By on June 30, 2016

May 2016 average fuel economy

A group of automakers wants Big MPG to know they’re out of touch when it comes to fuel efficiency targets, and would really like it if they stopped paying so much attention to California.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — a Washington lobbying group made up of General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Volkswagen and Toyota — wants to impact the midterm review of 2025 fuel economy targets set in 2011, Bloomberg reports.

Current corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) regulations call for new cars and light trucks to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 35 percent. A tall order, and perhaps too tall an order, depending on who you ask.

Achieving the target would add roughly $1,800 to the cost of a new vehicle, the government estimates, a figure the alliance says is too high. In a report issued to help sway the regulators reviewing the plan, the alliance states “the payback period for alternative technologies extends beyond the timeframe most consumers consider.”

The midterm review is just getting started, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and California Air Resources Board busy sharpening their pencils to see if the target is still doable. A draft technical assessment is expected to drop within a week or two.

Last year, the EPA said new vehicle fuel economy rose by five miles per gallon in the previous decade — an increase of 26 percent. However, the alliance claims that to meet the target, fuel economy would have to rise by 67 percent in the 13 years leading up to 2025. To make that happen, about 47 percent of new vehicles would have to be as efficient as hybrids, they said.

Another issue needling the alliance is California’s influence in federal fuel economy standards. The state plans to assess its 2022–2015 carbon dioxide targets and issue a report later this year, well before the end of the federal midterm review. The automaker group feels could unfairly influence the national debate on fuel economy.

California also adopted a requirement that states 15.4 percent (or more) of new vehicle sales must be zero-emission models by 2025. Nine other states adopted that plan.

A final determination and ruling on the 2025 targets is expected no later than April 1, 2018.

[Image: University of Michigan]

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188 Comments on “U.S. Fuel Economy Targets too Difficult and Costly to Meet: Automakers...”


  • avatar
    Piston Slap Yo Mama

    Many beneficial if not outrageously successful programs have been mandated that otherwise wouldn’t have existed: the EPA fixed America’s smog program, Eisenhower signed the interstate system into being and the gov’t ratcheted up safety standards that ushered in airbags, seat belts and crumple zones. There is always pain before gain, and this might help drive the widespread adoption of EV’s – despite the current low price of gas. Consumers generally don’t care about efficiency if it’s not impacting their wallets, so it must be mandated.
    And let’s not forget: we’re at a tipping point for global warming, so decreasing carbon emissions is paramount too.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I was with you until the last sentence.

      #Calexit

      • 0 avatar

        “Tipping Point”

        As told to him by WHO?

        As compared to WHAT?

        Where did you get your Geophysics degree?

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          AND DO CAPS LOCK MAKE ONES COMMENTS MOAR VALID?

        • 0 avatar
          Piston Slap Yo Mama

          It’s truly puzzling that science has become a partisan topic. I’m old enough to remember otherwise, with the Scopes Monkey Trial being the exception.

          • 0 avatar

            #1. I don’t believe in Global Warming

            #2. It’s a plot to control energy usage and make money via taxation.

            #3. I’m going to buy a Trackhawk.

            #4. My cars get 9.8 mpg and I DON’T GIVE A FORK.

            #5 THIS IS AMERICA AND THERE AIN’T A DAMN THING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT.

            PRESIDENT TRUMP IS GOING TO ANNIHILATE YOU ENVIRONMENTALIBERALSFASCISTS.

          • 0 avatar
            TTCat

            Having a non-compromised body of evidence to analyze might help – but why worry about such trifles?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            We have the;Shahadah;the Shmah or Shema Yisrael;the Apostle’s Creed; the Nicene Creed; Apollo Creed; now Creed; now BTSR’s Creed.

            Talk about slippery slope.

          • 0 avatar

            It’s not a partisan topic unless you consider that some powerful Democrats have made a living pushing the concept. Al gore is no scientist yet the subject has made him rich.

            Loretta Lynch has publicly pushed the notion of prosecuting and jailing global warming sceptics. Don’t tell me that’s not partisan politics at work.

            I’m old enough to remember the same group pushing global cooling back in the 70’s. They ran that rabbit until they made all the money they could. When it became obvious that global cooling wasn’t happening, they took on a new schtick.

            Climate change is just a way for a lot of people to make money.

          • 0 avatar
            Piston Slap Yo Mama

            WhiskeyRiver: yep, I remember the coming ice age. That was based on the geologic record, and would have been an inevitable outcome. Problem is back in the 70’s scientists weren’t factoring in mankind, the industrial revolution and its greenhouse gases into predictions.
            Funny thing about science – when it’s wrong, it admits being wrong and the text books change. It’s not written indelibly, it’s in flux. You guys like to hate on Al Gore (a known bloviator) but I trust NASA.
            http://bit.ly/2967wXn
            -And Arnold Schwarzenegger too.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            “I remember the coming ice age. That was based on the geologic record, and would have been an inevitable outcome.”

            So we did good after all. Let’s take it a little further, just to be sure!

          • 0 avatar
            mr.cranky

            I normally don’t respond to trolls but here goes:

            #1. I don’t believe in Global Warming

            I don’t care. Climate change is happening whether you believe in it or not.

            #2. It’s a plot to control energy usage and make money via taxation.

            Everything’s a plot. Cool story, bro.

            #3. I’m going to buy a Trackhawk.

            Then buy a Trackhawk. No one’s telling you that you can’t.

            #4. My cars get 9.8 mpg and I DON’T GIVE A FORK.

            I’m sure that your wallet and/or bank account would disagree.

            #5 THIS IS AMERICA AND THERE AIN’T A DAMN THING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT.

            We will eventually catch up with the rest of western civilization. Nothing you can do to stop it.

            PRESIDENT TRUMP IS GOING TO ANNIHILATE YOU ENVIRONMENTALIBERALSFASCISTS.

            Not going to happen at all.

        • 0 avatar
          carguy

          @BTSR: “Where did you get your Geophysics degree?”

          So by your logic people shouldn’t think that smoking causes cancer unless they are heart lung specialists?

          • 0 avatar

            Smoking ain’t got a goddamneeed thing to do with global warming.

          • 0 avatar
            Erikstrawn

            At some point we have to trust the professionals, and when 95%+ of the professionals say global warming is real and caused by man, and the other <5% are screaming, "It's a hoax!" while taking oil company money, you know who I'm believing.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            WhiskeyRiver – global cooling was a hypothesis in the 70`s but wasn`t supported by the majority of the scientific community. There were scientists already sounding the alarm bells in relation to global warming at that time.

            “Global cooling was a conjecture during the 1970s of imminent cooling of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere culminating in a period of extensive glaciation. This hypothesis had little support in the scientific community, but gained temporary popular attention due to a combination of a slight downward trend of temperatures from the 1940s to the early 1970s and press reports that did not accurately reflect the full scope of the scientific climate literature, which showed a larger and faster-growing body of literature projecting future warming due to greenhouse gas emissions. The current scientific opinion on climate change is that the Earth has not durably cooled, but underwent global warming throughout the 20th century.”

