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



  • All I care about is EV hotrods...
    (They just need to look good and have power)
    Seriously, why dont they start making "good" looking EV's? They look so fragile and ugly right now, well most of them do.
    I think this is where we are going, either Hybrid or EV.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    From personal experience right now there is a virtual flood of people asking about and buying hybrids, at least here. They are voting with their wallets, all presumably working tax-paying citizens.

    Just took the Sequoia in for 5000 mile service. I test drove a Yaris. The salesman said they are not selling that well. The Prius is still their hot mover for those looking for good mileage. Which proves the average person buys what Hollywood sells them.

    The Yaris was Ok for a runabout. Much better than the last small car I drove. A Geo Metro 15-20 years ago. I was happy to get back in my Sequoia as was my wife. My wife and I got our first closeup look at the new Sequoia and Land Cruiser. We agreed it is a good thing we bought when we did. Those are Ugly SUVs. If they are not selling in your part of the country it is not the gas price it is the looks. Big SUVs are still selling here. Especially the Tahoe, Escalade and Denali...
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Better get your deposit down on a Tesla EV. It is a hotrod no doubt about it.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Way too cynical methinks...

    In Cali they obviously follow what Hollywood says because they elect actors as Mayors and Governors all the time...well at least 3 times.

    For the rest of the country, we're just ticket-paying-peons trying to scrape by as best we can. I think Toyota buried the country in Yaris' back in Jan in anticipation of a sudden rise in fuel during the spring. The Prius still outsells the Yaris here by almost double at prices that are almost twice as high.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Well, Toyota is also cutting Tundra production (as well as Sequoia production). Is it ugly too?

    Toyota cuts back truck, SUV production
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    Is it ugly too?

    Butt Ugly
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    The Tundra, Sequoia and Land cruiser all share that same grotesque front end. The bodies as I have commented before look like a fat girl in Spandex.

    When we were looking at a new Platinum Sequoia in the showroom this morning the salesman walked up with a "She's a beauty eh?" comment. I told him I was so glad I had bought the 2007 model before Toyota designers went on drugs. He was not sure how to take the comment. He walked away.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Toyota buried the country in Yaris' back in Jan

    People still have plenty of money for buying an economy car. At least the majority that are not losing their homes. The salesman said the Prius is their best seller. They had rows of 2 & 4 door Yaris in stock. My daughter and Son in law love theirs. SIL drives about 35 miles each way to work. Says the Yaris gets about 40 MPG. About the same as he was getting with his Honda 750 motorcycle. They are moving to Indiana and will not take the motorcycle with them. So I encouraged them to try the Yaris when they got upset with the local Honda store dealing on a Fit. I think the Yaris is worth $15k before the Prius is worth $25k. They are both throwaway cars.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    Remember, people don't buy cars just because of price or fuel economy. Emotion and status play a huge part in the decision.

    People use their cars to tell the world "I'm rich," or "I'm tough," or "I'm cool."

    A Yaris says "I can only afford a $15,000 car." But a Prius says "I could be a millionaire who just wants to drive a $25K hybrid to show my enviro-hipness."

    That elasticity in perception could be a big reason for brisk hybrid sales ..... along with $3.25 gasoline.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Actually I've sold several to millionaires.. In each case tho the primary driver is driving at least 20000 mpy
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,352
    Maybe that's one reason that those people became below their means and not trying to keep up with the Joneses.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    I don't see those 2 goals as being mutually exclusive. You just need to be smart enough to keep up with the Jones and save.

    And yes - status or the perception of status imparted by how one looks or what they have is important many times. Pull in to a luxury-car dealer wearing some old ratty clothes, a $10 watch, and driving a $1,000 vehicle, and see what sort of reception you get. You better be famous, or pull some $100 bills out pretty quick.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 100,138
    I'm sure that is the case some of the time...

    But, I think it's a lot easier to live below your means, if you are already a millionaire.. The guy working for minimum wage will have a lot harder time doing that... His means don't allow for a lot of wiggle room...

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • 4krysia4krysia Posts: 4
    (SIGH....................) Can't we puhleeeeeese go back to1998 when we were paying 80 or 90 CENTS a gallon????????

    we'd need a much less, ummm, impotent dollar for that to happen.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Why would they do that when oil companies have discovered that we will mortgage our houses and starve ourselves in order to pay $3.50 a gallon? :shades:
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Why would they do that when oil companies have discovered that we will mortgage our houses and starve ourselves in order to pay $3.50 a gallon?

