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

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Comments

  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    "...you're averaging 47 mpg...not sure from your tone if you're disappointed with that figure..."

    I'm not disappointed. I'm not ecstatic, either. I'm merely satisfied that I'm getting exactly what I paid for. The Civic Hybrid has saved me $1,300 in gasoline costs in less than a year, and it paid me $2,100 cash back (federal tax credit).

    For a brief period last summer, after the break-in period, I was getting 50-52 mpg regularly. I had visions of achieving a long-term average of 50+. Then winter came.

    The cold weather dropped mpg to the mid 40s, no matter how wimpy I drove. So the 50 mpg mark remains the province of hyper-milers. BTW, 49/51 was the OLD EPA estimate for the Civic Hybrid.

    The best part about owning a hybrid is that it immunizes me from rising fuel prices. It's almost like a little time machine; it takes me back to the 1990s, when I neve gave a thought to the price of gasoline.
    .
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    If one did post that fact about $11000 for a hybrid system then it was done as a troll post. It's impossible. Unless the user somehow knows how to void the warranty, and I don't, the minimum is 96 / 100000. the CARB warranty is 120 / 150000.

    The hybrid warranty includes the battery, MG1, MG2, the inverter and converter.

    The 60 / 60000 Powertrain warranty is the same as yours the engine and transaxel.

    The 36 / 36000 Basic warranty is the same as yours also. The electronics and all the controllers are covered by this warranty.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Agreed. It's my insurance policy against fuel going to $4+. At $5+ I may have to upgrade again.

    From Pre-Katrina days when I was buying 1200 gal a year at about $2 per gallon for my I4 Camry now I'm buying 750 gal a year at about $3 per gallon. At $4 I will be spending more than I was back in 2004.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Read the following, then decide and comment on whether you believe the proposed fuel economy regulations for the 2011-2015 period are fair for the auto industry, and will serve the consumer well.

    Although I believe petroleum consumption should be reduced, I think that the new NHTSA based rules are an example of how a well intentioned NHTSA bureaucracy, and our law makers, can achieve very bad results. I could have used stronger language, but I restrained myself. Your thoughts?


    By HARRY STOFFER, AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

    Mercedes' cars would have to achieve better average fuel economy than Toyota's. BMW's light trucks would have to get 4 mpg more than those built by General Motors.

    These are among the startling outcomes projected for the 2015 model year under proposed federal fuel economy regulations. Under the new rules, the relative increase is highest for the smallest vehicles.

    Vehicles are measured by their footprint--roughly the area bounded by the wheels.

    The rules, unveiled last week by the Bush administration, represent the first big step in enforcing a landmark new energy law. The law mandates a 40 percent increase in car and truck fuel economy by 2020, to an industry average of 35 mpg.

    The administration regulations anticipate a fast start, calling for 25 percent improvement in the 2011-15 model years.

    The effects of the rules would vary dramatically among automakers. The winners are companies such as General Motors, Toyota and Chrysler — mass-market manufacturers with broad product portfolios. The losers are independent luxury brands such as Porsche, BMW and Mercedes.

    Regulators based the new standards on their projections of the number of cars and trucks of different sizes that the industry will produce by 2015.

    "It's just part of the new world," said John DeCicco, senior fellow for automotive issues with Environmental Defense, a nonprofit advocacy group that supports tougher fuel standards. "Fairness is in the eye of the beholder."

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration developed the rules. The agency's plan creates two sliding scales of fuel economy targets for cars and trucks of different sizes.

    Each automaker is assigned its own separate fuel-economy standards for cars and trucks, based on the number of vehicles of each footprint size that it sells.

    The sliding scales aim to achieve better fuel economy in vehicles of all sizes. Under the rules, automakers that build large vehicles might find it advantageous to keep doing so. If they downsize, their standards would go up.

    At the same time, industry and government officials argue that if gasoline prices remain high, consumers will demand smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles.

    Small Cars, Big Numbers

    The proposed system creates anomalies. The most extreme example is Porsche Cars North America Inc. The company's powerful sports cars have short wheelbases and consequently small footprints, thus higher fuel economy targets.

    If the industry builds the mix of vehicle sizes that NHTSA projects, Porsche cars would have to average 41.3 mpg in 2015--about 7 mpg better than Toyota, Lexus and Scion cars collectively. The current car standard, 27.5 mpg, has not changed since 1990.

    Other automakers with smaller, less diverse product offerings--such as Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Mitsubishi, Subaru and Suzuki--also face much higher standards under the proposal.

    Variations among the six largest manufacturers are less striking because of their broader product lineups. But they are still significant. For cars, Chrysler LLC's 2015 fuel economy standard would be the lowest, at 33.6 mpg. American Honda's would be highest, at 36.4 mpg.