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Not just physics, GEOphysics.

          Upgrade, yo.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            They don’t teach the concept of analogies at GEOphysics skool.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            What is telling is THIS:

            Geophysics degree but works as a mortgage broker.

            @VoGo – someone who understands metaphors won’t vote for the ComboverInChief.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Many “hard science” degrees end up on Wall Street as traders or quants.

            Quants – The Alchemists of Wall Street

            youtube.com/watch?v=ed2FWNWwE3I

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @28-Cars-Later –

            Maslow’s Hierarchy

            The difference between Quants and Needs?

            A wizard at math favours Trump.

            Talk about playing the long odds. LOL

          • 0 avatar

            I do not trust the “professionals” where global warming is concerned.

            I’m not arguing that we’ve had some degree of global warming. My argument is about what is causing it.

            If man is to blame then man must be must more powerfully awesome than we think. Temperatures are higher in the entire solar system… Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Pluto, Neptune… Even our own moon!

            We are some kind of awesome if we managed to cause all that.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Since when has WhiskeyRiver trusted a “professional”, or really anyone who was educated?

            15 million people voted on exactly this premise. We don’t need leaders in government with experience or education. Or integrity. Or empathy. Or plans. We need reality TV stars who major in insults, spray-on tans and hucksterism.

          • 0 avatar

            I can read. And I do.

            http://www.nationalreview.com/article/414359/global-warming-follow-money-henry-payne

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            You’re getting your science analysis from a right wing mouthpiece. Do you get health advice from The Onion?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        #Calexit

        The San Andreas Fault has that covered.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @Lou_BC The San Andreas Fault has that covered.

          Except that everything east of it is going to fall into the Atlantic and California will be fine. :^)

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          So whose Fault is that?

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @WiskeyRiver –

          There exists a huge gap in belief between the scientific community and the public.

          There have been studies done on the number of scientists supporting global warming aka climate change. The lowest number was 91% and another at 93%. There are 4 studies showing 97% consensus and one at 100%.

          ” A Skeptical Science peer-reviewed survey of all (over 12,000) peer-reviewed abstracts on the subject ‘global climate change’ and ‘global warming’ published between 1991 and 2011 (Cook et al. 2013) found that over 97% of the papers taking a position on the subject agreed with the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of the project, the scientist authors were emailed and rated over 2,000 of their own papers. Once again, over 97% of the papers taking a position on the cause of global warming agreed that humans are causing it.”

          ” Most striking is the divide between expert climate scientists (97.4%) and the general public (58%). The paper concludes:

          “It seems that the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes. The challenge, rather, appears to be how to effectively communicate this fact to policy makers and to a public that continues to mistakenly perceive debate among scientists.”

          “Most striking is the divide between expert climate scientists (97.4%) and the general public (58%).”

    • 0 avatar
      Driver8

      There are 3 billion Chinese and Indians burning coal as fast as they can get it. Bumping our fleet emissions a little is pissing in the ocean.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      It’s interesting that on the entire planet we call earth, there is no political organization – from the furthest right to the furthest left – that doesn’t agree that global warming is the greatest threat facing humanity. The only exception is the US republican party.

      Bearing in mind what this party is, and that their legislation is written almost in its entirety by corporate groups – literally not figuratively, the idea that global warming is money making ploy creates a cognitive dissonance that makes a black hole look puny.

      The 16th century s over folks – move on.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        It’s interesting that people can be misled by a drumbeat of propaganda in the name of science. Even politicians are now rejecting the radical measures demanded, since those measures would destroy the industrial economies of the developed world. Those are the same destructive measures that were proposed to address global COOLING in the 1970s. It’s enough to make you wonder if the destruction of the industrial economies of the developed world is the real goal, and global warming/cooling is the the manufactured pretext.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      If govt actually cared about a warming climate, they would address more than just CO2, which is only a small part of the earth’s net energy balance.

      For example, in warm areas, buildings codes requiring all roofs to be be white & heat-reflective would reduce urban heat island effect by several degrees. That’s real, direct, and immediate cooling. But it’s unrelated to CO2, which means there’s no new taxes, no new set of favorites & friends to get their share of pork, and it doesn’t concentrate & cement govt power, so they aren’t interested in doing it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The federal government can regulate emissions for public safety. There’s no direct safety benefit for fuel economy and neither the state or federal government has a justification to regulate it. People need to remember the founders gave us a consitutional government of limited powers.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Shocking. Who could possibly have predicted that a subset of automakers would whine about how hard it is to meet CAFE? And then fund a lobbying group and PR campaign to get their way.

    Note that Honda and Mazda are conspicuously absent from this lobbying group. Because they take action, rather than whine about their inaction.

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      “Note that Honda and Mazda are conspicuously absent from this lobbying group. Because they take action, rather than whine about their inaction.”

      Or they are trying to avoid the bad publicity while still getting to enjoy Amy benefits that may arise from revised mpg goals.

      All automakers are cranking out as many SUVs and CUVs as they possibly can, they’re going to want relaxed mpg targets no matter who they are. Except for Tesla. They’re probably whispering into the left ears of the EPA decision makers.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        No. Honda and Mazda are on track to comply with the EPA targets. Hyundai/Kia can get there as well.

        FCA? Not in a million years. And not because they sell lots of trucks. Because their vehicles almost universally get below average economy within their classes. And because they are so far behind in investing in hybrids and marketable EVs.

        The piper will get paid.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

      Or neither one of them makes a ton of money on trucks and SUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Come on Adam,
        Don’t you read Tim Cain? The #1 selling SUV/CUV is….

        CR-V.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

          It’s a car based CUV. Ford, GM, and FCA aren’t worried about the Escape, Cherokee, Equinox, etc. The Big three are lobbying like he!! because eventually trucks would have to hit targets that are the same as cars.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

          Ford, GM, and FCA sell near a million half ton trucks in the US every year. And people want to buy them. Their lobbying has everything to do with protecting their ability to sell those kinds of vehicles profitably for as long as possible.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Adam aka bball,
        This comment you made;
        “Or neither one of them makes a ton of money on trucks and SUVs.”

        This is the problem with US vehicle manufacturing. These vehicles don’t require the same regulations for compliance as do “trucks” or what the US deems a truck is.

        The two main bodies involved with FE and emissions the EPA and CAFE also consider what a truck is differently, even the chicken tax considers a truck differently than CAFE and the EPA.

        How can three area’s of the Federal government have different definitions for a “truck” in the US.

        I think first all government bodies should use the same definitions.

        A CUV/SUV is a car and should always be treated as such. This will not change as the US manufacturers don’t want to comply to car regulations as laid out by the EPA and CAFE.

        The auto manufacturers only want a truck to be a non passenger vehicle for the chicken tax. To protect pickup production. If the tax was not effective it would not be there as well.

