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

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Comments

  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,225
    Otherwise yes it is a loophole. However that loophole is being closed progressively by 2020.

    That is where I think you are wrong. I don't see E85 expanding much beyond the niche it now fills. The talk of biomass ethanol is still "Pie in the Sky". The coasts ever getting a good supply of E85 20% cheaper than regular is unlikely. Only a crazy person is going to spend as much or more for E85 than regular when they are getting much worse mileage. Not to mention they have to go fill up more often.

    The way I see it is all the automakers will jump on that loophole and we will not get much better mileage out of the bigger vehicles by 2020. Would you spend $millions on R&D when you can spend $35 per vehicle to make it a FFV?

    CAFE is political pandering to the masses. Unless we get some small diesel vehicles in the US or EVs there will not be significant REAL mileage increases by 2020.
  • I have a story to tell about a car i sold almost 2 years ago. It was a Buick Park Avenue Ultra with the 3.8 liter (3800) Supercharged V-6. I got it from a guy that didnt know squat about cars, so he didnt take the best care of the car. After investing some time & money into the car, i got her running mint! Good enough to get i figured 27mpg hwy, with all the power of a V-8. Now the park avenue is not a small car by any means and many parts on it are from another big (GM) luxury car the Caddy. I have read how good the Supercharged 3800 is, and was sad to hear last year was the last of the that car and motor. The way i see it, if GM can build a car that size that gets 27mpg. Then why not 35mpg without a loss in power? I have also read on line about using small amounts of Acitone mixed with gasoline to gain 20 to 30% mileage. But they say it only works with supercharged motors? I might add, that Park Ave 'ultra' that i achieved 27mpg was not even a newer one, it was a 1993. Also there is a product called a (Helix Power Tower) throttle body spacer. Goes in between your intake & throttle body! That i gained a couple mpg hwy on my GMC/Sierra. Works by atomizing fuel & air mixture just before it enters the intake. The cost was $69 bucks.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,225
    I guess I will have to research the bill if I have the time. I think expecting any alternative fuel to be available in large quantities by 2020 is not likely. Biomass ethanol is in the R&D stages with production at least 3-5 years in the future. Biomass may or may not be a workable solution. So far the biomass materials proposed are not in any great supply as would be needed. The infrastructure for ethanol is only a fraction of what would be needed. It is not much closer to reality than hydrogen. Right now the reason E85 is more than regular in CA is every drop has to be hauled by truck cross country. I look at any alternative other than electric as increasingly imported. We could make diesel from coal as we have a lot of it.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    kdhspyder: Sorry we'll have to disagree because IMO the vehicle makers as shown by the domestics and Germans have not shown any real interest in increasing the fuel economy of their respective fleets even though the buying public has been moving away from their guzzlers since 2003.

    Last time I checked, the American automobile market isn't only being served by GM and the Germans.

    And you do realize how long it takes to design and tool a new vehicle, especially one with new technology, which must be tested?

    Am I just imagining all of those new fuel-saving features - for example, displacement on demand in the new GM full-size SUVs, and Bluetec diesels in some German cars - that have debuted recently?

    Have you heard about Ford's move to direct-injection V-6s - called EcoBoost - with supercharging or turbocharging (I forget which) to provide V-8 levels of performance in smaller, more fuel-efficient engines?

    Are you aware that, even as we speak, Ford is tooling up a plant in Mexico to produce the Fiesta (smaller than a Focus) for the American market?

    All of which prove you incorrect.

    Also note that people who want German cars aren't buying them solely for fuel economy. They want performance, status and prestige...so that is what the manufacturers provide. That is the way the free market works. If the buyers of BMWs and Mercedes and Audis can afford to pay $6 for a gallon of unleaded, that is their business, not yours or mine.

    kdhsypder: Outside of the Volt which is 2+ years away what huge advances have any of these made. None. Zero. They want to keep the status quo despite the demands of the market.

    Wrong...see above.

    kdhspyder: As a result they are losing to Toyota and Honda and even to Hyundai. The theory that they will voluntarily provide the market with wonderful new more fuel efficient vehicles is Pollyanna-ish.

    They ARE providing more fuel-efficient vehicles, and working to bring new techologies to market. See above. The problem is that you apparently aren't aware of them.

    Also, if said companies are losing market share to Honda and Toyota because their vehicles are less efficient, one can logically conclude that they will change direction, or go out of business.

    That is how the free market functions, and, by your own admission, it is working as you said with this quote: "As a result they are losing to Toyota and Honda and even to Hyundai."

