Your Thoughts Regarding The New EPA Mileage Mandate

hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
edited July 2016 in General
From the New York Times...

"DETROIT — The Obama administration issued on Tuesday the final version of new rules that require automakers to nearly double the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks by 2025.

The standards — which mandate an average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon for the 2025 model year — will increase the pressure on auto manufacturers to step up development of electrified vehicles as well as sharply improve the mileage of their mass-market models through techniques like more efficient engines and lighter car bodies.

Current rules for the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, program mandate an average of about 29 miles per gallon, with gradual increases to 35.5 m.p.g. by 2016..."
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Comments

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726
    this is the unadjusted number, so it's equivalent to what, 22 or so mpg on the sticker?

    I'm thinking they can make it without much trouble..... ;-)

    What a lot of fuss has been made about something that does relatively little and will leave the U.S. STILL playing catch-up to the rest of the world's fuel economy standards.....

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

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    edited August 2012
    I'm not clear on what unadjusted means. Could you explain it, and how you get to 22 mpg from 54.5?

    I know that diesels, hybrids and electric vehicles are factored into the mix, but car buyers aren't clamoring for these, especially without significant government incentives.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,992
    I think it's great. Right now a Prius C & regular Prius average 50mpg, the new Ford C-Max comes in at 47mpg, and Prius V at 42mpg. With respect to pricing, a regular Prius and C-Max are in the mid-$20K range, or about the same price as an Accord/Camry. The Prius V has more cargo space (comparable to a small SUV) and is priced in the upper $20K. The Prius C is just south of $20K. A Jetta TDI gets good MPG too and is about in the mid-$20K price range.

    Bottom line is that there are hybrids/diesels out there right now getting 40-50mpg and the price of these isn't much more than a comparable non-hybrid, particularly looking at the regular Prius and Ford C-Max, both of which would easily fulfill the needs for an average family of 5. If Ford and Toyota can make a vehicle today getting in the upper 40s MPG costing $25K, there's no reason other manufacturers can't do the same. And then reaching 55mpg isn't that great of a leap.

    As the price of gas keeps climbing at it surely will with the global demand increasing, American consumers will be glad of the higher MPG standards and the extra initial cost will more than be made up at the pump.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,705
    I'm not clear on what unadjusted means. Could you explain it, and how you get to 22 mpg from 54.5?

    Well, that 22 mpg was a joke. Unadjusted is the raw laboratory numbers, which for the most part are unattainable in most real-world driving. These are the numbers that went on the window stickers of cars through 1984.

    In 1985, they adjusted the numbers downward in an attempt to reflect real-world driving, and be more attainable by the average driver. The formula they applied is somewhat complicated, but it reduced the numbers by roughly 10%, although it can vary from car to car. These reduced numbers went on the window stickers of the cars. However, for CAFE purposes and stuff, they still use the raw laboratory numbbers.

    In 2007, they started phasing in numbers that were adjusted downward even further, to reflect increasingly aggressive driving conditions, longer idle times, increased use of a/c, etc.

    Realistically, that 54.5 mpg combined number would probably equate to about 40 mpg on the window sticker.

    On the EPA's website, they have zip files you can download that show the raw unadjusted number. A Ford Fusion hybrid comes in around 54.1 mpg combined, while a Toyota Camry hybrid comes in around 54.8 mpg combined.

    However, the unadjusted combined number on the window sticker is going to be 39 mpg for the Fusion, 41 for the Camry.

    I think they factor in flex-fuel cars differently, too. For instance, by 2011, all Crown Vics were flex-fuel, as they could run on gasoline or E-85. The combined rating was 19 for gasoline, and only 14 for E-85 (window sticker numbers, the raw numbers are higher). But, I believe they apply some kind of factor, or credit, for the fact that the car can run on E-85, which inflates its rating for CAFE purposes.

    Moot point I guess, since the Crown Vic is no longer produced. But, I'm sure there are still plenty of other E-85 compatible cars out there.

