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  #1  
Old 05-18-2009, 07:01 PM
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35.5 mpg average for new passenger vehicles and light trucks

By Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 18, 2009; 4:02 PM

The Obama administration is set to announce tough standards for tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide from new automobiles, establishing the first ever nationwide regulation for greenhouse gases.

It will also establish high fuel efficiency targets for new vehicles that would set a 35.5 mile per gallon average for new passenger vehicles and light trucks by 2016, four years earlier than required under the 2007 energy bill, sources close to the administration said.

The administration is embracing standards stringent enough to satisfy the state of California which has been fighting for a waiver from federal law so that it could set its own guidelines, sources said. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) will be among a variety of state and industry officials attending an announcement tomorrow, said sources close to the administration.

The compromise deal, which has been under negotiation since the first days of the administration, includes the White House, the state of California, and the automobile industry, which has long sought a single national emissions standard and has waged an expensive legal battle against the California waiver. The industry will get its single national standard, but at the price of one that approximates California's targets.
Under the compromise, the federal government will establish two parallel sets of standards, both using the federal approach of pegging those standards to the attributes of vehicles, such as size and engine type, said sources familiar with negotiations over the deal. California, by contrast, planned to use just two broad categories of vehicles.

The Transportation Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will set the new fuel economy standards.

The Environmental Protection Agency, using its power to regulate carbon dioxide emissions under a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, will propose a tailpipe emissions standard of 250 grams per mile for vehicles sold in 2016, roughly the equivalent of the mileage standard. Vehicles sold in 2009 are expected to emit about 380 grams per mile, industry sources said. The EPA would need to go through a rulemaking process to allow responses before the standards would go into effect and it was not clear whether it would announce those specific targets tomorrow.

The EPA is also expected to impose restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions resulting from leaks of air conditioning coolant in vehicles. The automakers would be able to use some credits for complying with those regulations to offset a small part of fuel efficiency requirements, sources familiar with the talks said.

One source close to the administration said that President Obama would still grant a waiver to California, but that the state would not exercise it in light of the new national standards.

Proponents of tougher fuel efficiency standards hailed reports of tomorrow's announcement.

"If media reports are true, after years of oil price inflation, policy stagnation and automotive industry litigation, President Obama has solved the energy and economic policy equivalent of a Rubik's Cube," said Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who was a principal author of the 35 mile-per-gallon standard that Congress adopted in 2007.

"In addition to dramatically reducing the global warming emissions from our vehicles, this move will slash our dependence on oil and make us more energy independent," Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope said in a statement. "Congress put us on the road toward more fuel efficient vehicles two years ago when it passed the first increase in fuel economy standards in more than 30 years. Now President Obama is dramatically accelerating our progress."
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:12 PM
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Let's see. It's mid-2009, which means that 2010 and 2011 vehicles are essentially complete from a design and production perspective; 2012 vehicle designs are locked in and 2013 vehicles are probably past the design point of no return. So, any real changes might just begin to be seen around 2014 in terms of band-aid fixes like taller gearing. 2015? 2016? Too soon to see the revolutionary changes in design and materials needed to practically and economically meet this goal, and too soon to present mature infrastructure to support large numbers of propane and/or full-electric vehicles. Hope all are ready to pony up $60,000 for that all-aluminum 2017 Chevy Malibu with a 1.6 liter twin turbodiesel and 7 speed transaxle that will be a four-star, chrome-plated beatch to service/replace broken parts and repair.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:15 PM
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P.S. Wait until the Sierra Club fleebs see the consequences of the increased harvesting and burning of coal needed to stoke our electric powerplants to charge up what relatively few full-electric vehicles will be on line in the next 10 years.
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  #4  
Old 05-18-2009, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
...fuel efficiency targets for new vehicles that would set a 35.5 mile per gallon average for new passenger vehicles and light trucks...
There sure will be a lot of teeny-tiny cars running around for the remaining SUV to run over.
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  #5  
Old 05-18-2009, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim H View Post
There sure will be a lot of teeny-tiny cars running around for the remaining SUV to run over.
Americans own a lot of Stuff, and you can't stuff a lot of Stuff into a Smart.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:15 PM
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Guess they will have to get rid of some of that stuff.

I think it's a good idea and well past due
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  #7  
Old 05-18-2009, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by davidmash View Post
Guess they will have to get rid of some of that stuff.

I think it's a good idea and well past due
Yep, same here. Europeans seem to have managed just fine for the past century, so why do Americans need to haul around so much junk....

I hope we see a lot more diesels in the future.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulC View Post
Americans own a lot of Stuff, and you can't stuff a lot of Stuff into a Smart.
Americans also tend to own multiple cars. How many do you own?

Not that 35MPG average isn't overly optimistic.

But I don't agree with your assessment of the impact of electric vehicles. People with electric vehicles will be more likely to charge them on a timer, and buy power at demand rates. What that means is charging the car in the middle of the night, when the plants have tons of excess capacity.