    If GM is losing market share to these companies because its vehicles are less efficient, the idea that it won't change direction without government regulations is, quite frankly, hard to fathom.

    kdhspyder: Without a gun to their collective heads they won't budge. There is simply no data to support any other conclusion.

    You have provided absolutely NO data to support anything you have said, and you appear to be woefully informed about what companies are doing to improve economy.

    kdhspyder: I am positive that the vehicles that they now provide are capable of at least 10% better fuel efficiency in a heartbeat. But I think they have them tuned to be just slightly better than the market in order to keep their lead but not give away any future advancements.

    And I'm sure they could get 20 percent better mileage if they removed all of the sound insulation and tuned the engines to run from 0-60 in about 20 seconds. Of course, then they wouldn't sell any cars.

    kdhspyder: As I said in a prior post.. imagine telling someone who's been driving all their lives that they are now 'too poor' to drive.

    No, the market is saying that gas now costs X number of dollars per gallon, and people need to figure out how to pay this amount if they want to drive. I hate to break it to you, but 99.9 percent of the people will adjust accordingly.

    You also appear not to understand how this will work. We won't wake up one morning and discover that gas is now $10 a gallon...the price rise will be gradual. People will adjust. They will carpool, consolidate trips, buy smaller vehicles, etc.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    It's proven that these cars camn be made to get more MPG. The automakers don't do it because they are in bed with the Oil Giants.

    No that isn't it at all for most people. 1) the people who buy new cars are probably the people with more $ on average, and 2) people with more money are going to consider gas-prices to be less of a factor in choosing vehicles. So in the past when gas prices were < $3/gal people new car shopping went for more size, luxury or power. Rather than buying a Corolla, many people decided they wanted larger vehicles like Camries, Highlanders, 4Runners, or Lexuses. Toyota then seeing that trend and what other car manufacturers are selling, adjusts what they build. Hence you end up with vehicles like the Tundra and Camry becoming larger and more powerful each year, which does not improve mpg, though they may get more efficient trans. engines, and cD's.

    It is the consumer who drives what gets made, but there is a time-delay. You may not be able to get small fuel efficient cars now, because there wasn't much demand for them 3 years ago. It takes auto manufacturers several years to react to consumer trends and demands.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I'm shocked at your lack of understanding of the written word since it's your chosen profession.

    I have consistently stated that with few exceptions, little or nothing has been done for most of the last two decades to advance fuel economy. The advancements you note are only now beginning to come to market and many are still several years away.

    Eco-boost is still be put into its first vehicle
    Bluetec is limited to the future Jetta TDI and the future Merc @ $50000+ Hardly a solution, more a gesture.
    Volt E-REV ... future
    2-Modes......... limited to a few units beginning this month
    Accord diesel.. future

    DoD from either Honda or GM is at best a minor advancement or at worst a sham. Most see no benefit at all.

    As to your presumed knowledge of why CAFE 35 was put into place, you still have not given any clear statement that you understand its purpose. That speaks volumes.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Background...
    I did live through the first shortage and I do remember line jumpers being shot dead at the pumps. I also remember police guards at gas stations when the owners had to shut off the pumps at 5 PM or when fuel ran out and there was still a line around the block.

    As VP of a steel company living in NYC for the better part of my life before retiring to the shore let's just say I have a wide and I think realistic view of our society.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Sorry I think you missed the part of CAFE 35 that phases out the FFV loophole by 2020.

    Now if celluosic ethanol or biodiesel can be extended to all parts of the country then reopening the FFV loophole makes a lot of sense...if..HUGE IF... the vehicles using it must use one of the alt-fuels, meaning that they can't use petro-fuel at any time. The new celluosic ethanol and biodiesel both contain more energy than corn ethanol so fuel economy may actually improve vis-a-vis what's being used today or even petro-fuels.

    CAFE 35 is not pandering to the masses. That's not Dubya's style. It's based only on math. The math is simple and it will work easily. [Explanation upon request]
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,225
    Sorry I think you missed the part of CAFE 35 that phases out the FFV loophole by 2020.

    I just do not believe it will happen. Must be using alt-fuels, is a mighty big idea with little basis in reality. I am not as optimistic as you are. I watched the last big push for EVs in CA. Not much but bitterness against GM was the result. Being a student of history, this reminds me a lot of the late 1970s. Brazil who has ethanol with a positive production factor, mandated Ethanol only cars about 30 years ago. They ended up with a bunch of ethanol only vehicles and NO ethanol. The price of sugar went so high that it was not profitable to make ethanol and the production ceased.

