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

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  • 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.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    kdhspyder: 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 posts are "wordy" precisely because I do research.

    Let's start from the beginning...

    Your original contention was that increasing CAFE is necessary because auto manufacturers will do little, if anything, to improve efficiency on their own. In your own words, they need the government to hold a gun to their heads to develop fuel economy improvements.

    You keep referencing what has happened over the last 15 years, when the horsepower and weight of virtually all vehicles increased, and fuel economy either stagnated or got worse, as proof of this.

    The only problem, as I've pointed out repeatedly, is that for most of the last 15 years (or, from 1993 on), the price of gas was at a record LOW, while the economy was either doing okay or booming.

    The market WORKED - just not in the way you wanted. Low gasoline prices and rising incomes encouraged buyers to go for roomier, more comfortable, more powerful, heavier vehicles. Auto manufacturers on all three continents provided that type of vehicle.

    Fuel prices started rising in late 2005 (in the wake of Hurricane Katrina), and fuel economy once again became a concern. But most vehicles, given industry lead times, were developed during the era of cheap gasoline, and reflected those priorities.

    Now, in 2008, car makers are ALREADY working on technologies to boost economy, and cancelling some programs in response to consumer desires for more economy, even without an increase in CAFE.

    In other words, the market is again WORKING without government intervention.

    History has also proven your contention incorrect, as shown in Mr. Csere's editorial, which you attempted to dismiss by saying that he didn't use facts and figures, which only proves that you didn't read it, because he did. Then you say that I don't have anything to back up my posts, completely ignoring the reference to Mr. Csere's editorial, and my reference to upcoming new models and technology that will boost fuel efficiency.

    Also, if you really want to save gasoline, you would support an increase in the gasoline tax, which could be phased in over time. Higher prices discourage use by EVERYONE who drives, while CAFE increases only affect those who buy a new vehicle designed after the mandated increase.

    This would result in immediate savings, and also create a demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles. CAFE does nothing to guarantee that people will buy the mroe fuel-efficient vehicles once the manufacturers make them. Which is why several auto executives have hinted that what the country really needs is a stiffer gas tax.

    Your "research" consists of your predictions and nothing more, and I see no reason to trust in your predictions anymore than those of the Psychic Hotline, the main difference being that you aren't charging $9 a minute.

    Your "research" and "predictions" certainly show a talent for creative writing, in which case you should leave the shore and go to Hollywood, where you can write for Desperate Housewives or Lost.

    kdhspyder: 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....'


    Oh please. A few fights in gas lines or someone shooting a line jumper doesn't constitute "chaos." I was around in the 1970s, and I recall nothing on the order of the 1967 Detroit riots or even the 1992 Los Angeles riots in reaction to the Rodney King verdict. THOSE were chaotic. The worst event was a "riot" at a gas station outside of Philadelphia (Bucks County) in 1979, and compared to real riots, it resembled a toddler's tantrum.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    kdhspyder: I'm shocked at your lack of understanding of the written word since it's your chosen profession.

    And I'm shocked at your ignorance of new developments in the auto industry, and the relationship between fuel prices and fuel use, especially given that you worked for an automobile supplier and a steel company.

    kdhspyder: 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.

    And I'm shocked that you apparently don't understand that because of low gasoline prices, there was no incentive to for automakers to build more efficient vehicles, nor for consumers to buy them, but this has now changed with higher fuel prices. I've explained this several times (refer to above post for a condensed version).

    kdhspyder: Eco-boost is still be put into its first vehicle

    And please show me where I ever said otherwise. I specifically said Ford is WORKING on it; therefore one could logically conclude that technology being worked on has not yet been introduced to consumers.

    Ford has been working on this before the latest CAFE increase was mandated, so it shoots another hole in your theory.

    kdhsypder: Bluetec is limited to the future Jetta TDI and the future Merc $50000+ Hardly a solution, more a gesture.

    Really? Even in Europe, where diesels are popular, but there are growing concerns about air quality, and drivers and policymakers want to reconcile the push for better economy with the push for cleaner air?