    Trust me, the auto makers will find some kind of loophole around this. They usually do.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,721
    If Ford and Toyota can make a vehicle today getting in the upper 40s MPG costing $25K, there's no reason other manufacturers can't do the same.

    Toyota is only the most reliable auto manufacturer of our time, hands down. Sure, no reason others can't "copy" that. :sick: The best is always copied, I mean, didn't every NBA team have a Micheal Jordan on its squad? There's no reason other players couldn't play the same :P

    Ford is the only domestic auto company displaying a glimmer of competence, a shadow of management, and a hint of life. They are the only automaker of the Big 3 that avoided the necessity of monstrous bailouts. Asking GM and Chrysler to complete on a level playing field with them is like asking a High School Football team to compete with an NFL team.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,992
    I read up on that and you're right...it will probably mean that about 40mpg EPA will equal the 55mpg CAFE. It can be confusing because when politicians announce it, I'm sure most people will think they're talking about EPA numbers vs CAFE. I think when people in high office discuss this, they ought to mention this fact, so it won't scare off the skeptics.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,379
    Yeah, once you figure out what they really mean this is perfectly doable. The manufacturers resisted the old numbers and got them frozen for years. Nest thing you know they could hit the numbers with room to spare and started focusing on upping the HP instead of the MPG numbers.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,705
    Just to show how far cars have come over the years...
    In 1978, your typical intermediate Mopar with a 360-2bbl V-8 (Cordoba, Fury, Monaco, Magnum) was rated at 14 city, 22 highway, 17 combined. These are the old, raw, unadjusted laboratory numbers.

    Today, a Dodge Charger SRT-8, with the powerful 6.4 Hemi V-8, manages to pull off 17.4 city, 31.8 highway, and about 21.85 mpg combined, for raw numbers. (window sticker is 14/23, 17 combined). Now, that's pretty thirsty by today's standards, and would be a horrible guzzler by those 54.5 mpg CAFE standards, but look at how far they've come.

    For something a little more tame, the 3.6/8-speed automatic Charger, which would put just about anything made in 1978 to shame in a drag race, is rated 24 city, 43.1 highway, and ~29.98 combined in raw numbers (19/31, 23 combined on the window sticker).

    So, if they can get a big car to get a 30 mpg combined number using today's technology, I'm sure they'll find a way to get it up more by 2025. Not to 54.5 mpg most likely, but they'll have hybrids, electrics, and other cars (plus government loopholes most likely) to help them out.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 15,244
    All of the regulations imposed here creates a "one step forward, two steps back" scenario in trying to balance fuel economy with safety and emissions regulations. The only ways to get better fuel economy are to increase efficiency and reduce weight, yet the safety and emissions requirements work against both of those goals. So, it's no simple task to make large FE gains.

    For example, my Fiesta curbs at 2,537#! Twenty years ago, that exact same car might have weighed 1,000# less but only achieved the same fuel economy because the drivetrain was less efficient, more drag, etc. But, take the drivetrain in my new car and put it in the older model, and FE would likely be vastly improved. Even lugging around all that weight, though, my car still manages 38-40 mpg without much effort.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    The easier, lower cost measures have already been taken. I may be too skeptical, but my perception is that the things required to get a midsizer (Fusion, Camry) to 40 mpg combined will be expensive, especially when maintenance and repair are factored in. For example, I'm thinking of the cost of replacing an 8 or 9-speed transmission.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,705
    For example, I'm thinking of the cost of replacing an 8 or 9-speed transmission.

    Yeah, I don't much relish the thought of that either. I'm still trying to get past the jump from the $650-700 it costs to replace something like the old 3-speed THM350 in my '85 Silverado, to the $1860 that it cost to replace the 4-speed 4L60E in my uncle's '97!

    That is going to be one of the side effects of more fuel efficient cars. I can see them becoming more expensive to repair, and more cost-prohibitive to keep running for a really long time. My Silverado could probably eat one transmission per year, and I'd keep replacing it. Knock on wood, it's still on the original....hope I didn't just jinx it! But, if my uncle's transmission craps out again, (it already did, twice), at this point I think I'd junk the damn thing.

