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Has CAFE reached the end of its usefulness?



  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    But getting to 56 is harder than I made it sound. 56 is an average for all companies combined, and for cars and trucks combined. What this probably translates into is a standard of c.60 for cars and c. 45 for trucks/suvs. In today's numbers that would be maybe 50 for cars and 35 for trucks. Tough, but doable, I think.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    edited June 2011
    I can pretty much already see how this could be done, and I imagine most manufacturers can too. It's a tough standard requiring many hundreds of billions of dollars to completely re-engineer every vehicle, but I think it could be done.

    First, as mentioned 56 by the 1975 CAFE standard is really more like 45 by today's mpg numbers.

    Take a car just slightly larger than the Mazda2, put a 1.0 liter skyactiv engine in it plus hybrid engine, etc., and you're looking at a car that gets c. 65 mpg by today's numbers. That translates into c. 80 mpg when it comes to CAFE. With manufacturers putting millions of those cars out it will then be possible to still make a midsize to large sedan (Honda Accord etc.) vehicle that's slightly smaller than today's model, which by that time will itself be getting maybe 35 mpg by today's numbers. These two kinds of cars (plus many others in between) will balance out to get to the CAFE number suggested by 2025.

    You'll still even have room for some large trucks, SUVs and large luxury sedans. They will likely be powered by large 4s or small 6s that get strong mpg.

    I may be the only one here, but I think this CAFE goal is good. It might help get OPEC off our back somewhat. It should also moderate fuel prices, and might even keep them more or less stabilized at $4-7 a gallon or so in real terms for the next 20 years, rather than allowing prices to skyrocket to $10 or more.

    By real terms I mean that in 2025 gas may be c.$8 bucks a gallon, but adjusting for inflation it'll be more like 5 or 6 in today's dollars.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited July 2011
    There's going to be a live chat Tuesday (7/26/2011) at noon Eastern at with the Union of Concerned Scientists, National Automobile Dealers Association and re: fuel economy issues such as CAFE.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    edited July 2011
    Seems we've been way above the wimpy standard for years now. Nice work by Jeremy Anwyl:

    Raising CAFE Reasonably
    By Jeremy Anwyl July 20, 2011

    That bar chart is interesting. We were way past CAFE even in 2005 (30 mpg compared to 27.5 required). This year we're at 33.4 compared to 30.2 required. CAFE doesn't even start to get us above where we are now until 2014, when the standard moves to 36. But my understanding is that car companies can use "credits" they earned in going over the standard some years to fill in gaps when they don't quite meet the standard in later years.

    And, of course, 36 sounds good, but that's according to the pathetic 1975 standard. By today's EPA measurement that is probably more like 27. Where's a conversion calculator?

    Still, there is progress in the right direction. By 2016 we need to get to 39, which is more like 30 by today's measurement. But in percentage terms it's a significant improvement.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    edited July 2011
    This is very good news, I think. Although 54 mpg really means an mpg of about 39 combined by the EPA's current (and more accurate method) of measuring mpg. But 39 combined is a major improvement over where we are today. There will still be room for large cars, SUVs, and trucks. And there's even a special exclusion for work trucks.

    from autos insider Detroit News:

    Carmakers likely to back new fuel rules
    '25 standard expected to be dropped from 56.2 to 54.5 mpg
    David Shepardson/ Detroit News Washington Bureau

    Washington\ At least five automakers are expected to endorse a dramatic boost in fuel efficiency requirements to 54.5 mpg by 2025, two people briefed on the matter said Tuesday night.

    General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC \ along with Asian automakers Honda Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. \ are expected to announce their support for a revised proposal by the Obama administration to dramatically hike fuel-efficiency standards, the two auto officials said.

    The decision to back a framework came as the White House slightly softened its proposal to boost fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 mpg \ down from 56.2 mpg \ by 2025 as it races to reach a deal as early as today, a person briefed on the matter said.

    Before car makers formally sign off on the pacts, some key details remain to be worked out before automakers approve the agreements. The White House is expected toprovidemore details of the framework agreements in writing toautomakers today.

    The new plan calls for hiking fuel efficiency for light trucks 3.5 percent annually from 2017-21 \ and then 5 percent from 2022-25. It would hike car fuel efficiency 5 percent annually over the period. It also carves out special rules for "work trucks" \ heavier light-duty vehicles used for construction.

    Several major automakers are leaning toward endorsing a White House compromise.

    From The Detroit News: - w-fuel-rules#ixzz1TJDqq2rn
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    edited July 2011
    --should start slowly but surely getting OPEC off of our backs. Even a few years before 2020 it should start re-orienting the supply/demand equation back in our favor, which should moderate the increases in fuel prices

    --less pollution

    --better cars. I imagine all car companies will be hiring lots of engineers in a crash programs (which are already underway) to get this done. ICE vehicles should be better in almost every way, although admittedly more complicated. My guess is that hybrids will only be at c. 10%-20% or so even in 2025. Most of this can just be done with better gas engines, better transmissions, and lighter vehicles...
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    Mazda joins other automakers, endorses 2025 White House fuel deal
    David Shepardson/ Detroit News Washington Bureau

    Washington- One of the holdout automakers opposing a White House plan to hike fuel efficiency requirements to 54.5 mpg by 2025 reversed course today.