    Even in America, where California air standards have kept diesels out of the market, and thus basically prevented them from being sold in the other 49 states?

    kdhspyder: Accord diesel.. future

    And I said the this engine would debut in the 2009 Accord, which means I know that it is not available yet. But, it must have been in development prior to 2009 to debut on that date, or BEFORE the CAFE increase was passed.

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

    Depends on the type of driving they do. Plus, there is nothing to stop both companies from refining it for future vehicles.

    Your comment about Bluetec being a "gesture" displays limited understanding of how this process works...if you really expect there to be some huge techonological breakthrough that will dramatically increase mileage, you are in for a disappointment. We will see a series of smaller steps that over time add up to big increases.

    kdhspyder: 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.

    I've given an accurate statement, but you choose not to accept it, instead preferring to spin out ever-changing apocalyptic fantasies apparently based on your time in New York. THAT speaks volumes.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    To sticking mainly to the topic and sending fewer personal shots directed at each other eh?

    I have a family member working for Nucor (steel) and bonuses have been good the last couple of years.

    And if aftermarket throttle body spacers were any good, all the manufacturers would stick them on to help their CAFE numbers.

    skipv, "5.3 throttle body spacers Do they work?" #1, 18 Jan 2008 8:00 am
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    "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."

    You want history, I point you to Preston Tucker, who dared to plan on making a car with seatbelts and other safety features...and was then railroaded by the entire auto industry for fear that the market would force them to do the same thing if they realized such things could be made available to the consumers.

    Sometimes business is very afraid of the free market, and works very hard to avoid its effects. The car industry has a history of doing so. Hence they got themselves regulated instead.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 30,296
    the best thing about the run up in prices, and the pending CAFE changes, is that it finally makes the research into alternate production methods worthwhile. That is, even if the scientists can figure out how to make synthetic gasoline out of used diapers, if it costs $60/barrell while you can buy good old crude for $30/barrell, no one will do it.

    Just read a piece in the business section of the paper today about a company that is staffing up on engineering talent to get a plant going in La. Seems they are going to be taking grease, animal fat, and vegetable oil from the Tyson plant, and converting it into jet and diesel fule. Calling it "fat to fuel"

    Hey, kill 2 birds time: Every fat person can have lipo, and take all the fat and give it to the plant!

    IMO, this type of plant, and other cellulose to fuel technology, is going to become a huge business. How can you not love a technology that takes waste products and turns it into soemthing useful?

    Also, if this is really a viable technology, then expect to see a lot more diesel engined (or some varient) to take advantage of it, unless they can figure out how to make it into gasoline.

    So, backyard biodiesel for everyone!

    I know there are already small plants on pig farms that turn the, um, "crap" into fuel to be used to run the farm.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Agreed here. This is likely to be the next industry where you couldd get in on the ground floor and become a 'Redmond Millionaire'.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 30,296
    my son is a Jr. in HS, and looking at colleges to study chemical engineering. I can already see where he should apply it!

    I may get to retire some day after all, if he is the guy to invent the right formula!

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 100,294
    Weird.

    My son wants to be a chemical engineer, also... :)

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,352
    You want history, I point you to Preston Tucker, who dared to plan on making a car with seatbelts and other safety features...and was then railroaded by the entire auto industry for fear that the market would force them to do the same thing if they realized such things could be made available to the consumers.

    My understanding of Preston Tucker was that he was a very poor businessman. He probably did more damage to the company himself than the auto industry did.

    As for seatbelts and history? Well, Ford made seatbelts standard in its cars for 1956. Meanwhile, Chevy advertising focused mainly on the perfromance of its hot 265 CID V-8. The car buying public avoided Fords like the plague, believing that if a car needed seatbelts, then naturally it must not be safe to drive! So basically, the public had spoken its opinion on seatbelts, and the consensus was that they were frivolous.

    It took the government, not public demand, to get seatbelts into cars. I forget exactly when front seatbelts became mandatory on cars, but I think back seatbelts were mandated for 1965. I have a '67 Pontiac Catalina convertible with them. Guess where they were when I bought the car? Tucked under the seat! A pretty good indication of what the previous owner(s) thought of their usefulness. Front shoulder belts were ordered into cars on January 1, 1968. Still, all of this was at the government's intervention. The public, frankly, didn't give a damn.