    Sound of hammer hitting head of nail squarely.

    It really is all dependent on us. Without buyers there are no price increases. If the American public continues doing as it was in the 90's, well then we deserve what we get.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    A survey in 2006 showed that most people would only alter their driving habits if gasoline went to $5. But I think that either the survey questions were too simplistic, or the respondents were displaying a bit of defiance.

    People don't alter their behavior all at once; they do it incrementally. Right now, nationwide gasoline consumption is down, and corresponding reserves are up. That shows a change in behavior right there. People are simply driving less.

    Also, last year, the Toyota Prius outsold the Ford Explorer. People are changing their buying choices.

    So the incremental steps are already occurring, even while gas is hovering around $3. As it approaches $4 (probably soon), people will continue to modify their behavior to compensate.

    I do a lot of interstate highway travel, and I've noticed a sharp decline in the number of monster RVs on the road the past few years. I'm sure that the cost of operating them has exceeded the enjoyment they offer for many of the owners.

    Also, $4.25 diesel fuel is inflating the price of food substantially, so that's another wallet-drain. I'm certain that people will be buying smaller cars in the coming years, not just for the extra mpg, but because everything else costs so much that they simply can't afford the bigger luxury cars anymore.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,352
    A survey in 2006 showed that most people would only alter their driving habits if gasoline went to $5. But I think that either the survey questions were too simplistic, or the respondents were displaying a bit of defiance.

    I've noticed this too, that people don't change all at once. Rather, habits change gradually, slowly enough that on a day to day basis we might not even notice.

    For instance, I remember back in the summer of 2004, when gas broke the $2.00/gallon barrier and stayed there. Sure, it might've spiked up there briefly in 2000, perhaps early 2001. But by late 2001 it was just under a buck a gallon, and I still remember paying under $1.40 per gallon back in early 2004. The summer of 2004 marked a turning point in sales of bigger, thirstier trucks and SUVs. Now overall SUV sales kept humming along because of an increasing blend of smaller models, crossovers, etc. But the bigger, thirstier models were starting to take a hit.

    A lot of people probably began changing their habits back then, too. Stuff like consolidating trips, driving more gently, etc. So they already made these adjustments at $2.00 per gallon, so there wasn't much else to do.

    I also remember one fall, 2005 I think it was, when gas shot up to around $3.00 per gallon. All of a sudden, I did notice that people were driving a bit more gently. Fewer jack[non-permissible content removed]rabbit starts, less racing through neighborhoods and back streets, etc.

    I think we did get used to the $3.00 per gallon gas, though. At first, people were driving more gently, but as they got used to it, they were back to their old habits. By and large, they were doing it in more fuel efficient cars.

    I think for the most part, people just don't notice the hit to their wallets that faster driving causes. For example, I drive up to Pennsylvania several times a year for the car shows at Carlisle, and other events. It's about 130 miles round trip. Normally my 2000 Intrepid would get around 28 mpg on that trip. One time, I tried driving it really gently, and got 31. So, normal driving used about 7.4 gallons, while driving gently used 8.2. I saved 0.8 gallons. Or, if gas were up to $4.00 per gallon, I'd save $3.20.

    Now, over time, that does add up. That's a 10% savings. If your annual fuel bill is $3000, that would save you $300 per year. But since you're only seeing that savings one fillup at a time, it's probably just not noticeable for most drivers.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    This is not a surprise...

    Actually we are a lot smarter, valuing self preservation over transitory pleasures, than a lot of pundits give us credit. I've done this statistical comparison already and you are correct that change is incremental but it's already underway.

    Since the end of 2003 through the end of 2007 the big BOF vehicle makers have lost 1 million units of BOF sales annually; i.e. the total of all trucks and BOF SUVs at the end of 2007 was one million units less than they were in 2003.

    People move incrementally from Tahoe's and Explorers to Acadias and Edges or to Malibus and Escape hybrids. Buyers move from 4Runners to Prius' and from Sequoias to Highlanders. There is a significant spike in the sales of all 4c small vehicles like the Corolla and Civic and Cobalt and Fusion ( not to mention Scions, Fit, Versa, et al ). This is only with fuel going from about $1.50 to $2.85.