    Mazda Motor Co. said it has decided to back the proposal that will raise fuel economy by passenger cars by an average of 5 percent annually from 2017-2025. The proposal will increase light truck efficiency requirements by 3.5 percent annually from 2017-2021, and 5 percent from 2022-2025.

    The company had told a White House adviser, Heather Zichal, on Tuesday night it didn't plan to support the plan. But this Thursday morning, Mazda's director of government affairs, Barbara Nocera, said the automaker will support it.

    "We have done a further evaluation of the CAFE proposal and this morning informed the White House that we can now support the proposal," she said.

    Honda Motor Co. also praised the plan and is supporting it, as are Detroit's Big Three automakers, Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. Some European automakers are still considering the proposed deal.

    "Honda is proud to have actively worked with the administration as they developed their proposed national fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards," said John Mendel, executive vice president for sales for Honda's U.S. unit. "Honda embraces this challenge, which will be good for our customers and for the environment, and we welcome the competition we will have with other auto makers that will result from these new standards."

    The plan gives generous credits to hybrid light trucks; some foreign automakers complain the deal is tilted in favor of Detroit automakers that build lots of SUVs and pickups, and could even encourage them to produce more trucks, rather than more fuel-efficient passenger cars.

    President Barack Obama will unveil the framework of the plan Friday, at an event with auto executives and United Auto Workers President Bob King at the Washington, D.C., convention center. The White House initially wanted 56.2 mpg by 2025, but softened the proposal and added more credits to appease automakers, including for making air conditioning improvements.

    They also include credits that currently don't count in fuel efficiency testing, such as advanced grilles and solar roof cells.

    It has also agreed on a midterm review before the 2022-25 standards kick in. Under the deal, automakers will be able to seek judicial review of the final standards under certain conditions. If the federal government determines that the final years' standards aren't achievable, California could seek permission to impose tougher requirements.

    The White House and California will unveil formal proposals by the end of September. The federal government wants to finalize the rules by July.

    The deal would extend a May 2009 agreement that boosted fuel efficiency standards to 34.1 mpg by 2016, costing the auto industry $51.5 billion over five years. California agreed not to impose state standards, joined by a dozen other states, through 2016.

    From The Detroit News: s--endorses-2025-White-House-fuel-deal#ixzz1TPktRJYF
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    And so the major holdouts are Mercedes and BMW.

    Why is everyone so quiet on this? This is the biggest news to hit autos in years. We now have something of a crystal ball up to 2025...
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    I think there should be more transparency too. And although it seems like a huge step in the right direction, the rules seem very complicated:

    A Letter To The EPA
    By Jeremy Anwyl July 28, 2011

    I sent a note to Lisa Jackson, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Wednesday because I am a bit annoyed. The latest word on the ongoing saga of the proposed new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards is that there will be an event in Washington, D.C., this Friday to announce an agreement between the EPA, the Obama Administration and major car companies on the proposed standards for 2017 to 2025. The car Letter to the EPA.jpgcompanies contacted by Edmunds’ were quick to point out in interviews Wednesday that an agreement is close, but has not yet been inked. And not every car company is going along.

    This strikes me as a bit odd. If there were indeed agreement, then the standards would not be proposed, would they?

    That’s the rub. Consumers, who weren’t invited to the negotiations, will finally have the opportunity to be heard after the standards are made public and before they are finalized Sept. 30. But does anyone seriously think the EPA will be open to changes after a “deal” with the car companies has been reached?

    I made some points about CAFE last week. How does the latest version of the “proposal” rate? I can’t really say. The leaks and rumors suggest it will be far too complex. And what exactly does the idea of a review around 2017 actually mean? I guess we will have to wait until Friday.

    Meantime, here’s a copy of the letter sent the EPA:

    Dear Administrator Jackson,

    I heard today that there will be an announcement this Friday on an agreement between the administration, the EPA and major car companies as to proposed new CAFE standards for the years 2017 through 2025. Rumors have been swirling about these proposed standards for weeks. We at (
    have been fielding numerous calls looking for comment, particularly as it relates to the impact of the proposed standards on consumers.

    Good questions are being asked, but as details about the proposed standards are indeed rumors, it has been hard to respond. Our calls to the EPA looking for official details have gone unreturned. The automakers have told me they have had to agree to secrecy as a condition for being included.

    I understand the politics of being able to announce proposed standards at a press event with the major car companies in attendance. But there is a dark side as well. The optics of negotiating a deal in secret are horrible. Perhaps most disappointing is that you have conferred with environmentalists and with automakers, but neglected car buyers - the very consumers who will be asked to buy this new generation of vehicles.