    So you are telling me these vehicles that are getting the high mileage CAFE moniker because they CAN use E85 if it is practical, will in 2020 will ONLY be able use ethanol or biodiesel? If that is the new law, what is to stop a future Congress from changing it again. I think market driven gains in mileage are far better and more effective than anything our government attempts. I did not blame this mess on Dubya. It is our lame brained Congress. Bush is just tired of fighting the ignorance that goes on.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    I did live through the first shortage and I do remember line jumpers being shot dead at the pumps. I also remember police guards at gas stations when the owners had to shut off the pumps at 5 PM or when fuel ran out and there was still a line around the block.

    Apples and pine-cones ... you are comparing a) a sudden change in supply, where waits can be hours, and where people can cut-lines and get in each other's faces, to b) a gradual increase in cost over years, where fuel is plentiful in an orderly manner of - if you want to buy it you can. These are 2 different scenarios entirely psychologically for people.

    There is not mass social chaos due to gas prices, in any country now with high costs (Europe); or even in (high cost : average income - SE Asia).

    There are many people who are priced out of owning a home, and having health insurance. I work with people who don't make enough for a car and gasoline, and they do get by; they come to accept that and deal with it.

    As VP of a steel company living in NYC for the better part of my life

    Considering the state of the steel industry, you really open yourself up. ;)
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    So you are telling me these vehicles that are getting the high mileage CAFE moniker because they CAN use E85 if it is practical, will in 2020 will ONLY be able use ethanol or biodiesel? If that is the new law, what is to stop a future Congress from changing it again. I think market driven gains in mileage are far better and more effective than anything our government attempts. I did not blame this mess on Dubya. It is our lame brained Congress. Bush is just tired of fighting the ignorance that goes on.

    What I'm saying is that under the new CAFE 35 regulations the entire FFV boondoggle is mandated to disappear by 2020. There will be no credits for these vehicles at that time.

    Now I would be very much in favor of exempting all vehicles from any CAFE standards if those vehicle were only able to use US-made biofuels. For example your Sequoia or it's decendants might be converted to a biodiesel vehicle that is required to use biodiesel at special pumps or stations the provide biodiesel. Ssince these will presumable lessen our usage of petro-fuel then they are exempt from any CAFE regulations. They might get 12 or 18 or 22 mpg but it doesn't matter because the fuel is all made here in the US.

    This is NOT part of the current CAFE regulations presently but I can see it being part of an ammendment at some time in the future.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    larsb: Applying higher GASOLINE TAXES in Europe gave rise to a diesel push.
    Mandating higher MPG will mean that cars will have higher MPG.


    Except that the first scenario spurs demand; while the second scenario provides no guarantee that people will buy those more fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Actually the US steel industry is among the strongest in the world. Since the mid-80s when Nucor and other mini-mills took on the integrated dinosaurs and drove them out of business the US steel industry has lead the world in innovation.

    The company I retired from is now the largest producer in the world by a factor of 3.

    I agree that increases in fuel prices over an extended period of time will have the effect of 'weeding out' those that can't afford to operate/own a vehicle. I guess I was referring to a more sudden jump to the point where current drivers have to park their current vehicles possibly never to drive them again.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    kdhspyder: An editorial is nothing but one person's opinion.

    Except when it is backed up facts and figures, which this editorial was. It was written by Csaba Csere, the editor of Car & Driver and a professional engineer, not Joe Blow.

    kdhspyder: Just as your opinion is erroneous his has no more weight without facts.

    Sorry, but you have provided no facts or figures. Your posts consist of feverish, imaginary apocalyptic scenarios and your opinion that this was a good idea, combined with no knowledge of how markets work or what companies are doing to improve fuel economy.

    It sounds as though you are watching too much Road Warrior. Granted, it's a great movie, but if you want to indulge in 1980s cinema, I'd suggest switching to Pee-Wee's Big Adventure to curb the hysteria.

    kdhspyder: Your following statement is unclear. Please clarify what you mean by 'cumulative mileage'. As stated the words mean the total miles driven. Did you mean 'average fleet fuel economy'. CAFE speaks to average fuel economy nothing about total miles driven.

