certainly not going to be cheaper by 2025.

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085

    My 2003 VW Jetta TDI would surpass 54 MPG with 5 people in the car AC on high during a 12-hour trip. The other automakers are starting to move to diesel also. A diesel engine is INHERENTLY more efficient for several reasons. (No throttle-plate, Fuel has more power-density)

    Unfortunately, I believe there is also a move to INCREASE ethanol in our gasoline supply. We all know that more ethanol means LESS MPG. (Lower power-density) I wonder if this is factored into the 2025 mandate?

    BOTTOM LINE: This MPG is achievable... Gasoline laced with alcohol will not support this mandate. Are we (the consumers) willing to move to the proper fuel to meet those standards?

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726

    Not regular unleaded? The cars with the top 5 combined ratings from EPA are all hybrids right now, I believe. And they all run on regular.

    The trick will be figuring out how to get the afore-mentioned large trucks to combined ratings of 30 or above - not gonna happen soon would be my guess, but diesel is the best option for vehicles like those with large payload ratings and high curb weights.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Member Posts: 4,085
    edited January 2014

    I am sorry but those "hybrids" you speak of can NOT carry 5 passengers for 12 hours with the AC blasting while returning 30 MPG. The 50+ MPG I spoke of in my previous post was REAL MEASURED MPG wrapped in a German roadcar. I still maintain that a diesel engine has many inherent advantages over any other.

    Another way to look at it is "do the math"... go ahead and calculate the energy-density of alcohol-laced gasoline compared to diesel-fuel. Right off the bat, the diesel has a HUGE advantage. All told, a diesel engine has about a 30% advantage over alcohol-laced gasoline engine.

    A "hybrid" has its place as a commuter-car in a city and excell at stop-n-go driving. (I rarely encounter that type of driving)

    Now, if you wish to consider a DIESEL-HYBRID.... you may be looking at more like 60 MPG in the city.

  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165

    Let's be honest, this is just another one of those government mandates that middle class consumers end up holding the bag. In order to get to these numbers the automakers will have to resort to things like lightweight materials, hybrid or diesel drivetrains, turbos, etc. That means the consumer is going to get hit in the pocketbook. The vehicles will likely cost more to purchase, have more complex and expensive repairs, as well as corresponding insurance price increases and many will require higher priced fuel be it diesel or premium unleaded. As usual, the politics sound good up front, but eventually the consumer gets stuck with the bills.

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,840
    edited January 2014

    I have a different point of view from berri. A lot of things the gov't does seem off track to me, but a fair amount of the auto regs have seemed to work imho.

    For instance, more people died in car accidents back in the 1960s than today. There were some different reasons for that, but a lot of it came down to safety regulations and crash tests. The crash tests of the private insurance organization IIHS have been a huge help too.

    In terms of reliability and costs, gov't regs have brought some surprising improvements. For instance, in the late 1990s, the On Board Diagnostic II rules went into effect. OBD II required every car to have a self-diagnostic system that would make the check engine light come on if things went out of whack. The gov't put OBD II on so that cars could be more easily diagnosed and fixed, which has happened. This helped get the small percentage of cars that are not working right that cause most of the smog, as well as waste a lot of gas.

    But another effect of OBD II, which I remember reading about in some car magazines in c. 1995-96 when it went into effect, was that no car company wanted their check engine lights to go off for the first owner under normal conditions, because it would be annoying and make the car seem unreliable. And so each car company's engineers were tasked with making the various systems of a car more reliable and more robust so that the darn check engine light wouldn't come on. I think, for instance, that things like long-lasting platinum tipped spark plugs were done back at this time on even cars like Fords and Hondas. Thus the 100k tune-up.

    In other words, in fact the gov't regs for OBD II, which were meant to trip the check engine light sooner and for more reasons, ended up making it go off less often, because cars were better.

    The mpg regs are also working in a positive way, as I see it. Haven't seen mass market cars like Ford and Honda going to premium gas, but they are using direct-injection, turbos, weight loss, aluminum, cvts, 6-8 speed transmissions, a little downsizing, etc. to save people money.

    A 2002 Honda Accord LX auto gets a combined 23 mpg according to the epa, while a 2014 Accord cvt gets a combined 30 mpg. That saves c. $500 in gas a year, or about 5 grand in the course of a decade. Today's Honda Accord is alot faster, safer, more comfortable and quieter than the 2002. I've owned both, and so I can say from personal experience that the new car is better in almost every way than the one from 12 years ago. Part of that is competitive pressure and higher gas prices, but part of it is the encouragement from cafe.