    Consumers are voicing real concerns. How will their choices be limited? Will prices rise? By how much? Adding to this angst is the sheer complexity of the proposed standards. Shouldn’t a goal of any new standards be that they are easy to understand? Presumably individual consumers can weigh in after the proposed standards are actually announced. But it stretches reason to the breaking point to think that any consumer concerns will be taken seriously after a deal has already been struck.

    President Obama campaigned that he would bring transparency to Washington. Judging by this process, I can only conclude that his administration still has not lived up to this promise.


    Jeremy P. Anwyl

    Jeremy Anwyl: is the Chief Executive Officer of
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877

    CAFE Players Settle On 54.5 MPG For 2025
    By John O'Dell July 28, 2011

    CAFE 2025.jpg

    In a deal that likely will become a major plank in President Obama's reelection platform, the White House reportedly has hammered out a deal with major automakers that will – at least for now – establish a 54.5 mile-per-gallon Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard for passenger vehicles in 2025. That would be equal to an EPA "window sticker" fuel economy rating of about 40 mpg. A formal announcement is scheduled to be made by the President on Friday, but as of late Wednesday, according to one automaker involved in the talks, there had not yet been a final agreement presented for industry and government representatives to sign off on. Still, it is unlikely at this stage that the deal being widely discussed in Washington and Michigan won't happen.

    What is known is that the agreement calls for a 5 percent annual increase in passenger car fuel efficiency from the 2017 through 2025 model year, which would result in a nearly 60 mpg CAFE standard for cars. Light trucks, including pickups and SUVs, will be treated differently, subject to a 3.5 percent fuel economy increase each year through 2021 and then a 5 percent hike in subsequent years. The lower standard for trucks pulls the overall fleetwide average down to 54.5 mpg in the 2025 model year. While automakers aren't talking for publication, several -- including BMW and Mercedes-Benz, reportedly are unhappy with the break given to the truck segment, which still makes up a large part of the domestic auto industry's portfolio. Toyota Motor corp., which initially had reservations about the deal and could have been a big stumbling block to Obama's hopes of quick industry agreement, reportedly has had its concerns addressed and now is ready to support it. Still unclear is whether the deal will permit automakers to classify crossovers -- SUV-styled vehicles built on automobile platforms rather than on truck chassis -- as trucks, thus reducing their fuel efficiency requirements....(more at the link)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    edited July 2011
    The standard seems a bit steep--almost 60 mpg by the old method, which is something like 44 (combined) by the new method. Currently a 2012 Honda Civic gets 32 combined by the new method.

    The Civic is currently the size of the Accord from 25 years ago, and is rated by the epa as a midsize car. Still, getting the Civic from 32 to 44 without a hybrid is going to be tough--esp. when you consider that today's Hybrid Civic for 2012 gets exactly that--44mpg combined. And the regular gas Civic should be right on the target--with the larger Accord getting less mpg, and a sub-civic subcompact getting more mpg.

    Let's see. A 6 speed instead of 5 speed transmission might be good for 2 mpg. Cutting the size of the car a little and using more weight saving materials might be good for another 2 mpg. Going to a direct injection engine of 1.6 liters might be good for another 2 mpg. That leaves us still at 38 mpg combined. How in the world do we get to 44?

    Well, Ford has just developed a 3 cylinder engine with turbo and direct injection that apparently has about 125 horsepower. And so it has the power of a 1.6 4 but gets better mpg. That's worth another 2 mpg, probably, but still leaves us at about 40 combined for a 2025 Civic. I don't see right now how we get that last 4 mpg.

    Maybe we don't. Say Honda introduces a sub Civic car (about the size of a Civic from 1980) that also uses a 3 cylinder but also is a hybrid. This Honda "City" should get a combined 60 mpg by current ratings, and 80 mpg when it comes to CAFE.

    If you sell enough of those, then the 2025 Civic can stay at 40 mpg combined and the new Accord could settle in at something like 34 mpg combined (compared to 27 now)....Just guesses I know.

    Man am I wasting time. I'm under deadline for a writing project having nothing to do with this. Back to work!
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    Got some work done on my project. So now I can play around with numbers here for a few minutes.

    So, perhaps no one cares or is reading, but I got my math in that last post pretty much right I think. If in the year 2025 Honda sells c. 300k Accords at c. 34 mpg, c. 300k Civics at c. 40mpg, and c. 300k "City Hybrids" at c. 60 mpg, that'll give you a CAFE for Honda for cars of about 44 mpg, which equals the 60 mpg the way CAFE measures which is needed by that year.

    So to meet CAFE you're looking at about 30% hybrids and 70% regular (but improved) ICE engines, which matches up with the math found at this site for how many hybrids you get by 2025 at 50+ mpg CAFE: t-necessarily/

    But it's actually a little easier than that because of the CAFE "credits" that have been put into the rules for such things as better AC systems, little solar panels on the roof, etc., that allow companies to "buy themselves down" a bit from the actual target. We can assume that most car manufacturers are going to take advantage of these credits, which will cut at least 2 mpg off of the standard.