    And it took the government to get people to wear the seatbelts! Even after the manufacturers had been putting them in standard for 20 years or more, nobody was wearing them! So the government started enacting seatbelt laws in the 80's, making not wearing one a ticketable offense. And even to this day, the majority of traffic accident fatalities are people who were not wearing their seatbelts!

    As for fuel efficient cars, I firmly believe that if the public really, truly wants them, and puts its money where its mouth is, the manufacturers will build them. However, it's going to take more than whining about gas prices and fuel efficiency, and then going out and buying a guzzler.

    Back in the late 50's, small cars got a foothold in the market, and without government intervention. Unless the 1958 recession was concocted by the government. In 1957, American Motors was the only domestic manufacturer of mass produced compact cars. By 1960, Ford, GM, and Chrysler were all fielding their own small cars. And traditionally big, heavy cars like Buicks, Oldsmobiles, Mercurys, and Chryslers, actually went through a slight downsizing in the early 60's. However, it wasn't long before they started getting big and bulky again.

    In the 70's, when the gov't started with CAFE, EPA, and all that stuff, it really started getting the auto makers to focus on efficiency. However, even without gov't intervention, it probably would have happened, eventually. The Japanese were starting to get a foothold in the market in the early 70's, even when fuel was cheap and readily flowing, and the full-sized car was king of the road. As those Japanese cars got bigger, better, more reliable, etc, they would have forced the domestics to change eventually.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 100,294
    '67 Pontiacs definitely had seat belts standard..

    My mother bought a new Bonneville coupe.. It even had the shoulder belts up against the headliner above the door. Of course, if you ever took them down, it was impossible to put them back in place the way they were originally..

    Not that we ever wore seatbelts in '67, anyway.. :surprise:

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  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    When I went to work for Pacific Telephone in 1961, all company vehicles had seatbelts. It was a firing offense to have your vehicle running and not have your seatbelt fastened.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,352
    I wonder now if shoulder belts were standard in '67? I always thought it was 1968. My '67 Catalina is a convertible, so no shoulder belts there. I had a '67 Chrysler Newport hardtop coupe for a few months, but can't remember now if it had shoulder belts or not.

    And I think something became mandatory for 1965, but I can't remember if it was front lap belts, or maybe that was when they started making rear lap belts standard?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 46,258
    I want to say the untouched original 68 Fairlane my dad bought in the early 90s had shoulder belts. My 66 Galaxie didn't. The fintail only has front seat belts.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 100,294
    Well... I know shoulder belts came in that '67 Bonneville.. I don't think they were required by then, though..

    Interesting about the belts being required by an employer in 1961.. I would guess that was unusual, at that time..

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  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Ma Bell was WAY ahead of OSHA on work place safety. The first thing you did was learn the motto. "No job is so important and no task is so urgent, that we cannot take time to do the job safely". Seat belts was not an option. If a boss walked up to your truck your seat belt better be fastened. We had data recorders in every truck. If you went over 55 MPH you were called on the carpet. It was a round graph that you turned in at the end of the day. Showed how long you stopped and how fast you drove. All in 1961 when I went to work for them. Every employee had one week of Defensive Driving. I would imagine OSHA got a lot of their material from Ma Bell.
  • There's only one way to make the grade and still be allowed to produce a few gas guzzlers. Most of the vehicles in a manufacturer's line-up must be hybridized to the point of achieving an average of 40 mpg.

    The Prius averages 44 actual mpg. The Civic hybrid averages 37. The Camry hybrid averages 34. Taking these figures into consideration, it's obvious that we must take hybridization a step or two further. This involves the battery pack more than anything. As some of you know, plug-in hybrids with lithium ion battery packs are on the way. Other very promising lithium-based battery packs are being developed. See: Lithium Sulphur Batteries

    If half of what we're promised by some of these battery pack manufacturers is achieved at a reasonable cost, we'll have cars, light trucks, and small SUV's easily breaking the 40 mpg barrier with plug-in assist.