        As you can see, the US manufacturers, UAW and government itself promotes the manufacture of larger vehicles at the expense of smaller vehicles.

        If this is the case how can we expect any realistic gains.

        Maybe a truck should be a goods vehicle that can’t seat more than 3 people.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

          I don’t know what you want me to say here. Americans buy many half ton pick up trucks. Ford, GM, FCA, and Toyota want to sell them for as long as possible without spending money to meet the 2025 CAFE numbers. I don’t have anything to debate.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Adam,
            I don’t disagree that many Americans buy 1/2 ton pickups. But the slant I’m taking is what else is on offer to them? What alternatives? The current alternatives are not competitive enough due to the fact they must be manufactured within NAFTA/US. And there are really on two manufacturers because of cost to manufacture and number required to sell must be able to meet the overheads to run a production facility.

            Are there vehicles out there in the world somewhere that could be imported to allow for more competition.

            Limited and regulated choice is why 1/2 ton pickup numbers are as large as they are.

            I’m not stating the demise of 1/2 ton pickups if more choice were made available, but I do believe if a similar product that can achieve pretty much what a 1/2 ton can achieve at a much cheaper “imported” price will take a larger slice of that market.

            So, the statement I made is US consumer choice for larger vehicles is driven as much by culture as by regulatory and protective measures.

            Look at the car in the US they have shrunk, this can and would occur if the US pickup market was different.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Adam,
            Yep, a great comment I made, an expanded version of your comment! Sorry mate.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – You talk endlessly about the “alternatives” that would be “competitive” vs US 1/2 tons, but could you be a little more vague?? I’m still waiting to see one. Is one that bogus/fake F-150 seen in China???

    • 0 avatar
      IAhawkeye

      The goals aren’t realistic. Consumers don’t want EV’s and Prius’s, they want CUV/SUV’s and Truck’s. The sales numbers prove it, and there what’s important in CAFE. It’s ridiculous to think automakers should be forced to sell nothing but little tin cans despite them wanting anything but.

      To think in less then 10 years automakers are either going to get cars and trucks to gain over 10+ mpg’s and/or consumer interests to change to where they only want smaller cars and CUV’s and a lot of Hybrids and EV’s is crazy talk.

      Of course Mazda and Honda don’t care to be a part of the lobby, they don’t sell many bigger vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        It’s not as if this lobbying wouldn’t benefit Honda and mazda. It costs them heaps of money to make their vehicles hit CAFE targets. It may even hurt them more on their volume models because of lower margins and increased reliance on those models. They’ve likely decided that it’s better to just stay out of it and let the others do the lifting.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Wrong, Danio,
          Honda and Mazda are on a path to meet CAFE requirements. The others are not, so they use lobbyists to change the rules, so they can avoid making fuel efficient vehicles.

          There is no way possible for your precious FCA to ever meet CAFE on the path they are taking. They have essentially decided to get out of making compact and midsize cars, and are putting all their energy into Ram and Jeep, because the rest of the company is failing.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        So many unneccessary apo’strophe’s…

        (For future reference, the plural of Prius can be Priuses or Prii depending on how pretentious one feels at the moment.)

        • 0 avatar
          shaker

          “So many unneccessary apo’strophe’s… ”

          It’s the crux of the biscuit, ya know.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Who you jivin’ wit dat Cosmik Debris?

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            My cousin/best friend was a “super-fan” of Frank Zappa back in the day; me, not so much.

            But FZ had some memorable lyrics that stood out from the Top 40 stuff.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            I tracked him for years for his punchy if spastic lead guitar playing. No one else I ever heard but Clapton made such use of the tonal capabilities of available signal processing.

            Now I revisit his stuff mostly for the masterful, sardonic wit of lyrics like those in Bobby Brown.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          Also, acronyms are made plural with just an s, not an apostrophe+s, unless the acronym has internal punctuation. Thus, either PhDs or Ph.D.’s is correct for a plural, but PhD’s is not.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        It’s because of the environazis and others who think that government always knows best, and don’t have the first inkling that this big blue marble has been around a he!! of a lot longer than we have, and seems to do just fine, and will continue to do so long after we’re gone!

        At some point, there is what’s known as the law of diminishing returns! Certainly, the gains made in efficiency and emissions have cleaned things up! But now, the cars are becoming efficient enough that new and more devious ways of extortion are needed because the gas tax isn’t generating enough revenue! (Assuming those funds are going into the right buckets to begin with!) Don’t get me started on further curtailing of emissions; as you can probably surmise, to me, it’s just a money grab! (More than one “impartial” scientist has been caught with E-Mail stating that the whole “global warming” hoax is just that! But as we will see, I’m certain, E-Mail of a more important nature can be lost or ignored in order to further a narrative! Yet break a rule as someone who doesn’t hew to that narrative, and consequences WILL result! “Only for thee, never for me!”)

        Everyone on the left wants these stupid EVs that can go 150 miles. On a perfect spring day. At 60mph. Then you’re forced to pull over for 90 minutes to maybe get another 50 miles. Lather, rinse, repeat! (Good luck achieving that if you’re doing that same trip in the northern third of the country (or in Canada), where the weather is decidedly less favorable to range of said vehicles for five months out of the year, if not more! And, geeze-Louise, where does that “fuel” for said EVs come from? What’s produced as a byproduct of the production of that fuel? Not to mention that some of the same people with their panties in a bunch over the fvcking state of the planet want to literally run one of the sources of energy for aforementioned EVs right out of business! Meaning that said forms of transportation will only be more expensive! Even as the trading policies and taxation strategies force companies to move out in order to make a go of it!)

        Or, we’ll have to accept a family car with some dinky-a$$ed triple-turdo engine which would probably make the performance of Mr. Stevenson’s vehicle resemble a Hellcat in comparison! (Something which will make a Trabant look like the lap of luxury, certainly!) This as the “climate-change” bulshizzlers fly around in their G600s, because a normal LearJet is simply too small!

        I’m not saying everybody should drive a “bro-dozer!” I don’t think using a Suburban for one person to drive a forty-mile round-trip commute is the best use of one’s resources! But unlike these aforementioned enviro-fascists, I’m not going to prevent someone from making that choice! (Just don’t come crying to me when gas inevitably shoots back up above $4.00/gallon, and it costs you $120 to fill that Sub up!)

        240 years ago, this country was founded on getting away from an overreaching, overreacting government! Sad to say, we’re on the verge of coming full circle!

        /rant!

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    As long as full sized pickup trucks continue to sell in such high numbers, this mileage goal will not be met. Since the car buying public is so taken with these vehicles, and the manufacturers make so much money from them, there will be a lot of money to pay lobbyists to convince congress pressure the regulatory agencies to keep the party rolling.

    • 0 avatar
      Piston Slap Yo Mama

      Lobbyists: the bane of Democracy. They’ll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.
      Or lawyers.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Lobbyists are just hired guns. Anyone who thinks they have a beef with lobbyists actually has a beef with the people who hire them.