    And so with the credits the car standard by 2025 will be actually more like 58 (or by today's EPA measure c.42 combined mpg on the window sticker), and for SUVs/trucks/Vans more like 46 (or 34 combined mpg on the window sticker).

    Bottom line is that this is still a huge, huge improvement. And an ambitious goal. But I think it's pretty doable even with current technologies. And we can count on the hundreds of billions the car makers are putting into new technologies helping a bit as well.

    The tougher standard for cars, however, will probably continue the huge trend we've had in the last generation toward SUVS, truck, and Vans and away from cars.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    edited July 2011
    Would that be practical for a light enough car, say 1800 pounds? How much power could you get from an 800cc 2 cylinder direct injection turbo? 80? It would take probably 10 seconds to get to 60, but a car like that would probably get about 60 mpg without a hybrid...Might even be fun to drive with a manual...
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    We're reading - just hard to add anything to your research. :)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    glad someone's reading. Hope you'll chime in...

    It's unbelievable how small the original Civic was. A contemporary high tech 2 cylinder engine put into that car would have more power than the 4 cylinder 1.2 liter engine that it had. But obviously with modern safety requirements and supersized Americans you are never going to sell a car as small as this again in large numbers. Just look at these stats:

    Honda Civic 1974 specs

    Engine and transmission
    Engine location: Front, transverse
    Displacement: 1169 ccm (71.33 cubic inches)
    Engine type: Inline, 4 cylinder
    Max power: 54.00 PS (40 kW or 53 HP) at 5000 Rev. per min.
    Max torque: 79.00 Nm (8.1 kgf-m or 58.3 ft.lbs) at 3500 Rev. per min.
    Fuel system: Carburetor
    Speed and acceleration
    Power/weight ratio: 0.0800 PS/kg
    Exterior and interior
    Max no. of doors: 3
    Passenger space: 3310 liters (875 gallons)
    Steering, brakes and tires
    Turn circle: 10 m (385.8 inches)
    Front brakes: Disks
    Rear brakes: Drums
    Dimensions and weight
    Weight: 675 kg (1,488.1 pounds)
    Overall length: 3570 mm (140.6 inches)
    Overall width: 1510 mm (59.4 inches)
    Overall height: 1340 mm (52.8 inches)
    Wheelbase: 2210 mm (87.0 inches)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    1974 Honda Civic 0-60 mph 15.5 Quarter mile 18.2

    That's a bit slow for modern tastes, to say the least. What a slug.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    Something just a bit bigger than a 1980 Civic might be possible to sell today....But with modern safety gear, even a car this size is probably going to weigh more than 2000 pounds, even with high strength light weight steel. By the time you get past 2000 pounds, there's no way anything less than 3 cylinders will work it seems like...

    With the 1.5 liter engine it went from 0-60 in 11 seconds:

    1980 Honda Civic 1500GL 0-60 mph 11.1 Quarter mile 17.9

    Honda Civic 1980 specs

    Engine and transmission
    Engine location: Front, transverse
    Displacement: 1335 ccm (81.46 cubic inches)
    Engine type: Inline, 4 cylinder
    Max power: 60.00 PS (44 kW or 59 HP) at 5000 Rev. per min.
    Max torque: 93.00 Nm (9.5 kgf-m or 68.6 ft.lbs) at 3500 Rev. per min.
    Compression: 8.4:1
    Bore x stroke: 72.0 x 82.0 mm (2.8 x 3.2 inches)
    Fuel system: Carburetor
    Valves per cylinder: 3
    Cooling system: Liquid
    Gearbox: Manual, 5-speed
    Speed and acceleration
    Power/weight ratio: 0.0764 PS/kg
    Exterior and interior
    Max no. of doors: 5
    Passenger space: 3660 liters (967 gallons)
    Aerodynamic dragcoefisient: 0.5
    Steering, brakes and tires
    Front tire dimensions: 155/80-R12
    Rear tire dimensions: 155/80-R12
    Dimensions and weight
    Weight: 785 kg (1,730.6 pounds)
    Overall length: 3770 mm (148.4 inches)
    Overall width: 1590 mm (62.6 inches)
    Overall height: 1340 mm (52.8 inches)
    Wheelbase: 2330 mm (91.7 inches)
    Fuel capacity: 40.0 liters (10.57 gallons)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877

    I still think the first 20 years of this car might have something to teach us about how to reach CAFE targets for 2025.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    edited July 2011
    Put a 1 liter 3 cylinder turbo engine in the modern version of this car, and it should not only get great gas mileage but be fun to drive. 0-60 in 7 seconds?? 45 mpg without a hybrid?? somethin like that...