    For 2015 model trucks, GM--which generally has bigger pickups and SUVs--would have the lowest standard among the six biggest companies, at 27.4 mpg. Honda trucks would have the highest standard, at 29.6 mpg. Today, trucks must meet a fuel economy standard of 22.5 mpg.

    "They are certainly aggressive" numbers, said Ed Cohen, vice president of government and industry relations for Honda North America Inc. "The truck hurdle will be the more challenging of the two."

    Play or Pay

    The requirements that Porsche faces in 2015 help explain why the company lobbied Congress hard to give it an exemption in the energy bill. Lawmakers refused.

    Some industry executives predict Porsche and several other automakers will pay hefty fines rather than change their lineups. NHTSA concedes fines would be less expensive than investing in new fuel-efficient powertrains.

    The agency is seeking public comment on whether it should increase its penalties. The former DaimlerChrysler paid a fine of about $30 million for the 2006 model year because its imported cars missed the fuel standard.

    Automakers generally support the new fuel standards, despite the anomalies. They say a tough national standard is preferable to state-by-state greenhouse gas regulations, which they claim would create market chaos.

    Environmental advocates mostly expressed satisfaction with the proposed rules as well. An exception was Joan Claybrook, a former NHTSA chief and longtime president of the consumer group Public Citizen.

    Claybrook said the rules do too little too late. The proposed sliding scales, she said, would create "an unadministrablecq mess."

    NHTSA is taking public comments over the next two months. Regulators must adopt final rules by April 1, 2009. The Bush administration plans to act by the end of the year.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    My thoughts? If I were you I would have used stronger language.

    Good thing it is fair though, eh?!

    One of my faves, Subaru, is going to suffer a ton at the hands of the new NHTSA.

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

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    One thing that concerns me is that you don't read much about the proposed 2011-2015 rules. I can't imagine that firms like Porsche and Subaru aren't lobbying against these asymmetrical regs. As I see it, it's outrageous.

    I suppose one thing Subaru could do, to meet the mileage requirements, would be to make AWD optional, as it was in the '80s and early '90s. I know the AWD feature as standard equipment differentiated the brand, but, frankly, do most drivers in the Sunbelt benefit from AWD? And Porsche could dial back the horsepower some, and put greater marketing emphasis on handling and the other attributes of its cars, but these are just ways of dealing with what, in my opinion, are grossly unfair regulations.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Subaru is rumored to be dropping AWD in a model or two to help meet fleet regs, much to the consternation of Subie fans who think that will dilute the brand's reputation irrevocably. Adding a diesel to the boxer engine fleet is another idea being kicked around.

    I think they'll just add another Justy-like vehicle to the line-up to get the fleet numbers to fall in line.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I think they'll just add another Justy-like vehicle to the line-up to get the fleet numbers to fall in line.

    Great idea. I'd buy one. If Suzuki can sell the SX4, Subie can sell another Justy.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I saw a bright red SX4 a couple of days ago - my first sighting. It looked sharp - maybe it was a tricked out Cobra version because I've never really noticed one before. I thought it was a MINI at first. I guess people are getting ~30mpg on the highway with them.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    As far as I can tell, there is still limited ability to just pay fines and continue business as usual, and Porsche could probably just pass along those costs to its customers.

    OTOH, Porsche is having an even bigger fight with the EU over new emissions standards set to take effect there shortly (stricter than those in the U.S., of course). Porsche can't win - all its models are gas guzzlers in the context of global 2020 CO2 emissions standards.

    Subaru plans to implement the new diesel in its larger models in 2010 or so, which will help. There are plans afoot to bring in a rebadged Daihatsu in Europe to help meet CO2 goals there, I don;t know what they will do in the U.S. It is true that the Subaru fans are howling about the possibility of making AWD optional again, but it is also inescapably true that AWD drags down fuel economy and offers a benefit that few in the southern states will pay extra for.

    With all the woes Porsche faces (because it sells only one "truck"), I wonder how much trouble this will cause for BMW. Mercedes, of course, is truck-heavy, so they get more of a break.

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

  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    I saw a bright red SX4 a couple of days ago - my first sighting. It looked sharp - maybe it was a tricked out Cobra version because I've never really noticed one before. I thought it was a MINI at first.

    You aren't the only one to make that comparison. Where I live in Colorado, there is a Suzuki dealer in town and the SX4 (hatch) is becoming a popular vehicle. Every time my wife sees one, she comments on how it reminds her of a Mini.