        • 0 avatar
          JustPassinThru

          Actually, the beef should be with the government – that interferes with private decisions, and without legal authority.

          If someone wants to buy a vehicle that uses a lot of fuel…in a free society, that is his choice. In some OTHER kind of society…government ministers must be satisfied.

          If we had government stay the fork OUT of private business dealings…there would be no need for lobbyists. But as it is…government is always taking sides, and the side without an army of hired-gun lobbyists, is the side that loses.

          Irrespective of facts.

          • 0 avatar
            yamahog

            amen!

            If I want, I can go get a 1980 Mac truck and drive it to work every day and back. No problem in my state if I don’t exceed my class D weight restriction.

            But I’ll have homeland security at my house with automatic rifles if I try to register a 2005 Toyota Century.

            If I can afford it and it has the legal minimum of equipment (mirrors, lights, horns, ect). Then I should be able to drive it.

          • 0 avatar
            Piston Slap Yo Mama

            JustPassinThru – the government, a.k.a. the “legal authority” exists to provide services and infrastructure, law and order and to regulate. It’s in the public’s best interests to do these things or there’d be anarchy a.k.a. libertarianism. I’m a-okay with helmet laws, emissions equipment and minimum crash standards yada yada. We’d be a backwards also-ran like Russia if we did it any other way.

            That doesn’t take the sting out of not being able to import a sweet V-12 Toyota Century, so I feel yamahog’s pain.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        You’re in luck PSYM. Most lobbyists are lawyers by training. You’ll save money on ammo.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Will this mass shooting even make the news?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Only if perpetrated by Muslims or immigrants.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            or worse Muslin Immigrants.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            When the Orlando tragedy broke, it occurred to me that there was the real possibility of a “loser” and “winner” coming to the fore in the aftermath, since both the gay community and radical Muslims have achieved what amounts to “protected” status in the current social climate! (I would think there would have not been near the outrage if, say, a nightclub with a Christian-based focus would have been the target.)

            And we still have what amounts to total denial of what we’re up against from the one “side!” Same narrative after the tragedy in Turkey this past week!

            Global warming is still the biggest threat to people everywhere, despite enough evidence to the contrary!

            Wake up and smell the coffee!

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        And also: Lobbyists, an inevitability of democracy.

        Hence: Democracy, a failure from the outset.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          HOMER: Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @sgeffe – Interesting take on events. What if that attack involved a white supremacist or a Christian Fundamentalist?
          Statistically those two groups are more likely to be involved in gay attacks.

          The gunman, Omar Mateen happened to be a homosexual conflicted by religious beliefs. He was born in the USA.

          Radicalization isn’t exclusive to Muslims.

          Odd way to try to shoot down the “left” by your linkage.

          Any religion and sexual orientation is “protected” under law.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            I did forget to add an item about the fact that the killer was a likely “closet case.”

            But then again, the father seemed like a REAL piece of work! Considering some of the rants of his which were found online, his apology for what his son did rang pretty hollow, IMHO.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      In the case of these regulations, unreasonable cost increases will be passed on directly to consumers whom are claimed to be already too cash strapped to afford new cars. Automakers know that as prices increase the buyer base shrinks, so in this case they have a common interest.

      • 0 avatar
        Paragon

        This is truly significant and needs to be kept in mind. There are ramifications, or what’s sometimes labeled as unintended consequences, of doing things that might seem like a good idea – when all the potential consequences are not weighed before coming to a decision.

        • 0 avatar
          Paragon

          There’s several things that could happen. The cost of compliance with government standards could push the price of cars and SUVs and trucks higher to where people are unable to afford what they want and need. In that case they will put money into affordable repairs and maintenance to keep their vehicles going into the 200K- 300K mile range. Or they will simply purchase a slightly newer, and lower mileage vehicle as opposed to purchasing the brand-new vehicle that they otherwise would but find that they can’t now afford. Then there’s the people who simply refuse to replace their vehicle with a Prius, Volt or whatever simply on principle because they believe in freedom to choose – and the government mandate forces them into something they want no part of. In each of these scenarios new vehicle sales will fall and our whole economy will suffer the consequence. The auto industry and all of it’s suppliers are certainly a major factor in our economy. Layoffs could happen which would affect a lot of people, and devastate the economy.

          Will also point out that there’s no longer put forth the notion of “peak oil,” that we’re thought to be running out of oil, which was foisted on the public 30-40 years ago. It seems there is an adequate supply, but they’re using other reasons now to try to push everyone into more fuel-efficient vehicles. I was young back when they were trying to scare us into thinking we’re about to run out of oil, so it seems significant that they’re no longer trying to push that notion on us any longer.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    To see how ridiculous 2025 targets are, I’d recall that my 2012 Prius hardly gets 47mpg (rated for 50mpg or so). Supposedly, the latest generation Prius can hit 55mpg. Ok. We can get there, but that means that to hit the 2025 CAFE targets, pretty much almost everybody will have to drive in a hybrid tin can like the current Prius is.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Apples and oranges. Carmakers don’t need to average 47mpg to hit the target. There are all manner of credits (e.g., FlexFuel vehicles, wheelbase adjustments, car vs. truck %) that allow them to fudge their way to compliance.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Just make pickups BIGGER.

        Problem solved.

        That will go over well with the anti-pickup B&B and Vulpine and Big Al.

      • 0 avatar
        IAhawkeye

        But as you know consumers aren’t exactly rushing out to buy a bunch of cars. The automakers are making what the people want, what are they supposed to do, ignore all the profits and quit making those kind of vehicles?

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          IAhawkeye – I don’t mind paying an extra 1,800 dollars for a 47 mpg pickup.

          • 0 avatar
            IAhawkeye

            If they can make it happen, and make it as reliable as the trucks already out there without losing any capability. I’m all for it, heck, I’d pay well more $1,800 extra. My Silverado 1500 got 14 highway on a good day, and my worktruck F250 averages 14-ish varrying on how much pulled(if any), highway/city, etc. I could’ve made up the price difference with the Silverado so fast at 47 mpg’s.

            I’m all for better mileage, it’s just how some are proposing it be achieved that’s bothers me. If, for instance, they decide to raise the price on gas guzzlers way higher to get people into cars, I feel that won’t help anything. Joe Whoever, who wants a new Ram or what have you will probably just keep driving his older, less fuel effiencent vehicle rather then upgrading. The game of mpg increases seems more like a game of inches rather then leaps of anything drastic which considering how high the 2025 targets are is sort of what’s required. Some huge development in EV tech could get us there-but there doesn’t seem to be many on the immediate horizon, and even then it requires getting to a price people can afford.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            IAhawkeye – in my province the government decided to implement a luxury tax on any vehicle over 32k. GVW’s over 8,500 were exempt. 1/2 ton crew and 3/4 ton sales plummeted and everyone purchased 1 ton trucks. They ended up getting rid of the tax.