    I can use regular gas in my new Accord, and as far as I can tell reliability is as good as it's ever been.

    Ford's high tech Ecotech turbo engines have been robustly built and have had extensive reliability and durability testing. I don't think they are going to fail or cost their owners more, at least not for a very long time.

    I think most of today's cars, designed in part for these gov't goals, if well cared for, are likely to last very well for c. 15 years and c. 150,000 miles, saving the first and second owners a significant amount of money on gas.

    After that, they might become more expensive to repair, but from a dollars and cents point they may have already "earned" a slightly earlier death by then.

    I think there might be exceptions that prove what berri say, but that's what they'd be. Most studies show that the increased mpg encouraged by cafe is more than paying for itself so far.

    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165

    Well, I hope you're right. But if you dig into the information you'll find that Ford seems to be experiencing worse than average warranty issues with Ecotec. Perhaps they are just teething matters, but Ford in general isn't looking real pretty recently in places like Consumer Reports or JD Powers. These cars are going to cost more because it costs much more to use materials like aluminum and carbon fiber, as well as advanced electronics. That means insurance rates will have to go up to cover it, as will selling prices of the vehicle. Go back to the 70's and 80's with large government regulation changes and look at the vehicle price escalation. It was much more than inflation. Looking at forums and blogs you'll notice people finding that their new turbo runs better on premium fuel. Increased mileage may be holding fuel costs down a bit, but down the road that bubble will probably burst. First, studies are showing that at least initially fracked wells don't seem to be as long lived as conventional ones. Second, as fuel demand goes down over time fuel producers will scale back supply in response. Markets never stay out of equilibrium longer term. Finally, a lot of the newly discovered oil will be exported rather than building up domestic supplies. That is the real push behind the XL pipeline. As for cars lasting longer, I think that may be more attributable to consumer quality demands as a result of import experiences, driving D3 management to respond. Plus technology in manufacturing in general has improved exponentially over the past decade or two.

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,705

    @benjaminh said:
    A 2002 Honda Accord LX auto gets a combined 23 mpg according to the epa, while a 2014 Accord cvt gets a combined 30 mpg. That saves c. $500 in gas a year, or about 5 grand in the course of a decade. Today's Honda Accord is alot faster, safer, more comfortable and quieter than the 2002. I've owned both, and so I can say from personal experience that the new car is better in almost every way than the one from 12 years ago. Part of that is competitive pressure and higher gas prices, but part of it is the encouragement from cafe.

    In a similar vein, my 2012 Ram Hemi is rated 14/20, whereas my Granddad's '85 Silverado, currently dead in the driveway, is rated 12/15 by today's methodology. I remember Granddad paid about $13,500 out the door for that truck when it was new. It was pretty well equipped for a truck back then...power windows, locks, cruise, tilt, nice stereo, a/c, sliding rear window, upgraded Silverado interior, 15x8 Rally wheels, 2-tone paint, and so on. The powertrain is a 305-4bbl and THM350C transmission, which is one reason the fuel economy rating is bad. I think that was the first year they started offering a 4-speed automatic in the trucks, and I believe it was a bit better, at 13/17.

    Well, my Ram was $20,751 out the door, although admittedly it was deeply discounted because it was the end of the model year. It's pretty basic by today's standards, but has just about everything the Silverado has, plus some advances like the Hemi V-8, 6-speed automatic, ABS, traction control, air bags, satellite radio, and so on. The only things the Silverado has over it, IMO, are the Rally wheels, which dress it out pretty nicely, the upgraded interior, which gives you cloth/carpeting on the door panels, although somehow, still a vinyl bench seat. Oh, and a sliding rear window, although I got the dealer to put one in as part of the deal.

    If you put those numbers in an inflation calculator, Granddad's Silverado would be around $29,000 in 2012 dollars. The Ram would be around $9,000 in 1985 dollars. So in absolute terms, I think vehicles are definitely cheaper.

    I think the one downside though, will be as these vehicles age. Repair costs will no doubt be higher, thanks to the added complexity. A few years back, just out of curiosity, I asked the guy at the local transmission shop how much it would cost to replace the unit in my '85 Silverado if it ever went bad. He said about $650. I shudder to think what the 6-speed automatic in my Ram would cost. Or better yet, the 8-speed they're using in the newer ones! I'm sure I could have some minor sensor fail in the Ram, and it would be $650...

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