    I, personally, don't see the resemblance, but I suspect that the SX4 is, to my wife, "distinctive", like the Mini.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Your wife is very perceptive. :shades:
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    I think if Porsche were to merge with VW, in which it already owns a major stake, that would go a long way towards resolving its 2011-2015 mileage delemna. I also read that Porsche is developing a hybrid powertrain. This may be more appropriate for their SUV and their upcoming super sedan than for their sports cars.

    As for Subaru, reintroducing an updated version of the Justy might be part of the answer. The Justy was a neat car, by the way. I'd like to see it in the Subie lineup again, with a new 3 cylinder engine.

    Another solution for Subaru, now that Toyota owns a stake in the company, is for hybrid versions of some models. So, between making AWD optional, the diesel. a new mini car, and hybrid technology, it looks as though Subaru has options.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    You do realize of course that the Fed Govt knows nothing about vehicles. It's a political organization representing multiple constituencies so that when it does write a law or create new rules it goes to the experts in those fields to gather 'expertise' in order to write the rulings.

    Guess who might be the constituency that would have the most expertise in writing rules about automobiles? How about the US auto industry?

    Look closely and you will see the subtle hand of GM / F / C / T actually writing these regs. Oh they hurt Porsche, Merc and Subaru.... Oh Darn.
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 356
    Look closely and you will see the subtle hand of GM / F / C / T actually writing these regs. Oh they hurt Porsche, Merc and Subaru.... Oh Darn.

    Such examples of politics is why there's no GM / F / C / T products parked in my driveway: I vote with my wallet. In the meantime, I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop (or perhaps it already has), where an E85 - capable vehicle gets some sort of "bonus" in the CAFE numbers game.

    -hh
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    The quoted title, above, refers to an article that appears in today's Wall Street Journal, page D4. The article discusses how the fuel efficiency targets recently proposed by the federal government, which would regulate the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks according to "footprint," would force manufacturers to make some very tough choices, including paying large fines, radically redesigning their high performance vehicles, implementing significant price increases to cover lighter, more exotic materials and new powerplants, increasing the size of vehicles in order to qualify for more lenient requirements for larger vehicles, or discontinuing certain models.

    Footprint refers to the number of square feet a vehicle covers. For example, the Toyota Camry and the 540 horsepower Ferrari Scaglietti are both categorized as "mid-size cars", according to the EPA, and by 2015 will be required to average more than 30 mpg. The Porsche 911, by contrast, is classified as a "mini-compact car", and should be able to deliver ~40 mpg by 2015.

    Per the WSJ article, under the proposed rules, by 2015 BMW is supposed to sell a fleet of cars that average 37.7 mpg, while GM's and Toyota's fleet-wide passenger car targets will be 34.7 and 34.6, respectively.

    The way the government's footprint/mileage curves work, a BMW 3-Series, with its 45 sq. ft. footprint, will need to average 37 mpg, and the 49 sq. ft. 5-Series' target is 31 mpg. One way to move toward compliance would be to increase the size of the 3-Series, but BMW has said it won't take this approach.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    This highlights one of the major weaknesses of the latest CAFE legislation: that the automakers can simply make their vehicles a lot bigger (especially the trucks) in order to go around the regulation and have easier targets set.

    Geez, how freakin' big are the light trucks of 2020 going to be?! They're ALREADY a nuisance on the roads at their current size!

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

  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I don't think CAFE will have any impact by that time. With fuel doing what it is everything except 'work' trucks might be obsolete with $6 and $7 and $8 fuel prices.

    Yes they could make a huge truck but who'd buy it? It looks like a loophold that the Big 3-1/2 had written in to the regs in the hope that at sometime next decade fuel drops back to $.90/gallon. Not likely I think.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    the California rules, much stricter than the new CAFE regs, will go ahead after all. At least, according to this article:

    http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080513/AUTO01/805130358

    not only are the automakers meeting with the CA governor to hammer out the details, but also all three presidential candidates support California on this, and the Congress is expected to put together legislation to allow it to happen as well...

    So forget 35 mpg, look forward to 43 mpg by 2015, and after that who knows! With gas at $8/gallon by then, I am sure folks will appreciate much more efficient choices than the pathetic ones they have today...

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

  • chadxchadx Posts: 153
    "While they probably sell smaller Mercedes and BMW diesels in Europe, it's unlikely that they get 35 mpg in mixed driving."

    Oh contraire. Many small and midsize diesels acheive that in mixed driving. And on the highway is even better. The BMW 1 series offers two different small diesels and get great mileage city and highway. The BMW 118d get around 60 miles per gallon while the 120d gets around 55 miles per gallon from most reviews and real world driving I've read. We rented on in Germany and even at 100+mph for several hours, it sipped gas (over 40mpg).

    We need cars like this in the US! The only engines offered in the 1 Series here are the 3.0 liter inline-6 gas engines. One naturally aspirated and one with twin turbos.