    1984 Honda Civic 1.5i Hatchback Specifications

    Make: Honda
    Model: Civic 1.5i Hatchback
    Year: 1984
    Category: Small / Economy Cars
    Engine: 1488 ccm (90,35 cubic inches)
    Engine position: Front
    Engine type: in-line, 4-cyl
    Valves per cylinder:
    Maximum power: 102.1 PS (74,63 kW or 100,50 HP) at 574,630 Rev. per min.
    Maximum torque: 130.00 Nm (13,23 kgf-m or 95,42 ft.lbs) at 4500 Rev. per min.
    Bore Stroke: 74.0 x 86.5 mm (2,89 x 3.4 inches)
    Compression: 9.0:1
    Top speed: 182.0 km/h (112,53 mph)
    Fuel type:
    Transmission type: Manual, 5-speed
    Power per weight: 0.1198 PS/kg
    0 to 100km/h (0 to 62mph):
    Drivetrain: Front
    Number of seats: 5
    Passenger space: 4140 litres (1088,53 gallons)
    Number of doors: 3
    Country of origin: Japan
    Front tires: 175/70-R13
    Rear tires: 175/70-R13
    Chassis: Hatchback
    CO2 emissions:
    Turn circle length:
    Weight: 855 kg (1875,58 pounds)
    Towing weight:
    Total length: 3810 mm (149,25 inches)
    Total width: 1640 mm (64,28 inches)
    Total height: 1350 mm (52,83 inches)
    Maximum weigth with load:
    Ground clearance:
    Wheelbase: 2390 mm (93,63 inches)
    Cooling: Liquid
    Brakes type (front): Disks
    Brakes type (rear): Drums
    Cargo space:
    Leg room:
    Aerodynamic drag coefficient:
    Fuel efficiency (highway):
    Fuel efficiency (mixed):
    Fuel efficiency (city):
    Fuel tank capacity: 38.0 litres (9,99 gallons)

    For comparison some stats on the 2011 Mini Cooper:

    Width: 66.3 in.
    Height: 55.4 in.
    Length: 146.6 in.
    Front track: 57.4 in.
    Rear track: 57.8 in.
    Wheel base: 97.1 in.
    Cargo capacity, all seats in place: 5.7 cu.ft.
    Maximum cargo capacity: 24.0 cu.ft.

    EPA interior volume: 82.0 cu.ft.
    Gross weight: 0.33 in.
    Curb weight: 2535 lbs.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    The 2011 Fit is a bit larger than the 1984 Civic Wagon. This shows 27 years of progress, in a way, because although the 2011 Fit is a bit larger, ways 400 pounds more, has a much more powerful engine, and is a lot safer, it gets slighter higher mpg than a Civic from that time. But really the cars are quite similar.

    The current EPA rating on the Fit, however, at 29 mpg combined while good should be better.

    1984 Wagon specs:
    1488cc 12-valve
    76 HP @ 6000 RPM
    83.9 lb-ft @ 3500 RPM
    Aluminum block and head

    Front - Torsion bars with struts
    Rear - Trailing link with beam-type axle
    Sway/anti-roll/stabilizer bars on both ends, rear bar was inside beam axle.

    Wheelbase - 96.5"
    Length - 157.1"
    Width - 63.9"
    Height - 58.3
    Curb weight - 2015 lbs (manual transmission)


    Width: 66.7 in.
    Height: 60.0 in.
    Length: 161.6 in.
    Front track: 58.7 in.
    Rear track: 58.1 in.
    Wheel base: 98.4 in.
    Cargo capacity, all seats in place: 20.6 cu.ft.
    Maximum cargo capacity: 57.3 cu.ft.

    EPA interior volume: 111.4 cu.ft.
    Curb weight: 2489 lbs.


    Engine & Performance

    Base engine size: 1.5 L
    Cam type: Single overhead cam (SOHC)
    Cylinders: inline 4
    Valves: 16
    Valve timing: Variable
    Torque: 106 ft-lbs. @ 4800 rpm
    Horsepower: 117 hp @ 6600 rpm
    Turning circle: 34.4 ft.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    Obama Makes 54.5 MPG Rule Official; Engineers, Designers Wary
    By James M. Amend, Jul 29, 2011 2:30 PM Email a link to this articleEmail a link to this article Printer-friendly version of this articlePrinter-friendly version of this article

    The Obama Admin. today releases a new corporate average fuel economy rule of 54.5 mpg (4.3 L/100 km) by 2025, and while auto executives support the target, skepticism exists among the rank-and-file tasked with meeting the bogey.

    United Auto Workers President Bob King says today’s announcement demonstrates the White House’s willingness to listen to auto makers.


    “No industry is doing more on these issues,” King says in a statement ahead of the final rules, noting investment to meet future CAFE already has begun.

    “There is business opportunity in meeting consumer demand for relief at the pump.” General Motors CEO Dan Akerson gave an important thumbs-up for the new mandate earlier this week during kickoff ceremonies for the 2011 UAW contract negotiations in Detroit.

    “We support our societal goals of fuel efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint,” Akerson told journalists.

    The auto maker adds today that the new rules “provide regulatory certainty” for the industry.

    Akerson and King are among 250 industry executives, environmental leaders, lawmakers and regulators joining Obama for the announcement at the Washington Convention Center, site of the annual Washington auto show.