    On the subject of these more complex transmissions... well, one of the car I'd considered getting, if I ever buy another new one, is a Charger, but just with the 3.6. If you get it with the base 5-speed automatic, it's rated something like 18/27. If you spring for the 8-speed, which I think is a $1000 option on the base model, but standard on some trim levels, you get 19/31.

    That 31 sounds really impressive for a car this size. In contrast, my old Intrepid was only rated 20/29, and I think under the new system, it's only 19/27. And the Charger is a lot more powerful, and heavy, than my Intrepid was.

    But, the big question is...do I really need it? Most of my driving is local, so I'm not going to see much increase there. And I have a habit of driving cars till they drop dead, so for me the (presumed) cheaper rebuild cost of the 5-speed versus the 8-speed might mean the difference between a car that gets a second lease on life, and one that gets junked.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Also, time will tell whether the 8-speeds are as rugged and durable as the 3 and 4-speeds.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,721
    The 3-speed in my 1995 Dodge was rugged and durable enough to last all of 60K miles.

    The 6-speed dual clutch unit in my Audi has been amazing for 92K miles and still ticking.....
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726
    Even in the press, the fact that 54.5 doesn't really mean 54.5 the way the public thinks it does is not adequately reported - this is the only reference to that in the Times article:

    Even if the 54.5 m.p.g. goal is reached, most cars and trucks will get lower mileage in real-life driving. Credits for air-conditioning units in vehicles will reduce the average mileage to about 49 m.p.g., and actual driving conditions could reduce it further.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/29/business/energy-environment/obama-unveils-tigh- ter-fuel-efficiency-standards.html?_r=1

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

  • michaellnomichaellno Member Posts: 4,300
    Even in the press, the fact that 54.5 doesn't really mean 54.5 the way the public thinks it does is not adequately reported - this is the only reference to that in the Times article:

    And, the new standards are already being dissected through the political microscope. Romney is saying that the new standards will force automakers to build cars that Americans don't want and can't afford.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726
    When the truth is, some automakers are almost there already, but notably NOT the ones that sell extremely gas-guzzling full-size pickup trucks (and those German automakers that sell only gas-guzzler luxury cars, without an extensive diesel or hybrid line-up).

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

  • occupant1occupant1 Member Posts: 412
    I'm looking forward to all these improvements over the next decade plus. Mostly because I can take those upgraded components and add them to vehicles I have like my 1976 Gran Torino, 12 city, 16 highway, 14 combined. I could take one step up and go with a late 80s 302/AOD combo, it would be cheap and get me closer to 20mpg highway. Another step up, the 4.0L SOHC V6 and 5R55W trans from a late 90s Explorer, probably about the same for mileage though I have heard of Explorers getting 22-24mpg out of that and the Torino is lower to the ground and weighs a hair less so I could match or beat that. Someday a 3.7L Mustang V6 and 6-speed automatic could fall under my hood, they get 19 city 31 highway but weigh 500lbs less, but I think 25-26mpg is reasonable to expect from that powertrain in my sedan.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 16,388
    My mom has a 2011 Fiesta and the mileage is great.
    Not only that, it runs great up and down the hills on the highway, doesn't struggle.
    Low speed shifting is not very smooth.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 15,244
    Boy, I don't know. You'd have to swap in the wiring harness and ECU on a sensor-controlled engine, and that just sounds like a nightmare. Do your homework and I'm sure it's doable, but worth it... ?

    Just putting an EFI crate engine with the right transmission/differential gearing into it will probably net you significant gains in both fuel economy and power, without the electronics nightmare.