    The vehicle makers all see this sea change. The Explorer when it's redone will be a crossover. The Venza will fill in the gap between the RAV and the Highlander. The TrailBlazer and Envoy are probably DOA in favor of the lambdas.

    Hybrids are going to boom. I see it daily in people wanting to drive/own the Prius. Toyota is going to jump Prius production by 60% next year.

    We don't really need our big SUVs and crewCab luxo-trucks. We also realize that their time has passed.
  • The california co/2 emission requirement will be approved after the election as all three candidates have said they support it as opposed to the Bush administration which has denied califoria the necessary waivers. That translates to 43.5 mpg which is the same as that proposed by the european union. BMW, Mercedes and Porsche are trying to stop it as it will eliminate their big high performance cars. same thing will happen here to trucks,suv's, mini-vans etc.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    So what new vehicles will people in CA be able to buy? Or will Californians simply not buy new vehicles and buy used vehicles from other states - similar to what they do now with diesel cars?

    If the only answer is Prius, then does CA suggest the rest of the brand dealerships just close?
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    My thoughts precisely!

    It will be a cold day in the Mojave when I buy same flaky hybrid. If they ever come up with a decent battery technology I would buy an EV. Never a hybrid.

    Or will CARB bite the bullet and admit the only way to have their way is with diesel cars?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    If you find a "flaky hybrid" let me know. So far, none of the ones for sale are anywhere near Flaky.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    The reality is there's not much excess electricity now; never mind adding demand to the system. new-york_N.htm
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    An EV for me would be plan "B". Because we have a large roof area facing South I could install PV cells to charge an EV and cut my grid usage. Electricity is still relatively inexpensive, Making Solar panels impractical. I am not optimistic about EVs at this time. Maybe in 10 years they will have some decent system to store electricity.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    If you find a "flaky hybrid" let me know

    To me they are all flaky. When I see hybrids on the road with their original batteries in good condition after 15 years of use. I may change my thinking. After 8 years a vehicle should just be broken in good. Not many 8 year old hybrids to inspect.

    An EV has a different set of criteria. You expect the battery to diminish as part of the usage. So when you purchase you calculate how many miles you will get before the battery needs replacing. Then you can use that figure for cost per mile analysis. With hybrids the battery issue is more of an unknown as the dealer is not going to tell you how far it has deteriorated after 5-10-15 years. One day you wake up and you have a dead battery. If you are lucky it is covered by the CARB mandated warranty.

    No one is talking about the Li-Ion shelf life that is very short. Probably why they were not used in any of the hybrids to date.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Your view is not the reality I'm afraid.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    California mandate says, I believe, is that the fleet must improve by 30% initially. Quit selling the 30% worst gas guzzlers (that would be all the full-size trucks with monster-size gas motors) and replace them with diesels (which are legal for all these big trucks, because of their GVWR), and you would go a long way towards meeting the California goal without spending one R&D dollar.

    Next, spend a few dollars following the lead of the Europeans and Honda, and develop 50-state emissions-compliant diesels for the half-ton pick-ups, something which will sell like gangbusters because of all the gas savings, and you have just solved the problem for the next decade.

    I needn't even say this, really, because Ford and GM are way ahead of me there, and all the other big automakers have diesels overseas that they can bring to bear in 50-state tune.

    And who knows, if we end up with a hybrid or two along the way, especially a DIESEL hybrid, we will wind up saving a LOT of gas money.

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

  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Actually, he does present a good point. Batteries, especially rechargeable ones, wear out. Lithium Ion batteries wouldn't even last 2 years (think about how long your laptop battery lasts). However, I'll be satisfied seeing them at the 10 year point...I just hope they realize that hybrids are the absolute WORST thing for the highway.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Batteries, especially rechargeable ones, wear out. Lithium Ion batteries wouldn't even last 2 years (think about how long your laptop battery lasts).

    Dell does sell quite a few replacement batteries for their laptops; even though the average laptop is basically a throw-away item in a few years.
    I know my Casio solar watch has a rechargeable battery which also needs periodic replacement according to the manual.
This discussion has been closed.