    From some literature on the diesels:

    "Diesel Engines

    BMW 120d: Third generation common-rail diesel engine with aluminum crankcase achieves zero to 62mph in 7.5 seconds (7.6 seconds for five-door) before going on to a top speed of 142mph. Output is 177hp (up 14hp) while peak torque is 350Nm (up 10Nm). Combined fuel consumption is 57.6mpg (improves by 16 per cent) and CO2 emissions are 129g/km (down 15.1 per cent).

    BMW 118d: Third generation common-rail diesel engine with aluminum crankcase achieves zero to 62mph in 8.9 seconds (9.0 seconds for five door) before going on to a top speed of 130mph. Output is 143hp (up 21 hp) while peak torque is 300Nm (up 20Nm). Combined fuel consumption is 60.1mpg (improves by 19 per cent) and CO2 emissions are 123g/km (down 18 per cent).
    "
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    One problem is that if those cars were "retrofitted" to meet U.S. crash requirements, the weight goes up and the MPG goes down.

    That's one of the MANY reasons we cannot get those cars here. Another is that typically, high mileage but "econo-box" type cars have sold poorly here.
  • chadxchadx Posts: 153
    "One problem is that if those cars were "retrofitted" to meet U.S. crash requirements, the weight goes up and the MPG goes down. "

    Incorrect. The BMW 1 series easily passed crash tests. They are currently selling the gas powered version here. The diesel equipped cars do not have structural differences. Only engine, tranny, etc.. Many of the other manufacturer's diesels would pass US crash tests. Do you think Europe doesn't have safety standards?

    You are correct that the main reason we are not seeing small diesels here is simply because demand has not been there in the past. US consumers won't buy them. But that is changing. Also, the more recent emissions standards have thrown a new wrench in the works, but many manufactures can now pass those requirements.
  • chadxchadx Posts: 153
    Current BMW 1 Series deisel mileage chart. For many people in the US, diesels just make more sense than a hybrid. Unless you spend 90%+ time in city driving (stop and go or less than 30mph), deisels will get better mileage. Now, the extra cost of deisel needs to be added into the equation, which is a whole nother issue. Where I live, I only drive in stop lights about 5 miles a week. The rest is 45 - 75 mph driving. Many other folks are in the same position. It all depends on where you live.

    1 series-118d - 120d- 123d
    City-------44mpg, 39mpg, 36mpg
    Hwy-------59mpg, 57mpg, 53mpg
    Combo --- 52mpg, 49mpg, 45mpg
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Europe and Japan have safety standards, but there are laws preventing importing of said vehicles without safety retrofits. That's why you don't occasionally see a modern Euro-spec vehicle in the USA.

    If it were easy and cheap, you would see Euro-Spec Honda Accord diesel cars all over the USA because that is an awesome car which has set numerous world records.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 100,749
    Guessing those numbers are miles per imperial gallon... :surprise:

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

    Edmunds Moderator

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Between the high gasoline prices, principally, the promise of lighter, longer lasting lithium ion batteries, and the law that will begin to take effect in 2011, there seems to be renewed interest in manufacturing pure battery powered cars. Until recently, it seemed as though battery powered cars didn't have much of a future, but Nissan, for one, and Mitsubishi, have important plans for battery powered cars.

    Of the three factors listed, the law is probably the least important one for introducing battery powered cars in large numbers. It's premature to speculate on whether pure battery powered vehicles will be as popular as hybrids in several years, but if they are it will have a major impact on the driving experience and the industry. Small countries, such as Israel and Denmark, have big plans for battery powered electric cars, where there are plans to build networks of battery swapping stations. Instead of pulling into a station for a gasoline or diesel fuel fill up, the driver will pay for a quick battery pack exchange, when the battery/batteries needed recharging. The removed battery/ies would then be recharged for another motorist. You'd essentially pay for a battery charge, without having to wait for the recharging. It'll be interesting to see how this will play out. From what I've read, the economics of this plan are favorable, compared to high priced oil.
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    You'd essentially pay for a battery charge, without having to wait for the recharging. It'll be interesting to see how this will play out. From what I've read, the economics of this plan are favorable, compared to high priced oil.

    Yeah, until Big Oil lobbies Congress to give the electric vehicles a "fuel economy rating" equivalent to the amout of fuel used to recharge the battery pack. ;)
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,357
    Who on earth uses imperial gallons? I don't think there's any place now that both Canada and the UK went metric.
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    UK still uses imperial gallons alongside liters per 100 km.

    http://www.landrover.co.uk/gb/en/Vehicles/Discovery/Specifications/Discovery_eng- ines.htm

    Check out the fuel consumption figures at that link.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,357
    Ouch!
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
This discussion has been closed.