    And, honestly, is fuel economy really the point of something like a '76 Torino? I know I would never want to rebuild my '69 C20 or Econoline with fuel economy as a primary objective, because I'd need to intend to put significant miles on them in order to make such an objective feasible... which would sort of defeat the point of putting so much effort into antique cars in the first place.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 15,244
    That's what I found, too, when I rented an automatic Fiesta this spring. No such low speed issues with the manual tranny on my own Fiesta though. I'm really liking it so far, and I'm close to 40 mpg just doing "around town" driving. :D
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 16,388
    My mom's closing in on 83, so she doesn't drive a stick car anymore, although I'm sure she could, as that is what she learned to drive to start.
    Air conditioning, power brakes, and power steering, she's learned to adapt to those, too.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaMember Posts: 15,244
    Hahah; nice! Might we all hope to be doing so well at that age! :shades:
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    If you don't drive your '76 Torino a lot it might be difficult to justify one of the engine transplants you mentioned, in terms of savings.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Glad to know about the durability of your Audi's transmission, since my wife drives a '07 A4 2.0T Quattro. What year and model is your Audi?
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,838
    edited September 2012
    The new CAFE is much better than nothing, but the rules are a confusing labyrinth of exceptions and credits.

    I wish they had:

    1. moved the CAFE measurement from the old c. 1975 style of measuring mpg to the more accurate 2007 version.

    2. Skipped the hundreds of pages of bizarre rules and just gone with a simple standard. In other words, the 27.5 mpg which held for 25 years from 1985 to 2010 is really more like 21mpg combined by what's on your EPA window sticker. Go with that new number and slowly move it up to what I think the new standard boils down to for cars by 2025, which is c. 40 mpg combined.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,838
    edited September 2012
    As we know, the new CAFE is based on a car's footprint, and so there are different standards for each vehicle.

    I'm not sure, but I think for a car like the Accord the CAFE standard might look something like this per the EPA combined mpg sticker actually found on cars.

    CAFE standard by actual window sticker combined city/hwy mpg??
    2012: c. 22
    2018: c. 30?
    2022: c. 36?
    2025: c. 40?

    My 2008 Accord already meets the current standard with a combined mpg of 25.

    A 2013 Accord will get at least 30 mpg combined, and so it already meets the standard for 2018. And I think Honda will continue to do that. In other words, the Accord and other vehicles will be designed so that the last year they are for sale they meet the standard then in effect.

    Going with a 5 year design cycle, we can then try to imagine how an Accord of 2018 might meet the standard for 2022 (when it will still be sold, given the 5 year design cycle).

    The 2013 Accord will probably weigh about 3150 pounds, which is already a pretty good weight loss from a comparable 2012 Accord, which weighs about 3300.

    My guess is that a 2018 Accord will weigh about 2900 pounds, but still have the same interior room. How? It might go to a smaller but more powerful turbo engine, say a 1.4, which would allow you to lower the weight and shrink the size of engine bay a bit, while still keeping the same room inside the cabin.

    Such a car would probably be able to make my guess at the 2022 standard of 36 on the actual sticker by getting c. 30 in the city and all the way up to maybe c. 44 on the hwy, for a combined of c. 36.

    But I don't see right now how, without the use of hybrid tech, you get a car the size of the Accord to 40. But a dozen years of improvements to engine and transmission tech, plus lightweight materials like carbon fiber etc. might make it possible.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,838
    I think this car will be an interesting case. This car is going to be fun to drive, and yet do a lot to help BMW meet the standard. Rumors are that the standard model will be powered by a 3 cylinder turbo that makes mpg like a hybrid on the hwy, in other words mid 40s. And it should be in the low 30s in the city.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 5,838
    The Civic got a major redesign in 2012. It's getting a bit of an improvement in a few months with the 2013 model to improve interior plastics etc. Rumor has it that a year from now the 2014 Civics will get Honda's "Earth Dreams" 1.8 engine and CVT trans + 6 speed manual.

    The current LX Civic auto gets 28 mpg City and 39 hwy or 32 mpg combined.

    What will the 2014 Civic get I wonder. I'm guessing at least a 10%+ improvement, and so something like

    c. 32 city c. 42 hwy & c. 36 combined

    The Civic weighs a fairly impressively low c. 2700 or so pounds, and so it should pass the current crop of 40 mpg small sedans once it gets the new engine and transmission tech...
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,721
    edited September 2012
    What year and model is your Audi

    It's a 2006 A3 2.0T. Unfortunately for you and your wife, the A4's got skimped on a tad with their automatic transmissions being more traditional in their technology. The A3 got the special dual clutch direct shift gearbox, not the same as the A4's get/got (though recent model S4's have it).

