Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

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Thread: Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

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    Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

    AUTOMOTIVE NEWS...




    Federal regulators are quietly gathering data, running simulations and publishing report after report. This summer, a two-year, $35 million investigation by the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will spark a long-simmering debate about the future of green cars in the U.S.

    Automakers and environmental groups are watching closely as the agencies assemble an argument for maintaining or adjusting federal fuel economy targets. This midterm review is part of the deal finalized in 2012 to double the U.S. fleet's average fuel economy from that of 2008.

    The 2025 model year goal calls for a 54.5 mpg fleetwide average -- or an adjusted real-world average of about 40 mpg on Monroney stickers. The review promises to be tense as gasoline prices remain low, consumers turn away from green cars and costs of new technology stack up. The feds' analysis will affect automakers' product strategies for a decade.

    "This is not by any means a "check-the-box' exercise," said Christopher Grund-ler, director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality. "There's a lot at stake."
    In June, the EPA, NHTSA and the California Air Resources Board will publish a report outlining key factors for the midterm review. This will be followed by discussions, a proposed rule in 2017 and a final decision by April 1, 2018.

    Automakers have a cornucopia of green options that include lightweighting, downsizing engines and electrification to boost fuel economy, so the question isn't if they can rise to the challenge, but how? And crucially for consumers, how much will it cost?

    Curbing greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks -- which generally reflects lower fuel use -- is a cornerstone of the Obama administration's plan to tackle climate change. The stair-step approach bases mpg standards on vehicle size and gradually raises fuel economy targets. The midterm review lets regulators assess technological progress, costs and market acceptance.

    Auto executives and regulators have wildly divergent viewpoints.

    Auto execs see that the national average price of regular gasoline is just $2.08 per gallon. And although consumers rank mpg and range as the third-highest consideration for new-vehicle purchases, their willingness to pay for fuel efficient technologies remains low, according to a 2015 J.D. Power and Associates survey. U.S. vehicle sales have soared, yet the U.S. market share of hybrids and electric vehicles sold is in decline.

    Mass electrification?
    When will the industry need to go all-in on hybrids and EVs? This question hangs over the midterm review.

    "Incrementally, we can refine today's gasoline engine, we can downsize it, we can boost it, we can [use] direct injection, we can add a nine-speed transmission -- but you're only going to go so far," said Jay Baron, CEO of the Center for Automotive Research and a co-author of the National Research Council study.

    The researchers concluded that engine improvements could get halfway to the 54.5 mpg goal -- topping out around 45 mpg for a midsize car.

    To go all the way, "the answer is, of course, electrification," said Baron.

    Rolling out an array of electrified vehicles is a dicey proposition if consumers aren't buying. U.S. sales of hybrids and EVs peaked in 2013 at 3.8 percent of industry sales, according to the Automotive News Data Center, HybridCars.com and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

    Analysts, automakers and regulators are divided over when -- or even if -- hybrids and EVs will be necessary to hit fuel economy targets. The EPA and environmental groups point to the pace of innovation in gasoline engines.

    "If you look at what's happened the last 10 years, there was no gasoline direct injection. Turbocharger vehicles were 3 percent of the market," said John German, a researcher at the International Council on Clean Transportation. "We're really confident that the technology in 2025 is going to be very much improved."

    One key, German says, is computers.

    For instance, General Motors, Delphi and startup Tula Technology are developing an improved cylinder deactivation system that uses sophisticated algorithms to boost mpg 15 percent. The technology, dubbed Dynamic Skip Fire, uses software to monitor and selectively fire the engine's spark plugs based on demand. Once perfected, the system is to appear in GM vehicles within five years.

    The debate over electrification might be moot, considering state regulations.

    California, the largest car market in the country, is requiring 15 percent of vehicles sold in the state to be zero emission by 2025. Seven other states are pushing for 15 percent of sales to be zero emission by the same year.

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    Last edited by Oldsmobile stopped; 04-18-2016 at 02:42 AM.

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    Re: Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

    This will be interesting

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    Re: Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

    As before let the market decide. If fuel prices stay under say $3 bucks per gallon it should be the consumer who decides what they want or need not the government or greenie weenies. It's all about choice. Offer the customer differing levels of tech and give them the option of an efficient gas engine, a hybrid or a full on EV.

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    Re: Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchoman49 View Post
    As before let the market decide. If fuel prices stay under say $3 bucks per gallon it should be the consumer who decides what they want or need not the government or greenie weenies. It's all about choice. Offer the customer differing levels of tech and give them the option of an efficient gas engine, a hybrid or a full on EV.
    ...and how does that get any votes? Aren't you forgetting the real goal of this exercise?