    Cumulative mileage is the combined mileage of all new vehicles sold. That total increased by more than the CAFE requirements when gasoline prices were rising in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Mr. Csere documented this with...facts and figures.

    kdhspyder: Yes the American public has made an adjustment in their own activities ( purchases ) but the vehicle makers - and they are the subject of this entire discussion - have done little or nothing . Fuel prices have ramped up to historic highs and the options for the driving public are the same as they were in 1999 with only a few exceptions.

    The real run-up in prices has only occurred since the fall of 2005 (the affect of Hurricane Katrina). Vehicles on the market today were all designed before then. Again, do you realize how long it takes to design and engineer a new vehicle?

    And, even then, re-read my post - in relation to total income, gasoline prices are at 1962 levels.

    There really wasn't an incentive for people to buy - and therefore, for manufacturers to produce - more fuel-efficient vehicles until late 2005, and even then, by historic standards, gasoline prices weren't that high.

    kdhsypder: Despite your multitude of words there is not a shred of evidence that most of the vehicle makers were making any efforts to give us the driving public more efficient vehicles to drive. Lutz, the Germans and Chrysler all derided the efforts of Toyota, Honda and Ford to provide hybrids for the public.

    See my previous post...I've demolished that argument pretty effectively.

    kdhsypder: Your last statement just shows that you don't understand the entire concept and the reason for the quick acceptance of CAFE 35. Think about who proposed it and why it was proposed from that source.

    Please...I understand far more than you think. I work in government...it was proposed because it was a feel-good "solution" that lets people blame those big, bad corporations while asking nothing of them today.It displays the same kind of thinking (which is quite a stretch of that particular word) that drives "activists" to blame McDonalds or restaurants for making peopel fat, instead of telling people to...eat less and exercise more.

    Politicians of all stripes would rather say, "It's GM's fault your vehicle uses too much gas, because it is hiding all of this wonderful technology that will allow it to build a Suburban that gets 40 mpg, hauls eight people and sells for the same price as today's model," as opposed to, "If you are concerned about gas mileage, you may need to make a trade-off with size and mileage."

    I know how politicians - especially those of the Washington, D.C. variety - think and work. The gas tax is politically unpopular, even though it would be the most effective way to curb consumption and spur sales of more efficient vehicles (see Europe and Japan)...but everyone has to look like he or she is "doing something" to reduce fuel consumption without making voters angry.

    If we really are facing the Road Warrior scenario, then why wait until 2017 to encourage conservation, and have no requirement that people will be required to buy the vehicles once they are produced...raise the gas tax now, and the savings and trend to more fuel-efficient vehicles will start immediately.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    kdhspyder: I did live through the first shortage and I do remember line jumpers being shot dead at the pumps. I also remember police guards at gas stations when the owners had to shut off the pumps at 5 PM or when fuel ran out and there was still a line around the block.

    First, shooting someone for jumping in line is very different from shooting someone just because they can afford to fill up with $6-a-gallon unleaded (the original scenario you kept putting forth).

    Second, the reason that there was no gas was because of government-imposed price controls and rationing schemes. If the price had been allowed to rise to market levels, demand would have decreased and any shortage would have disappeared.

    kdhspyder: As VP of a steel company living in NYC for the better part of my life before retiring to the shore let's just say I have a wide and I think realistic view of our society.

    Sorry, but living in New York City for most of your life hardly provides a "realistic" view of what America is like.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The single reply to all of your words is..

    With limited exceptions, the vehicle makers as a group have done nothing to advance fuel economy of the vehicles we drive. In the future they will offer more efficient vehicles ( note the tense). But for the past 15+ years they've done little or nothing. Outside of a few limited hybrid models there has no movement by any of them since the late 80s.

    I was a direct supplier to the auto industry for the better part of 20 yrs from the 80's through the 90s. If you drove any Chrysler, most Fords or any GM truck you rode in and on the steel I sold to them. I'm more than a little aware of how much or how little innovation they've been making in terms of fuel economy.

    I doubt that you can say the same. Voluminous words mean nothing. You can disagree all you want but the vehicle makers past actions damn themselves.

    You still haven't shown any understanding about what the whole CAFE issue is about so I'm not surprised that you argue against if despite its quick acceptance by all parties.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    bpizzuti: Yeah, but don't you know that it's just WRONG to mandate safety and higher MPG?

    If higher efficiency is desired, the market will demand it.

    bpizzuti: How can we expect our wonderful blue-blooded American car-companies to compete when we keep regulating them all the time and forcing them to produce cars that are safe and efficient??