    I'm sure that the transmission in your wife's Audi is plenty robust though to be very durable.

    Someone on Edmunds was pointing out that if my transmission lasts 180K miles, it'll still cost the same per mile as the Dodge unit (if it costs 4K to replace it). That's fair to point out, but I should also point out I'm putting out a bit over 2X the horsepower with the help of a couple mods, and still getting equivalent (essentially a wash) gas mileage to the 1995 Dodge Neon 3 speed.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • cannon3cannon3 Member Posts: 296
    As I drive to work everyday I see 1 person in large trucks/SUV's in the fast lane. This is the reason why I am so for $5 a gallon gasoline. The only thing most Americans understand is money. Make them pay is what I feel. I downsized this spring to a 2012 Ford Focus SE Hatchback. I am averaging 35.2MPG per the computer. I have made it a goal to keep my speed down and just chill when driving. I love filling up 2x a month, and only paying 35-$40 per fill vs the 70-$75 each week! I like the extra $$ in my account...
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,721
    I love filling up 2x a month, and only paying 35-$40 per fill vs the 70-$75 each week! I like the extra $$ in my account...

    Then why not get a Prius and fill up 1x a month?

    Surely that'll be extra $$$$ in your account. Of course, if gas goes to $5/gallon you can kiss one of those $ goodbye.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Thanks for the information on your A3. Although the Owners Manual says that our A4 transmission fluid never needs to be changed, I'm going to have ours changed soon (we're currently at 61,000 miles). From what I've read no fluid lasts forever, so for optimum transmission life the fluid should be replaced.

    The Owners Manual also says that the coolant is lifetime, but I had that flushed and replaced with new "Audi" coolant at 60,000 miles. I don't know if we'll keep this car for 100,000 or more, but we'd like to maintain it as if we were, since we're very happy with the way it drives and looks.

    Our A4 was one of the many 2.0Ts that was plagued by excessive oil consumption (~one quart every 900-1,100 miles). Fortunately that problem was repaired under warranty, but it required several visits to the dealer and oil consumption tests. The repair required a complete engine tear-down and reassembly, which I witnessed. Fortunately, it fixed the problem.

    How's the oil consumption on your 2.0T?
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,721
    How's the oil consumption on your 2.0T?

    The oil consumption is about 1 quart every 5K miles. From the research I've done, that is normal, healthy, and good for the engine to be consuming a bit of oil such as at that rate. The rate you experienced was ridiculous. My consumption rate has been consistent from mile 0 to mile 92K.

    That's probably the reason they don't automatically help a customer when they first complain, because these High Performance engines are supposed to eat and drink some oil. My Honda's never seemed to lose a drop.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    edited September 2012
    I agree with your comments.

    The Audi dealer service manager tried repeatedly to persuade me that the oil consumption of our A4 was normal for a turbocharged direct injection engine, but I never bought it. I never raised my voice, but I was resolute. After consulting with Audi of America the dealer finally agreed to repair it. From what I've read a fair percentage of 2.0Ts have an ecessive oil consumption problem. Maybe the current models don't. Don't know. The car performs beautifully, though. Also, in keeping with the topic of this discussion, fuel economy is is good.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,721
    Yes a quart of synthetic MObil 1 0W-40 oil is $6.49 at Wal-Mart.

    How long until a gallon of gas costs that much?

    I'd rather have my car drink a quart of oil every couple thousand miles and get 30+ MPG's, than something that burns no oil, but gets only 25 MPG.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,992
    "I have made it a goal to keep my speed down and just chill when driving."