    “We’ve set an aggressive target and the companies are stepping up to the plate,” Obama says. “By 2025, the average fuel economy of their vehicles will nearly double.”
    Obama calls 2025 CAFE rules “something lasting for our country.”

    The rules step up beginning in 2017 and equate to a carbon-dioxide emissions level in 2025 of 163 grams per mile, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

    Auto maker fleets currently are marching to a 2016 CAFE requirement of 35.5 mpg (6.6 L/100 km) by 2016, a target estabished in 2009.

    The new standard equals an increase in auto maker fleet fuel efficiency of 5% annually for passenger cars and 3.5% annually for light trucks in the first five years and by 5% every four years after until 2025.

    Regulators say the slower phase-in for trucks, for which auto makers reportedly lobbied aggressively, accounts for some “unique challenges.”

    Auto makers also won a “mid-term” evaluation of the rules to examine their progress. In addition, California will adhere to the national rule.

    The state has threatened to break away from the federal regulations to implement stricter rules within its boundaries.

    The National High Traffic Safety Admin. and Environmental Protection Agency will continue working on a joint rule-making and release a final proposal for public comment by the end of September.
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    Industry executives may outwardly support the 2025 rules, but a Ward’s survey scheduled for detailed release Tuesday shows 1,100 rank-and-file engineers and designers currently working at auto makers and suppliers expressing serious doubt over meeting the targets without hurting vehicle safety, size and cost.

    Disputing claims by environmental groups, only one in four automotive engineers and designers agreed that Obama Administration’s originally proposed fleet average of 56.2 mpg (4.1 L/100 km) by 2025 could be met with currently available technologies.

    Less than one of 10 respondents thought new fuel economy rules were being drafted with the idea of accommodating future safety rules, which will mandate significantly better crashworthiness and likely add weight to future vehicles.

    “It is a MAJOR STRETCH, regardless of what the Union of Concerned Scientists says,” one engineer writes in a survey response.

    A whopping 77% of respondents agreed that the 56.2 mpg bogey “will fundamentally change how vehicles are manufactured in the U.S.”

    Ward’s latest monthly analysis of consumer purchases shows more buyers picking cars, trucks and cross/utility vehicles with greater fuel efficiency.

    In the first half of 2011, sales of vehicles achieving between 25 mpg and 30 mpg (9.4-7.8 L/100 km) rose 4% over the same period last year. Sales of vehicles getting greater than 30 mpg are up 22.4% vs. like-2010.

    Sales of vehicles averaging 15 mpg (15.7 L/100 km) fell 11.2% and those achieving between 15 mpg and 20 mpg (11.8 L/100 km) declined 3.8% Sales of vehicles averaging between 20 mpg and 25 mpg fell 0.4%.

    The UCS estimates the 2025 CAFE rules will save 1.5 million barrels of oil per day, or about 23 billion gallons (87.1 billion L) of gasoline annually by 2030 and trim CO2 emissions 280 million tons (254 million tonnes).

    The group expects consumer to save $50 million at the pump in 2030, after adjusting for technology costs.

    The final rules for 2025 also likely will include incentives for auto makers to make advanced technology vehicles such as hybrids and electric vehicles, including special treatments for trucks, on top of encouraging use of more environmentally friendly air-conditioning refrigerants.

    Auto makers also could receive incentives for the use of compressed natural gas and could trade credits for emissions savings or carry forward unused credits from the 2016 rules as far as 2021.

    During his remarks, Obama singles out GM, Ford and Chrysler for their progress since two of three auto makers went through bankruptcy in 2009. He also touts the industry’s cooperation on the new CAFE rules as an example to lawmakers locked in a partisan struggle over raising the debt ceiling of “doing something lasting for this country.”

    – with Drew Winter
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    Those two averaged make for the 54 CAFE.

    President, automakers hail new fuel efficiency pact
    David Shepardson/ Detroit News Washington Bureau

    Washington — President Barack Obama today hailed a deal to boost fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 mpg, saying it will save consumers $1.7 trillion over the lifetime of vehicles and doubling current requirements.

    In announcing the pact, Obama was joined by 13 automakers, including representatives of Detroit's Big Three automakers, Toyota Motor Corp., BMW AG, Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co.

    "This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we've ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil," the president said. "Most of the companies here today were part of an agreement we reached two years ago to raise the fuel efficiency of their cars over the next five years. We've set an aggressive target and the companies are stepping up to the plate."

    On a conference call with reporters, administration officials said cars would have to average 62 mpg by 2025 and light trucks would average 44 mpg. The agreement gives hefty incentives to full-size pickup trucks to become mild or full hybrids, along with incentives for fuel cell vehicles and electric vehicles. But it doesn't offer any new incentives for diesel vehicles — much to the dismay of European automakers.

    But despite repeated questioning, the administration offered no estimate on the costs or impact on jobs or auto sales. Previously, the administration said slightly more aggressive requirements could cost $2,100 or more per vehicle by 2025.