            The short story is that governments always plays favourites and business or citizens find a way around it. Loopholes exist for a reason other than incompetence.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            You won’t be able to. Noone will. But you can stand in line to beg permission to be allowed to drive an econobox. While those who “need” a pickup truck, meaning they have connections in the junta, can drive one that gets only 25mpg.

            That’s what the progressive ideal of a society of equals, under the boot of a cadre of more equals, is all about, after all. Think Bloomberg and his army of well indoctr8inated sycophants wanting to ban mere equals from having guns. But not extending the ban to members of his own security detail, of course. As he is, tah-dah, more equal. And ditto for Obama, for that matter.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      IIRC, CAFE MPG is different than window sticker MPG. The future standard is more like 40.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      CAFE & EPA mpg numbers are not the same. CAFE mpg is ~20% higher than the EPA hwy mpg. Therefore, a car making 40 mpg (which there are many) is already close to the final CAFE 54.5 mpg target.

      One more engine improvement comparable to direct injection and most small cars will be there.

  • avatar
    slance66

    Step one when we get a new President is to eliminate these stupid CAFE requirements. They are pointless. EVs are utterly unworkable for many if not most Americans. Stay out of our choices of vehicles. Add a larger gas tax if you must.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      19% odds.

      http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/fivethirtyeights-nate-silver-predicts-hillary-clinton-wins-election/story?id=40213871

    • 0 avatar
      Piston Slap Yo Mama

      Without a mandate to accomplish goals nothing ever gets done. I’m all for mandates as I stated above, they typically drive progress, put man on the moon, create nuclear power (and weapons) and build dams that power states and provide water.
      You’ll still be able to buy the larger, inefficient vehicles but you’ll pay for the privilege. That said, have you seen the prices on used Nissan Leaf’s? Any decent blue collar job would get you into one.

  • avatar

    Wah wah Wah!

    Its interesting that the average fuel economy peaked and plateaued just 3 months after gas prices began to tumble and buyers went back to gas guzzlers.

    The higher MPG tech exists. Manufacturers can meet the regs in several ways. Here’s two.

    1. Price cars to encourage buyers to buy the more fuel efficient cars (i.e. add $’s to the price of the gas guzzlers).

    2. Add a plug to the gas guzzlers and give them say 20 miles battery range around town.

    • 0 avatar
      a5ehren

      The guzzlers are already heavy. Adding 500 pounds of batteries wouldn’t help the issue.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        The turbo triple that would replace the V8 would make up for the weight added by the batteries and motors.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        20 mi of EV range won’t add 500 lb of batteries. However, keeping a full engine + EV components is dreadful for purchase price.

        Rather, I guess sometime between 2020 & 2025 batteries will be cheap enough that EVs will only a few grand more than comparable ICE cars, and when that happens, people will realize how much money they can save over its life that EV sales will grow rapidly. They won’t take over the market, but they will fill out their niche.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    These regulations were structured so that they would be renegotiated time and again. This shouldn’t surprise anyone.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Correct.

      And it’s an opportune time for the mfrs to play this tune, since there will be an Administration change soon. This was inevitable.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        As noted in the Bloomberg article posted above, the timing is being driven by a “midterm review” of CAFE and other vehicle standards. This was incorporated into the legislation ages ago. Here is the timetable:

        http://www.nhtsa.gov/Laws+&+Regulations/CAFE+-+Fuel+Economy/ld-cafe-midterm-evaluation-2022-25#schedule

        The public comment period is starting now. The industry is part of the public, and well, it is commenting. Of course, the industry is going to push back because negotiation is an inherent part of the legislative process, given these built-in evaluation periods.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    Yeah, but they said the same things about seat belts and fuel injection. They have no more credibility.

    The auto industry always cries like mashed cats at any proposed regulation; claiming that it will bankrupt them, and ruin cars forevers!

    Then they actually implement it and it’s fine.

    Better, actually, because now we have seat belts and fuel injection.

    Nothing to see here, folks.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      What regulation required fuel injection?

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        As I understand it emissions and fuel economy regulations effectively required that OEMs switch to EFI to meet them.

        So not a direct mandate, but very much a de facto one.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          They didn’t. The regulations didn’t change in the 20 years where EFI went mainstream. Greater microprocessor capabilities and lower production costs enabled automakers to make a better performaing higher quality product at a reasonable price. So they did it.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            So the OBDII mandate does not practically require EFI, or at least the systems to support it?

    • 0 avatar
      ilkhan

      We also have entry level cars at $25k. Almost anything *can* be done. Consumers are buying record levels of cars because of cheap leases and the dearth of used cars (cash for clunkers). When those two factors reverse the new autos market is going to crater. Automakers switched to leases because new car loans were getting too expensive for people, even at 84 month loans, which they switched to when 72 month loans got too expensive, which they switched to when 60 month loans got too expensive, which…..

      Get rid of cafe, add to the gas and mileage taxes. Increase subsidies if you really want to hasten the EV transition (and limit it to pure EVs that people want to drive, not compliance boxes with monthly sales numbers in the double digits).

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        What entry level car costs $25k?

        The very top of the Focus/Civic class models can be optioned that high, but there are well-equipped versions for thousands less.

        There is *also* a whole size class of cars beneath that. A Fiesta starts at $15k, and in Titanium trim with an automatic is under $20k. An ST is only $22k.

        Tell me more about how cars being expensive causes people to buy record numbers of them…

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    To meet these goals, ICE won’t be part of the equation. I was happy to pull 31mpg (75% highway) out of a recent tank in a MY09 Mini Clubman S. That bested any car I’ve ever owned before, though a fleet of mostly V8/three or four speed automatics isn’t much to compare against.

    Maybe the non-turbo version of the Clubman would return even better numbers, or maybe the 3cyl version that currently resides in the latest version of the MINI. But how many people want to drive cars that small?

    As an aside, my previous vehicle, a MY08 Scion XB, got a cruddy 18mpg in the city. That surprised me since the car before that, a MY04 BMW 325i was usually in the low 20s.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “…my previous vehicle, a MY08 Scion XB, got a cruddy 18mpg in the city”

      Yours was the vehicle that began Scion’s demise.

      My 05 xB1 got 30 mpg actual, in the city, 27 mpg in the depths of winter. It didn’t have the pickup or sound deadening of the xB2, but it was true to the tin-can ‘box’ theme.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    Just institute a $5 per gallon gas tax and drop CAFE entirely.

    Use those “market forces” and things will just sort themselves out.

    You’re welcome to your Canyonero, it will just cost you $300 to fill the tank.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    They aren’t failing to meet the goals because the public won’t pay for the advanced technology; Ford is apparently successful with their EcoBoosted F150, for example. The problem is US customers largely don’t want cars in general and small cars in particular. EPA’s calculation scheme perversely rewards the manufacturers for making large trucks larger.