    That will really help with your MPG in all sorts of driving situation...highway, city, suburb. And slowing down is more relaxing too, and really does add much time to most drives. Even on long road trips, if time isn't that big of a factor slowing down significantly improves MPG.
  • archaeoarchaeo Member Posts: 2
    Great idea to mandate 54 mpg on autos. Traveling in other areas of the world, we are incredibly fuel greedy in the USA. Primarily because our gas prices are half of that in Germany, England, etc. In those countries it is rare to see the huge SUVs and monster trucks that are ubiquitous in the US. If we support new technologies offering better mpg, a breakthrough may occur, whereby we can drive any vehicle of our choice without the expense and dependence on oil rich countries. We recently purchased a Toyota Prius C and love the gas mileage. Love to drive, love cars, so this one offers us the freedom to drive wherever we like as far as we like and no worries about gas prices. If you are looking for a new vehicle, give the hybrids a test drive, you may be pleasantly surprised.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    If only the government could mandate technological breakthroughs, but of course it can't.
  • charger3charger3 Member Posts: 210
    Have you noticed in the last two years the mpg of cars has gone up 5 to 10 mpg each year even with more horse power. I think they will have no problem meeting the mandate
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    True but you get diminishing returns. It gets harder and harder.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    My thought exactly when people express great confidence that we'll achieve the new mileage standard with little difficulty and minimal tradeoffs. Sure, it can be done, but at what cost?
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,705
    I think it can be done, but it's going to be done with a lot of lobbying, special interest groups, and loopholes. For instance, there's that credit that one of you guys mentioned, for a car having air conditioning. Something that virtually any car sold in the United States has nowadays.

    They'll probably slip in some kind of E-85 credit for dual fuel vehicles, too.

    I just hope we don't go back to the old days when they'd put those tall axle ratios in the cars to fake out the EPA test, but in real life you'd end up having to drive with your foot in it all the time if you wanted any performance, so you probably ended up getting worse mileage than if they just put a quicker axle in there, to begin with.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    When I asked "at what cost?" you just listed some of them, as well as the unquantifiable cost of deceiving the citizens.
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,992
    There's always a cost...there was an increased cost in adding seatbelts, anti-lock brakes, traction control, etc for safety. A cost for power windows, mirrors, etc... on just about every new car out there. A cost for all of the emissions controls. And there will be a cost to improve MPG.

    However, if the new CAFE standard equates to an new EPA average of 42mpg vs the current EPA average of 25 EPA, than means drivers will save nearly $1,000 per year with gas at $4.00 per gallon driving 15,000 miles per year. With the increased gas prices that are inevitable with the increased gas usage in India, China and much of the developing world, when gas prices average $5/gallon that will mean over $1,200 per year in gas savings.

    There's a debate on how much of a cost it would be for a car to go from getting 25mpg to 42mpg, but you can look at the Ford C-Max that will average 47mpg or the Prius at 50mpg, both of which can hold a family of 4-5 with over 20CuFt of cargo space and both cost in the mid $20,000 range. So right now Ford and Toyota can produce cars with the higher MPG at this price range. The Jetta and Golf TDI both get in the 40s MPG too in the mid-$20K price range.

    Bottom line is I don't think it's going to be a huge price increase per vehicle to meet the new standards, when right now car makers can exceed the new CAFE mandate on existing vehicles the meet the needs for most people right now.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 24,705
    There's always a cost...there was an increased cost in adding seatbelts, anti-lock brakes, traction control, etc for safety. A cost for power windows, mirrors, etc... on just about every new car out there. A cost for all of the emissions controls. And there will be a cost to improve MPG.

    Those costs tend to go down with time, too, as those things you mention become more widespread and common. Back in 1980, my Mom bought a new Malibu coupe that cost about $7,000 out the door. So I'd guess that meant it was around $6500 plus tax, tags, etc.

    Adjusting for inflation, that $6500 would be about $18,000 today. The 2013 Malibu starts at $22,390 MSRP. So, if you pay MSRP for one, that represents a $4,390 increase over the 1980 model.