    "We are confident that the automobile manufacturers will be able to absorb the additional costs and still sell cars for a profit," said Ron Bloom, a senior White House adviser who helped broker the deal. He added the deal would not "compromise in safety."

    The White House said the deal will save consumers more than $8,000 per vehicle by 2025. It will save an estimated 12 billion barrels of oil.

    Margo Oge, director of the EPA's office of transportation and air quality, said in an interview that the higher costs would be "pretty reasonable."

    She said the administration struck a good deal — and denied they had given automakers too many "credits" to meet the standards — including letting automaker "multiply" the impact of the most expensive technologies on meeting standards for the first five years. "These are incentives to incorporate advanced technologies in pickup trucks," Oge said. Without incentives, "you aren't going to see" hybrids and other expensive technologies on pickups trucks. "They are not giveaways, they are real."

    But the proposal will have unintended consequences. The American Road & Transportation Builders Association says the proposal will result in the loss of $65 billion in federal funding for state and local highway, bridge and transit improvements because of less gas tax revenue collected.

    Before the announcement, automakers formally signed off on a framework deal, after working out the last hurdles.

    General Motors Co., Chrysler Group LLC, and Ford Motor Co. signed memorandums of understanding on the 2017-2025 fuel efficiency standards, as have the other 11 companies in attendance.

    GM CEO Dan Akerson told The Detroit News his company can live with the compromise deal.

    The talks with automakers, California and the White House went past 1 a.m. this morning. They centered around assurances that California will abide by the results of a mid-term review that is intended to ensure that the 2022-2025 requirements are achievable.

    The final issue dealt gave automakers the opportunity to sue if California attempts to enact its own tougher rules, if the federal government opts to lower the requirements in the final years.

    California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, hailed the agreement as a "banner day" and said the state deserved credit for pushing. "The auto companies have finally come onboard and the innovative rule for California was crucial," Brown told reporters on a conference call. "We have a workable formula that every year will make our vehicles more efficient."

    Hyundai U.S. chief John Krafcik said the deal was historic and actually works out to 60 mpg for Hyundai vehicles by 2025 because of the mix of mostly passenger cars.

    "It shows that we can work together," Krafcik said.

    The deal will "right-size the fleet. There are going to be fewer vehicles that are bought for the occasional need to carry nine people or seven people."

    Toyota Motor USA sales President Jim Lentz said the agreement "was the right thing to do" and said the company wasn't put at a disadvantage.

    Toyota and other automakers "need to roll up our sleeves and start figuring out exactly how we're going to meet all these standards and what's in it for the customers."

    The Detroit News obtained a two-page letter Akerson sent to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and EPA Administration Lisa Jackson outlining the deal. GM "reserves all rights to contest final actions" by EPA, NHTSA and California. GM "may not have full knowledge about the evolution and cost of technologies necessary to meet these standards, particularly in 2022-2025, the mid-term evaluation provides a basis... for adoption of standards for model years that far into the future."

    About 10 United Auto Workers workers were present, plus many members of Congress, including U.S. Reps. John Dingell, D-Dearborn; Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Ed Markey, D-Mass. Former Gov. Jennifer Granholm also attended. "This is pretty thrilling," Pelosi said, adding it was critical that "the industry and the administration came together."

    UAW President Bob King said Obama deserves credit for bringing all the parties together.

    "The Obama administration listened to business, environmental and labor stakeholders. With the president's leadership, compromises were reached that show how to make real progress on important issues," he said.

    King and Ford CEO Alan Mulally flew to the event together on a company plane; the two are scheduled back in Michigan this afternoon for the traditional handshake marking the start of contract talks between Ford and the UAW.

    From The Detroit News: new-fuel-efficiency-pact#ixzz1TXulVrtJ
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    That's not entirely clear to me. Who exactly does that, what are their parameters, and how do they decide?

    It looks, however, like the CAFE goals up to 2021 are maybe pretty much fixed. If I'm understanding it correctly, the review of 2017 would only analyze how realistic the CAFE #s are for the last 4 years: 2022, 2023, 2024, and 2025. And so even if that review waters things down, it looks like we'll still get the very significant progress up to 2021.

    5% a year is very rapid progress. Those engineers are going to be very busy. They are already very busy. We've already seen some significant progress in mpg. Who would have thought that a car the size of the Elantra would get 40 mpg hwy.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    are going to be a very big thing in the future, I think. Even BMW knows it:

    According to C & D: "...BMW’s new gas-fired 1.5-liter turbo three-cylinder, which we first reported on in April. It makes 220 hp..."

    I bet every car maker has a crash program to make a good 3 cylinder engine.