    Rather than reflexively calling for punitive gas taxes which hurt everyone, they should just assess what each low-MPG vehicle costs in non-attainment penalties, and add that amount to their sticker price. The penalty gets factored in as a manufacturing cost which the buyer pays directly. Although, I suspect that most people will grumble and buy what they wanted anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yeah, making large trucks larger is trending. When midsize sedans became smaller, the buyers went for the large sedans like the Crown Vic Class.

      When they were phased out, the demand was to create a four-door pickup truck.

      Now the four-door pickup truck is the de facto replacement for the large sedan.

      When these large pickup trucks are only offered with squirrel engines, the buyers will simply step up to the industrial-class pickup trucks with the Big Engines, like the F-250, GM 2500 or RAM 2500.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Ford just sold its millionth Ecoboost F150.

        The squirrel hypothesis is just as credible as a Mexican barrera.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I say, “Good for Ford!”

          Their game plan is to make money for their shareholders any which way they can. That’s their sole justification for being and existing.

          My contention is that not everyone buys into squirrel engines. And those who can, opt for the more girthy variety, even a 5.3L GM V8.

          But once the V8s are dropped from the half-ton line, and that’s coming, buyers who can will step up to the heftier trucks like a 3/4 ton.

          If Tundra had dropped the 5.7L for 2016, my new ride would have been an F-250.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            highdesertcat,
            I’m not putting you down here, but most of your views are based on short term gain. Read up on the demise of Easter Island and then look at how you view the world.

            What about the longer term for Ford (or anyone)? Would Ford be making different decisions if Ford knew that it had less support, ie cheap money/handouts, regulations/import barriers, etc to protect it current stance/position?

            The reality is Ford is looking at the shorter term. It is only preparing itself for what the regulators want now. Ford is only worried about the next financial years results more than anything. Because it knows with support from lobbiest, UAW, shareholders, etc the government will change controls and regulations and handouts to protect the industry.

            This is what the auto manufacturers rely on to remain afloat.

            The US needs to stay where they are heading to ensure the manufacturers remain vigilant about the future of the automobile.

            I really don’t give a fnck about the CEO/shareholders in the short term.

            Short term views will lead to a continuation of taxpayer support to these industries. So, how much money does the government give Ford directly and indirectly with protection, tariffs, cheap loans, handouts?

            How much profit did Ford make and how much of that can be attributed to consumer and taxpayer pain?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “your views are based on short term gain.”

            Not just my views. That’s the view of business. That’s how come they made it this far or lasted this long. They made money along the way.

            You can’t run a business on a loss. And make a profit, make money, is what automakers have to do in order to stay in business.

            How would it be if GM and Chrysler had planned 5, 10, 15, 25 years out for the long term and continually lost money and then went belly up before they even reached the 5-year mark?

            Corporations, businesses have a primary responsibility to their owners and shareholders. If their product is bad, they’ll fail.

            But they have to make money for the entities that financed their existence. Else they would not be or continue to exist.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Can you expand on how import protection by way of tariffs, technical barriers, easy money, etc, *don’t* also protect Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Mitsu, Hyundai/Kia Subaru, VW, etc? Or doesn’t protects these more so?

            Ford’s main “protection” is there’s no direct or indirect competition for F-series (or Expedition/Navi) in the world, that isn’t already here.

            The “handouts” are over and Ford took home the least out of the “Detroit” car makers. But didn’t most car makers accept handouts, including Japanese?

            Except it would be incredibly irresponsible for Ford/GM/Chrysler *not* to supply the current, ongoing and arguably *future* demand for fullsize vehicles, commercial trucks, and various specialty/muscle cars.

            A sudden, dramatic change in market could catch Ford and GM with their pants down, but a gradual one, probably not.

            But let’s play the YOUR game and say hundreds of thousands of buyers of fullsize Fords were forced to buy midsize, or smaller vehicles. Now suppose most of them stayed with Fords. What kills smaller vehicle profitability is lack of *volume*.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            highdesertcat,
            My comment could of be better scribed, sorry. My comment is aimed at highlighting the “real” profit for Ford if the protection, handouts, cheap loans, subsidies, etc were not there.

            What is the total value to Ford of these, ie, the 25% chicken tax, handouts and subsidised loans. It cost the US consumer an additional $13 billion dollars for vehicles in 2013 due to design differences to it’s major competitors.

            So, in my mind the US taxpayer, the consumer loses out to cover the overt and hidden costs.

            So, in fact you might even find that Ford runs at a loss or breaks near on even in real terms.

            This means this profit you describe is actually protection racket money and other taxpayers money.

            How and why is this correct?

            This is the short term problem I see with the auto industry.

            Why not just pay what it costs to develop and manufacture a vehicle. Transparency.

            This approach will let the deadwood sink and the better run operations survive.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Can you just answer what the Chicken tax has to do with Ford profits? Note F-series profits are heavy with 3/4 tons to F-750s, besides fullsize SUVs. Also F-650/750 are now in-house builds, along with the Power Stroke.

            This is assuming you’re thinking global pickups/vans would target the F-150 customer in any meaningful way. Think about that for a moment.

            They’d cancel out a Mitsubishi sale, many times over, before canceling out a single Ford sale, of any kind.

            Not that the Chicken tax has ever stopped a truck from selling in the US when there’s actual *demand*. Where there’ a will there’s a way. Or a loophole.

            Of course most of the global pickups would never meet US standards for safety or emissions, especially diesels. Of the ones that would, most are redundant or overruled by what’s already here by Nissan (Navara), GM (Holden Colorado) and Toyota (Hilux).

            Will you answer, or just scamper off as usual, only repeat your nonsense again and again, then of course scamper off.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I understood what you wrote, and the reason that OEMs don’t pay what it costs to develop towards the future has several reasons, the most important being that an OEM does not want to ‘commit’ future earning/profit toward an uncertain outcome.

            And forecasting the future is always a crapshoot because in America’s case, the feds are always throwing up interference and roadblocks because of some greenweenie agenda of the unelected.

            But rest assured, those invested in the global auto industry have exceedingly capable managers running the companies, who receive a torrent of pre-procesed sales/demand data before developing their production strategy, and tactical approach to making profit.

            Thinking back over the 30+ years I was affiliated with new-car retail sales I can honestly tell you it is a highly dynamic business environment.

            All the “atta boys” collected can be wiped out by one “awwww schit!”

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            highdesertcat,
            Yes, the auto industry does have it’s perils, tell me one industry that doesn’t?

            Mining is at the mercy of global economies, beef producers, etc.

            So, the profits that people rely on a greatly protected by the government.

            The US auto industry is quite socialist by stealth in it’s design.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “US auto industry is quite socialist by stealth in it’s design.”

            Yes, it is; and IMO the US auto industry should have stuck to what it did best, and that is supply the US/North American market with vehicles specifically developed for that region, and import the good stuff from outside the US.

            Toyota, Mercedes, BMW, VW can all play at a global scale, and do it profitably.

            Ford, GM and whatever used to be Chrysler, cannot.

            Detroit should have reverse-engineered the good stuff made outside of the US and incorporated the best ideas into their products.