    Smaller plug-in hybrids will soon give way to fully electric personal vehicles. In order for these lighter vehicles (under 3500 lbs) to be practical, their battery packs will probably have to go at least 150 miles between recharges that take no more than 10 minutes. With some manufacturers promising 300+ mpg on a recharge and others promising an 80% recharge within 5 minutes, fully electric vehicles may be a common sight before 2020.

    Of course, the cost of these super-duper battery packs will need to be reasonable and they'll have to perform well enough to honor a warranty of at least 10 years. They can still be fairly expensive and not be out of reach, however. Here's why: A fully electric vehicle needs no engine. That eliminates complexity, cost, weight, and things like motor oil, tune-ups, gas tanks, etc. There may be a cooling system for the battery pack. If so, it shouldn't be that complex. With the elimination of these heavy, space-hogging items, there's more room for battery packs and their weight can be distributed more evenly.

    What we need to make plug-ins and fully electric vehicles more practical are convenient places to recharge them all around the country. Gas stations can also become recharging stations. Slip a credit card in the slot of one of several available recharging pods and receive your 5-10 minute dose of electricity! Where will the additional electricity come from? Solar cells, windmills, and hydrogen fuel cells should be the primary sources.

    With all this in mind (and hopefully in the minds of auto execs), what other fairly inexpensive and practical way can a 35+ mpg average be achieved by 2020? Can hydrogen fuel cell vehicles render this view of our automotive future obsolete? I don't see how.

    Gasoline can eventually be eliminated. Ethanol power? I don't know, but don't think so. Will it become more practical than clean diesel for powering heavy equipment? Will electric trains do more if not most of our cross-country shipping in the future? I don't see why not.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,352
    There's only one way to make the grade and still be allowed to produce a few gas guzzlers. Most of the vehicles in a manufacturer's line-up must be hybridized to the point of achieving an average of 40 mpg.

    The Prius averages 44 actual mpg. The Civic hybrid averages 37. The Camry hybrid averages 34. Taking these figures into consideration, it's obvious that we must take hybridization a step or two further.


    If it's any consolation, the CAFE numbers they're using for this 35 mpg average are calculated differently from those EPA estimates that get printed on the window stickers. The CAFE number is actually closer to the old fashioned EPA published numbers, which haven't been used since 1984. They were adjusted downward for 1985 and down again for 2007.

    The most recent data I can find that shows the old unadjusted numbers is for 1996. That year, every single Honda Civic broke the 35 mpg barrier. Their raw, unadjusted averages ranged from 36 mpg on up to 49!

    The Toyota Camry scored an unadjusted average of 27 mpg with the 4-cyl/automatic and oddly, the same with the V-6/automatic. Somehow, it ended up getting better economy on the highway cycle. The 4-cyl/stick got an unadjusted average of 30.

    Even battlecruiser class cars like the Caprice didn't do too bad. GM's full-sized LT-1 350 V-8 cars scored an unadjusted average of 23. The smaller 4.3 V-8, available only in the Caprice, got 24. The Crown Vic/Grand Marquis/Town Car also got a 23 average.

    In trucks, the full-size Chevy Silverado scored 22 with the 4.3 V-6/auto, 23 with the stick. Even with the 305 and 350, it still scored 19.

    And by and large, when comparing apples to apples, vehicles have gotten more efficient since 1996, so the numbers used for CAFE purposes would be better than the 1996 numbers.

    Now, that's not to say we don't have a long way to go and a short time to get there with regards to boosting the average to 35 mpg. But I think it's doable.
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    I would imagine OSHA got a lot of their material from Ma Bell.

    I've come to realize that America got alot of technology from Ma Bell. The old Bell Labs (forerunner to Lucent Tech.) had tons of engineers. I believe they invented the transistor.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    I believe they invented the transistor.

    The first working transistor was built by the Bell Labs in 1947.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    "The Prius averages 44 actual mpg. The Civic hybrid averages 37."

    Here's my Civic Hybrid's average mpg after almost 20,000 miles:

    http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43671
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