    And Ford already has a 1.0 liter ecoboost 3 cylinder turbo with direct injection, which is said to make about 120+ hp. That's enough to barely power a Focus-sized car, although with less power and slower acceleration than today's model. But it would have dramatically higher mpg.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    Talking to myself here, but ..... ine-of-the-year

    Fiat TwinAir 2-Cyl Wins International Engine Of The Year
    Antony Ingram By Antony Ingram Contributing Writer May 19th, 2011

    Fiat 500 TwinAir two-cylinder engine

    Two cylinders. A quarter of what many Americans consider the correct number, half of what you'll find in most economy cars. It's even a cylinder and over 100cc short of the smallest car engine on sale in the United States, the one liter (61 ci) three-pot found in the 2011 smart fortwo.

    Despite this, it's just won International Engine of the Year 2011. The motor in question is Fiat's 875cc (53.4 ci) TwinAir, inline, two-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine as found in the European market Fiat 500.

    Other than the unusually low cylinder count, what makes the engine so special? The technology behind it, the fuel economy and the low emissions, that's what.

    TwinAir is a development of Fiat Powertrain's MultiAir engine, as found in the 1.4-liter Fiat 500 available in the United States. It uses electro-hydraulic variable valve actuation to control air intake into the engine, rather than using a throttle valve. This optimises the amount of air drawn into the engine, allowing good torque at low engine revs, good power for the capacity and improved economy and emissions.

    Use of a turbocharger gives the 875cc TwinAir an extra boost of power for 84bhp. A naturally aspirated version is due with 65bhp and a more powerful variant with 105bhp, more power than the 1.4-liter available in the U.S. Fuel consumption is 51mpg city, 65mpg highway.

    A jury of 76 journalists and industry experts from 36 different countries placed the TwinAir unit not only at the top of the tree overall, but also awarded it wins for best engine below 1,000cc, Best New Engine 2011 and Best Green Engine 2011.

    Will TwinAir make it to the States in the future? It remains to be seen. The upcoming 105bhp variant proves that small engines need not be underpowered (remember, the 500 isn't a large, heavy car) but we expect Fiat will wait to see how the 500 performs on the U.S. market before expanding the engine lineup.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    Ford might get close with its new 3 cylinder Ecoboost engine. g-three-cylinder-engines-to-us/1

    50 mpg? Ford bringing three-cylinder engines to U.S.

    Comments 187

    By Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY
    Updated 06/05/2011 08:50 PM

    Ford Motor
    A three-cylinder engine? It's been more than a decade since we've seen one, but now Ford is bringing a three-banger to America.

    It's going to be a 1-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that will launch worldwide, including the U.S., and conceivably go into Ford's smallest cars, like that Fiesta shown above.

    The tiny 1-liter engine is being designed at a Ford technical center in the United Kingdom. The goal is to create an engine that gets the same or better miles-per-gallon as a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. Ford isn't saying how many miles a gallon such a miserly powerplant could develop, but it already has some 40-mile-per-gallon models for the highway, and 50 mpg on the highway doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility.

    The last time we remember three-cylinder engines being sold in the U.S. was on some Suzuki Swifts and a sister version from General Motors, the Chevrolet Metro, in the '90s. They got such astounding mileage ratings that even beaters were selling for top dollar when gas prices hit all-time highs in 2008.

    "Consumers are telling us they want to buy affordable vehicles that get many more miles per gallon," said Derrick Kuzak, global product development chief. "Our new 1-liter EcoBoost engine will give consumers looking for hybrid-like fuel economy a new, more affordable choice."

    He describes the new engine as "a little dynamo." Features of the new engine include:

    An offset crankshaft that helps improve fuel economy.
    An advanced, Ford-designed split cooling system that allows the cylinder block to warm up before the cylinder head. Faster cylinder block warm-ups save fuel, especially in cold weather.
    An exhaust manifold cast into the cylinder head. The one-piece assembly lowers the temperature of the exhaust gases. This enables the engine to run in a wider rpm band with the optimum fuel-to-air ratio. The new design also saves weight and allows the engine to operate more smoothly.
    EcoBoost technologies, such as turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing.

    First seen in the Ford Start concept car that appeared at Beijing in 2010, the engine more recently made its European debut in the Ford B-MAX at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. More details will be released in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 2,877
    edited July 2011
    I'm beginning to see how you might be able to hit 70 mpg in a car...Take a 2 cylinder turbo, add Toyota's synergy hybrid drive, and then put it in a Fiesta sized car.

    With a 7 gallon tank you'd have a range of almost 500 miles. Even at $4 a gallon a fill up would be less than 30 bucks.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "More than 400 dealers are set to fly to Washington in coming days to press legislation that would block the automobile rules for at least a year. They argue the new rules—which would raise the average fuel economy of new cars and light trucks to 54.5 miles a gallon over the next 14 years—would be too costly and lead to job losses."

    Auto Dealers Oppose Proposed Mileage Rules (WSJ)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "In some opinion surveys, consumers have said they want fuel-efficient cars. What people say they want and what they buy are miles apart, however. Small cars amounted to just 18 percent of U.S. vehicle sales in September, according to Edmunds AutoObserver. Alternative-fuel cars, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, represented 2 percent of auto sales in September."

    What Do You Think About CAFE Standards? (Inside Line)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited November 2011
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