            Getting Toyota, Honda, VW, Mercedes and BMW to make them in the US just brought down the quality of those vehicles to those of the domestics.

            The domestic brands had nowhere to go but up because they were at the bottom, looking up.

            Ultimately, you can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people, like fanbois, all of the time.

            And IMO this is what Ford and GM are doing best. Ford, under Alan Mullaly, morphed into a viable automaker. Maybe Ms Mary Barra can do the same for GM.

            Regardless, and no matter how much Ford and GM play toward “the future” , I believe other (global) manufacturers (Toyota, VW, BMW, Mercedes, Subaru/FHI) have a better prospect for the automotive future, and will be the “heavies” in the future.

            And all without any long-term planning or investment.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            highdesertcat,
            This comment of your’s;
            “that is supply the US/North American market with vehicles specifically developed for that region”

            This is a perception. The US doesn’t need to be as different as it is. How many nations around the world survive without the numbers of large vehicles that the US has? Even Australia has large vehicles by global standards.

            I think you’ll find the perception of the “US needs big vehicles” a farce.

            This is driven by the auto manufacturers since the 70s especially.

            The US manufacturers realised they really are not competitive in manufacturing smaller vehicles.

            So, part of the stealth is to promote large vehicles for the US market.

            People will state it is our culture, etc. Well I disagre with those people. If that was the case then were are the road whales?

            The number of pickups larger SUVs and pickups are sold because they are given a favoured position with EPA, CAFE, chicken tax etc through technical and direct tax barriers.

            This is what the manufacturers are currently moaning about. They want to continue on with the large vehicles. They aren’t competitive.

            Like I’ve stated for years now, the US vehicle industry, UAW, energy, lobbyist, etc are going to be the demise of the US auto industry eventually.

            The US sooner or later will need to be competitive on the world stage.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I don’t believe that the US needs to compete with or go global.

            The US is one of the few nations that can claim self-sufficiency, and successfully demonstrated that for decades before trade even became fashionable or the in-thing to do.

            But I will be the first one to also tell you that cheap foreign-made goods have drastically improved my lifestyle.

            And for me it’s really all about me and mine. How well are we doing, and how can I make it better for us?

            Some people hold that fuel economy and some green agenda is the way to go, for them, for auto makers, for the globe.

            I don’t share that. I’m not wasteful but I do want to maximize my life without regard to self-imposed limitations.

            And that’s why I drive what I drive today, because that is what I want; and soon enough, what I want will no longer be commercially available.

            Then again, my car-buying days are over. I’m done.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            highdesertcat,
            For a so called “capitalist” you seem to favour socialist ideals or even nationalist ideals to suit your paradigms.

            The reality is this. The US has never been self sufficient. The US wouldn’t be where it is today without trading itself globally to the position it is now.

            Even the forefathers of the US traded globally. Boston in the 1700s had the highest per capita income in the world, even higher than any British whether sovereign or colony. This was through global trade. Hence the Boston Tea Party. The British wanted some of that wealth.

            For the US’s auto industry to survive it needs to open it’s door to more competition and allow US manufacturers to export more as well.

            A semi closed market as the US has will not allow for much expansion or potential for that industry.

            If the US expects to export, it must accept imports and the competition it entails.

            You just can’t state “America is special and we will dictate”, which is essentially what your statement suggests. If American’s want to retain their standard of living you need to trade globally. Nations that are “self sufficient” (which doesn’t exist) end up like Cuba.

            You can’t cherry pick, the Brexit people will soon find this out, in a painful way.

            Also, my comment has nothing to do with the Green Agenda. My comment is in relation to trade.

            Also, you last comment has diverged from the theme or gist of our discussion.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I favor the ideals that work best for me and mine, that make my life better as a reward for the effort I put into my productivity.

            I like vehicles that provide me the best value in return for the money I paid for them.

            I am ecstatic with the freedom of choice we have in America when it comes to buying cars.

            I believe that everyone should be able to buy whatever they wish to drive, without taxpayer-funded subsidies, like those on EVs.

            The list is long, but succinct. I know what I like. And what I like, works for me.

            Ditto with trade. It’s gotta work for me!

            I’m not the Lone Ranger in this, you know.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Chicken BAFO, The US is just proof of what will happen when consumers are left to run wild and free, with minimal government intervention.

            No market can cover all the bases (What’s up, Vulpine?), but the US has most types, sizes and description of vehicles available, of any market on earth.

            The unsafe and gross polluting, need not apply. That’s what Africa, SE Asia and Australia is for..

            CAFE, the NHTSA, ect, do clamp down, on all auto makers (just the same, regardless of national origin or domestic), but consumers have the last word.

            The tail doesn’t wag the dog.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            Denvermike
            Which begs the question, what does the conversation look like between manufacturers and regulators when it comes to the ev mandate? The driving experience is pretty good (not ideal but close enough for indifferent drivers or commuters), but they are hardly setting the charts on fire even at the insane incentive levels we see in the market now. Same goes for b segment cars in general and many of the more fuel efficient c segment offerings. I’m not asking this bc I’m against ev’s or small cars, I’m definitely not, but I have to conclude that the buying public certainly is. I would love to know how carb officials are discussing this wrinkle with the manufacturers and what their back and forth entails.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I’m sure there’s a lot of cursin’, threats of huge fines and talks of lawsuits from car makers. Incidentally, CARB can’t dictate mpg, but tries anyway. But there has to big enough “cash incentives”, or EVs will just gather dust on dealer lots.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            And while we’re pondering possible outcomes, one should keep in mind that one “rolling coal” vehicle (of whatever kind) usually pollutes and wastes more fuel than a whole gaggle of “clean vehicles.”

            In America, a lot of people take pride in their rolling coal vehicles, even if they are not their primary mode of transport.

            EVs are fine for those who want them, and EVs should be available to those who want them. But their numbers are negligible and will never overtake good old ICE vehicles.

            Behavior modification in America in regards to cars is a pipe dream and a crack nightmare for the greenpeckers.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Maybe we should be glad for the few freedoms we still have, and not just this weekend. You almost have to own a fullsize pickup, big SUV, muscle and V8 pony car, just for those that wish they could, but they’re basically banned in their country and or way too expensive to own/drive, and faced with compact, stinky little diesel runabouts for the rest of their lives. Or a BT50. Scary!

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Oh yeah! I’m immensely thankful for the freedom of choice I had in buying exactly what I wanted in vehicles. None of which fit the green agenda.

            OTOH, if a person wants to drive an EV, polluting diesel or otherwise conserve and reduce polution, I say “right on!”

            That leaves more of everything for the majority of people like me.

            I think it is a generational thing. People of my age bracket value the stuff that’s important and meaningful to them, while young people are so indoctrinated in PC and protection of the environment that they miss the greater meaning and destination of their own life.

            Whatever works for them. But this planet has been dynamic and ever-changing for the past 4.5 Billion years. One Icelandic volcanic eruption does more damage than all of the human existence on this planet has ever done.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Their game plan is to make money for their shareholders any which way they can. That’s their sole justification for being and existing.”