    But, the $4390 gets you power windows, power locks, a much better sound system, tilt wheel, cruise control, alloy wheels (Mom's just had steel wheels and hubcaps, although you could get steel rally wheels as an option), reclining seats, extra lighting, a tach, trip computer, ABS, traction control, airbags up the wazoo, a 6-speed automatic (versus a 3-speed in Mom's car), and a 2.5 4-cyl that has 197 hp and 191 ft-lb of torque, versus the old 229 2-bbl in Mom's car that had 115 hp and something like 175 ft-lb of torque.

    Working backwards, that $22,390 would come out to around $8,053 in 1980 dollars. I'm sure you could easily spec out a 1980 Malibu to come out to an MSRP of $8,053 just by adding all the options options of the era that are standard today. So then, all the technical advances that didn't exist in 1980, like the ABS, airbags, better engine/tranny etc, are almost like freebies thrown in.

    I think the biggest cost of the new technology is going to be years down the road, when it starts to break. Instead of $600-800 for a new transmission, you could be looking at $4000 or more. The plus side is that it might take much longer to break down. But, when it does, it's going to be more likely to total the car.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 15,306
    I think the biggest cost of the new technology is going to be years down the road, when it starts to break. Instead of $600-800 for a new transmission, you could be looking at $4000 or more. The plus side is that it might take much longer to break down. But, when it does, it's going to be more likely to total the car.

    For that reason alone, I believe my 1989 Cadillac Brougham will outlive my 2007 Cadillac DTS Performance. Think about something like an Audi A8 - an exquisitely made car that will be totalled by something as stupid as a fried circuit board.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    Your implied conclusion that the tradeoffs associated with the new mileage standard are positive may be right...or wrong. As your message and andre's (next message) illustrate is that there are so many variables that you can spin the conclusion either way. For example, if gas goes to $5, and average gas mileage increases, is it because of government regulations or because auto companies respond to consumer demand for more economical vehicles?
  • bobw3bobw3 Member Posts: 2,992
    "For example, if gas goes to $5, and average gas mileage increases, is it because of government regulations or because auto companies respond to consumer demand for more economical vehicles?"

    It really doesn't matter as long as the MPG increases...either from consumer demand or govenment regulation...the result of MPG increasing is the same. The difference is that the government mandate would get the MPG improvements quicker as compared to just waiting for consumer demand.

    I think the future will be plug-in hybrids, especially with smart electric meters that charge less for overnight usage. Battery technology is improving and the price is coming down. The tricky part of plug-ins is in trying to calculate an MPG, because it's hard to factor/estimate the miles driven solely on the car's battery that was charged while plugged-in at home.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    edited September 2012
    The real cost may be sportiness.

    The added weight of batteries, KERS systems, coupled with tiny forced induction engines that just aren't as responsive as N/A engines they replace, could mean fun goes out the window.

    I read that the next Miata might use a 1.3l turbo with 200hp. Sure peak power is good, but throttle responsiveness will be gone. That's a point-and-shoot type of car, if you don't get quick response coming out of curves, the whole car is pointless.

    I realize newer turbos are better, but they still have to build boost.

    When it arrives I'd love to see not just 0-60 runs but also autocross times compared.

    If they use batteries instead of turbos, for hybrid assist, you still have to carry around a lot of extra weight.

    Either way the result isn't as sporty. Oh well, I can always keep mine. :shades:
  • busirisbusiris Member Posts: 3,490
    "going to be more likely to total the car"...

    If you look at how cars are constructed today .vs. as recent as 25 years ago, you see how much we've moved towards the recycle-ability of car components.

    No one really cared about that back in the 1970's, other than possibly the steel and other metal components.

    It's going to be a paradigm shift, for sure. In 100 years, there will still be Model T's, Model A's and 1939 and 1957 Chevrolets, but it's highly unlikely one will see many 1986 Chrysler minivans or 2012 Buick Verano's.

    Simply put, new vehicles are constructed with a much shorter lifespan curve than those made when I was a kid (I'm almost 58 now). And, it's intentional.

    Personally, I see exponentially less cars belching blue smoke as they tool on down the road today than I did 20 years ago. The repair/replacement threshold is quite different now.

    So, I think you're correct. It's a way to keep fairly-recent technology dominating the drivable car "fleet".
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