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    Re: Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

    How high can new car prices go? That's what this will all boil down too. Consumers will only pay so much before they down-size or go used. We won't replace our Yukon with another because of the unreasonable prices. And I sure don't care that much about gas mileage. 40 mpg just seems too high.
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    Re: Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

    IMHO if they truly wanted to "save the planet" / "go green" / "work towards energy security" ETC then the FIRST thing to do is get rid if the "footprint" scheme as it does NOT matter HOW efficient a CRUZE is as long as more and more buyers opt for the SILVERADO but "hard ball" tactics that go after the "problem" vehicles is a guaranteed vote loser so IS NOT even being talked about

    it becomes a balancing act of green voters VS Consumers votes and CAN they pull off a balance to NOT piz anybody off to the point to sink there election chances

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    Re: Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

    If the feds (and a certain unnamed political party) were REALLY interested in saving the environment, they would be slapping countries like China and India for their immense pollution. We're at the point here in the U.S. where we're doing about as much as we can.
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    Re: Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

    CAFE is one of the worst schemes the feds have come up with.

    Consumers that want a muscle car or need giant pickup should be able to buy one at a reasonable price if they are so inclined. That's where I think CAFE falls short. It pushes mandatory technology that is regulatory-driven instead of demand-driven. The costs of the vehicle increases regardless of if the consumer wanted the fuel saving technology, expensive materials, etc.

    A fuel tax would accomplish the same goals as CAFE and it wouldn't sacrifice consumer options. The more you drive, the more you pay, and the more incentive you have for buying a fuel efficient vehicle.
    Last edited by member12; 04-18-2016 at 02:10 PM.

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    Re: Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

    Quote Originally Posted by Dequindre View Post
    If the feds (and a certain unnamed political party) were REALLY interested in saving the environment, they would be slapping countries like China and India for their immense pollution. We're at the point here in the U.S. where we're doing about as much as we can.
    Disagree. If you can even still conceive of questioning their motives, you haven't been beaten down far enough. Thus there is more "re-education" to be done.

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    Re: Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

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    Re: Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

    Quote Originally Posted by member12 View Post
    CAFE is one of the worst schemes the feds have come up with.

    Consumers that want a muscle car or need giant pickup should be able to buy one at a reasonable price if they are so inclined. That's where I think CAFE falls short. It pushes mandatory technology that is regulatory-driven instead of demand-driven. The costs of the vehicle increases regardless of if the consumer wanted the fuel saving technology, expensive materials, etc.

    A fuel tax would accomplish the same goals as CAFE and it wouldn't sacrifice consumer options. The more you drive, the more you pay, and the more incentive you have for buying a fuel efficient vehicle.
    Americans don't like taxes.

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    Re: Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

    Quote Originally Posted by member12 View Post
    CAFE is one of the worst schemes the feds have come up with.

    Consumers that want a muscle car or need giant pickup should be able to buy one at a reasonable price if they are so inclined. That's where I think CAFE falls short. It pushes mandatory technology that is regulatory-driven instead of demand-driven. The costs of the vehicle increases regardless of if the consumer wanted the fuel saving technology, expensive materials, etc.

    A fuel tax would accomplish the same goals as CAFE and it wouldn't sacrifice consumer options. The more you drive, the more you pay, and the more incentive you have for buying a fuel efficient vehicle.
    Agree that CAFE is an ill advised scheme but taxing people and forcing them into smaller cars is also pretty evil in it's own right. Unlike a lot of places we have wide open spaces here in the US and some people like to drive.

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    Re: Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

    The best way to save the most amount of gas, regardless of vehicle, is to turn all four way stops into round a bouts.

    The reality is, until the election happens and we know who will become president, all of this is moot. Winds can change direction very quickly.
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    Re: Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

    And Obama's legacy, such as it is, begins to crumble a full year before his term ends.

    God bless the Excited States of America. Land of the spree, home of the rave.

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    Re: Fed and automakers prepare to review 54.5 mpg CAFE goal

    Quote Originally Posted by member12 View Post
    CAFE is one of the worst schemes the feds have come up with.

    Consumers that want a muscle car or need giant pickup should be able to buy one at a reasonable price if they are so inclined. That's where I think CAFE falls short. It pushes mandatory technology that is regulatory-driven instead of demand-driven. The costs of the vehicle increases regardless of if the consumer wanted the fuel saving technology, expensive materials, etc.

    A fuel tax would accomplish the same goals as CAFE and it wouldn't sacrifice consumer options. The more you drive, the more you pay, and the more incentive you have for buying a fuel efficient vehicle.
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