Sure, burning coal pollutes the atmosphere. But your very tiny (by comparison) gasoline engine is also very inefficient and does not have nearly as good of pollution controls. You're wasting a lot of energy burning gasoline in your car. It would be more efficient to build a huge gasoline-powered electrical plant and charge your car with it. So much more efficient that it would cost you less, and there would be a WHOLE LOT of profit generated along the way.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt L View Post
Americans also tend to own multiple cars. How many do you own?

Not that 35MPG average isn't overly optimistic.

But I don't agree with your assessment of the impact of electric vehicles. People with electric vehicles will be more likely to charge them on a timer, and buy power at demand rates. What that means is charging the car in the middle of the night, when the plants have tons of excess capacity.

Sure, burning coal pollutes the atmosphere. But your very tiny (by comparison) gasoline engine is also very inefficient and does not have nearly as good of pollution controls. You're wasting a lot of energy burning gasoline in your car. It would be more efficient to build a huge gasoline-powered electrical plant and charge your car with it. So much more efficient that it would cost you less, and there would be a WHOLE LOT of profit generated along the way.
That is TOTALLY wishful thinking.....

Lets not forget the HUGE BATTERY DISPOSAL problem if electric vehicles actually became popular. And by your own definition, the recharging of vehicles at night would remove excess capacity, none of which ever helps the consumer anyway.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:51 PM
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That is TOTALLY wishful thinking.....

Lets not forget the HUGE BATTERY DISPOSAL problem if electric vehicles actually became popular. And by your own definition, the recharging of vehicles at night would remove excess capacity, none of which ever helps the consumer anyway.
Totally? Well, burning gasoline at a large-scale facility is a bad idea because you might as well burn something that's easier to produce. But energy is energy, and more than two-thirds of yours goes out your tailpipe. And that's not counting the inefficiencies just to run on gasoline. Or diesel.

Of course the batteries are the real problem. And not just disposal but also production. Hmm.. perhaps someone will come up with a better battery design. Think someone might pay for one?
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:24 PM
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The Chevy Volt will go 40 miles on battery power before turning on its engine. Thats infinite MPG for the first 40 miles, which is more than the average person drives per day. Now how does that compute into the CAFE?
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:37 PM
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How much you want to bet all the car manufactures fall way short of this and simply negotiate a reduction so its hardly meaningful?

People want their cake with no pain. If you want high mileage cars, and to reduce emissions etc, you need to raise the price of gas. As we saw last summer the breaking point is $4-$5 a gallon. The goverment can do this with taxes, and while it would be painful short term, long term it would probably be better.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:23 AM
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On the one hand, I am disgusted by the Government steamrolling this stuff. Just wait until the people who voted for this find out how much it's going to cost.

On the other hand, I've been disgusted by the complete lack of technological innovation from Detroit over the last 30 years. they have their own economics PhD's also, and certainly they must have been screaming for years that the present business model wasn't sustainable. Other than some new electronic goo-gahs, Detroit really hasn't done much but shape the metal differently in that period of time. Today marks a new "ground floor", and, unfortunately, because of the sins of the past (ridiculous union rules and pay, short-sighted and basically corrupt, take-the-money-and run management, the sorry state of our educational system to name a few), our auto manufacturing design, development, and manufacturing infrastructure is woefully behind.

You can bet that the Chinese are working 24/7 with every engineer they have (and brilliant or not, they have a LOT of them), right now, on how to make these new "2016" cars. Some good I see coming out of this would be:

1. Cheap, mass-produced carbon fiber parts with entirely new large-scale manufacturing methods
2. small, ultraefficient, single-speed/load engines charging up energy storage systems (compressed air, hydraulics, ultracapacitors or batteries) so that you get the "oomph" you need for acceleration and passing combined with great steady-state mileage

If you think "the Chinese can't atually design or invent anything, they can only copy it", think again. When I was a kid, admittedly long ago, but when technological change was MUCH slower, "made in Japan" was an equivalent statement to "junk". That took maybe 30 years (1955-1985) to turn around to the point where Japan's products are now respected as if not the best, among the best worldwide. So, how long is it going to take ten times as many highly motivated Chinese to do this in the Internet era?
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by raymr View Post
The Chevy Volt will go 40 miles on battery power before turning on its engine. Thats infinite MPG for the first 40 miles, which is more than the average person drives per day. Now how does that compute into the CAFE?
This is a big battle going on now between the car manufacturers and the EPA - the formula to credit an electric or (mostly) electric car with some equivalent highway MPG rating. There's a lot of money at stake.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:19 AM
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Expensive? Hard? Why? My wife's 13 yr old E300 makes 32-33mpg. Someone going to try and tell me that in 13 yrs we cannot eek a few more MPG out of an engine? I find that very hard to believe.

Didn't someone post something about a 2.4l TD a few days ago which made 40mpg or something? So the Corvettes and Vipers and AMG's bite the dust. I won't loose any sleep. I think that is worth it if we can eventually get off of oil and same a few of our sons and daughters from getting killed in the ME fighting for oil.
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