    There is no proof that they won't produce more fuel-efficient cars on their own if the market demands them to do so. To insist otherwise ignores history. And to insist that increasing CAFE will somehow make small car production profitable in this country, in and of itself, is pure fantasy.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    kdhsypder: The single reply to all of your words is..

    With limited exceptions, the vehicle makers as a group have done nothing to advance fuel economy of the vehicles we drive. In the futire they will offer more efficient vehicles. But for the past 15+ years they've done little or nothing. Outside of a few limited hybrid models there is no movement by any of them since the late 80s.


    Because over most of the past 15 years, gasoline prices were at record lows, so there was no incentive for people to buy, and thus manufacturers to produce, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

    Now they are doing so, in response to increasing gasoline prices. They are responding to the market.Your point that they won't, without mandated CAFE increases, is incorrect.

    kdhspyder: I was a direct supplier to the auto industry for the better part of 20 yrs from the 80's through the 90s. If you drove any Chrysler, most Fords or any GM truck you rode in and on the steel I sold to them. I'm more than a little aware of how much or how little innovation they've been making in terms of fuel economy.

    Your problem is that you appear to be completely unaware of what they are doing today, in response to higher gasoline prices, before any CAFE increase. You appear to be unaware of the increasing use of displacement-on-demand for bigger engines, the adoption of Bluetec technology by the Germans, Ford's work on its new Ecoboost engines, the new Ford Fiesta, and the new Accord diesel (able to be sold in all 50 states) for 2009.

    kdhspyder: I doubt that you can say the same. Voluminous words mean nothing. You can disagree all you want but the vehicle makers past actions damn themselves.

    No, a knowledge of gas prices, their relation to income, and how that affects what vehicles are sold DOES mean something, and, hate to break it to you, but despite your experience as a supplier to the auto industry, you appear to be are less informed of these trends than I am.

    You also have no clue as to how government works, and what motivates politicians.

    kdhspyder: You still haven't shown any understanding about what the whole CAFE issue is about.

    No, I understand far better than you do...plus, I understand the recent history of the automobile industry and how gas prices affect vehicle choices. You appear not to understand vehicular lead times, how the market works or what companies are working on for future vehicles.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    kdhspyder: As I said in a prior post.. imagine telling someone who's been driving all their lives that they are now 'too poor' to drive.

    No, the market is saying that gas now costs X number of dollars per gallon, and people need to figure out how to pay this amount if they want to drive. I hate to break it to you, but 99.9 percent of the people will adjust accordingly.

    You also appear not to understand how this will work. We won't wake up one morning and discover that gas is now $10 a gallon...the price rise will be gradual. People will adjust. They will carpool, consolidate trips, buy smaller vehicles, etc.


    If you had taken a little time to do some investigation rather than pop-off wordy posts you might have found that many many times on these boards I've specifically outlined what I see as the probable scenario for fuel prices over the intermediate term. Research is your friend.

    My concern for peace and security in the streets centers on a sudden jump in prices that catches all of us ill-prepared to adjust. A situation similar to the 70's where there are shortages or sharply higher prices may very well create shortterm chaos as it was at that time. It's supposition certainly but it's a balancing idea that can be combined with a variety of scenarios such as nothing will happen and prices will remain under $3.00 for ever ( most unaware citizens ); prices will rise gradually then moderate at a high level as alt-fuels begin to become available to everyone ( my own view ); prices/supplies will fluctuate wildly based on fear, speculation, political events, natural disasters, surging demand, falling economies.

    In the latter scenario disruptions may very well result in civil unrest as happened in the 70s. 'Those that ignore the past....'
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    With limited exceptions, the vehicle makers as a group have done nothing to advance fuel economy of the vehicles we drive. In the future they will offer more efficient vehicles ( note the tense). But for the past 15+ years they've done little or nothing.

    I don't know any of my friends, coworkers, and family, who until the last year or 2, cared about the mpg of their vehicles. And we're typical middle-class mix. So if the U.S. consumer really didn't care, why would the majority of the auto-makers designing and selling vehicles in the U.S. care?

    Basically the U.S. consumer said if I have the money for a Lucerne, Ford 500, 300C, Lexus 430, or mid-to-large SUV and I can afford the gas, why am I going to instead buy a Focus, Fit, Yaris, or Cobalt? Most people DID NOT CARE if their vehicle got 20mpg or 27mpg. But people did care if their vehicle had a small displacement engine with130hp or a larger displacement engine @ 300hp with another 1,000 Lb to start moving in the city.
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