            Duh!

            Ford’s “experiment” with TTDI V6’s shows that most pickup buyers care about power not cylinder count.

            BTW – you keep talking about “big” V8’s. Who still makes a production big block V8 for pickups and cars?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      jpolicke,
      The US doesn’t have ownership of wanting large vehicles.

      All want the biggest and best when it comes to vehicles.

      It just the US is prepared to use instruments whether fair or not to retain larger vehicles.

      To change the makeup of US vehicles will take time.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        Time and political consent. For example, Ny state is a carb signatory/adopter. No one knows it within the state that doesn’t work in aftersales or comment on ttac. The reason ny is a carb state is bc it was a zero political cost gesture whose political pain is scheduled for future state administrations. Also, bc the vast rural poor area here has no political clot currently, and that’s where the real pain will occur. Those are the customers right now paying more money for the same parts to keep their older, higher mileage vehicles on the road. Those are the people who buy big trucks bc they can’t afford to have two car payments.

        It seems like a perfect storm for carb, however, at some point Bob and Mary from the metro area are going to be confronted with diminished availability on their rx or x5 replacements. Or rather, at some point Bob and Mary will have that proposition advertised to them by opponents of carb, who will then control that narrative. That’s where we’ll see what political legs carb has.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          I would say NY is a CARB state because New York City is inherently a pollution nightmare and needs all the help it can get, and New York City’s wealth powers the rest of the state.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The bigger the pig, the bigger the profits. If CAFE fines stay where they’re at, there’s no pressing reason to fully comply.

  • avatar
    kitzler

    All you have to do is increase the federal gasoline excise tax by a nickel a month, 60 cents a year, and you will see how fast this country will demand better gas mileage. That’s $6 in ten years!

    That’s what makes this country great, we don’t like shocks, but we adapt easily, kind of sad when you look at how easily we adapted to illegal immigration.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This article really highlights how the manufacturers do not want changes in the way they are doing business. This will come back to bite them.

    The odd thing is the US has been caught out before in history with this attitude.

    The Energy Crisis.

    So, what did the Energy Crisis do to the US auto manufacturing industry? It allowed the Japanese and some European manufactures cement their position as global providers of global vehicles, something which the US lacked at the time.

    Through knee jerk reactions the US manufacturers just couldn’t compete with these better organised and efficient manufacturers.

    The US manufacturers are not preparing for the longer term and will then whine and complain when the wheels fall off the cart again and expect the government to bail them out.

    A realistic global approach to US vehicles must be sought. Then the US can take a greater leadership role.

    CAFE, NHSTA, EPA, etc do have goals and targets that are worthy …….. except they are also technical barriers to protect them.

    First remove CAFE, then use fuel tax as the means of altering culture.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I wish we could do this. But the US Congress is scared to death of raising fuel taxes.

      It is odd that these carmakers are claiming they can’t meet fuel economy levels in the US in 9 years which they are already meeting today in Europe. Why? Maybe because gas costs 2-3X in Europe what it does in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      I am old enough to experience this very same whining and bitching from the US manufacturers every decade since the 60’s. They bitched about every little thing not necessarily limited to safety in general, emissions standards, and past CAFE standards. I can also remember them wanting government protectionist measures when imports ate their market lunch. Meanwhile scrappy Asian and European makes repeatedly got down to business and met the regulations and made money along the way, and of course the domestics managed the same too despite their “can’t”s.
      The automakers have about zero respect from me.
      If they want to sell gigantic vehicles and people want to buy them, then they need to develop the technology to make it happen and meet the standards.
      If we had zero government regulations all these years since the 60’s I wonder how vehicles engineering and manufacturing would look now.
      Government regulations have spurred innovation and progress.
      I am pretty sure there are a few regular commenters here that will take the contrarian position (More carbon monoxide and carcinogenic hydrocarbons, f**k yeah!) , but regulations have made vehicles safer, more efficient, and less toxic in terms of what they put into the air we breathe.

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    The obvious fix is to stop calling it what it really is. No more talk of “fuel efficiency” or “gas mileage”. Instead we’ll call it “Drive Economy Goal Achieved”. We’ve already seen how well this approach works in our fight against terrorism.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Damned straight! The EPA and CAFE have done absolutely *nothing* to stop terrorism! What an outrage. Nixon should be taken out and shot for starting all this nonsense. I simply don’t understand why we hired a bunch of environmentalists and bureaucrats if the entire point was to stop terrorism.

      • 0 avatar
        mtmmo

        “I simply don’t understand…” Don’t worry we’ll get you a safe-space.

      • 0 avatar
        Paragon

        VoGo, I like what you did there. It was in fact President Richard M. Nixon, a Republican, who gave us the E.P.A., for those who forgot or weren’t around then. The terrorism thing being about the Middle East, where we got so much of our oil in years past.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    This is basically the knee jerk standard OEM response to any regulatory mandate since forever.

    This attitude, disdain for providing customers with quality products is what hollowed out and nearly caused the big 3 to fail after giving up market share to competitors that weren’t afraid to compete or change the way they made cars.

  • avatar
    Phil Ressler

    Regardless of one’s acceptance or denial of a human contribution to climate change, there’s no downside to burning less fossil fuel, especially when you can burn less and accomplish the same things. Keep your mobility; keep your comfort; even keep some speed. There’s only upside to burning less fossil fuel: reduced true chemical and particulate pollution; improved local air quality; less money allocated to fuel; lowered personal carbon footprint.

    Oh…. you think anthropogenic global warming is a crock? Let me direct your attention to ocean acidity. One of the reasons that global warming records don’t precisely correspond to projections from 15-20-25 years ago is that computer models underestimated the rates at which the oceans can absorb excess CO2 in the atmosphere. The result is intensifying ocean acidity, which, even if you think a warmer world is a good or just neutral thing, is worth your concern because intensifying ocean acidity attacks the food supply in myriad ways.

    So let’s keep working toward the aggressive new CAFE targets and if 2025 regs appear truly out of reach in 2022, the EPA and the makers can work something out. It’s too early to fold in 2016.

    This is interesting: http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-sci-sn-ozone-hole-healing/#nt=oft07a-2gp1

    The world collectively acted on restricting CFCs in the ’80s to arrest the Antarctic ozone hole. Given the long life of CFCs, scientists knew it would be many years until a ban would have any observable effects. Now, for the first time, we see signs of the ozone hole healing after years of continual expansion. We heard all the same denials about CFCs 30 years ago. The long game IS the game.

    Twenty years ago, the hand-wrenched 4.6L 4 cam V8 in my 1996 Ford SVT Cobra was a very nice engine, and pretty efficient for 305hp at the time. So was the 5.7L 330hp V8 in my 1996 LT4 Corvette. Now we have turbo-fours at or over 300hp, and V6s doing much more, at lower consumption rates. Hybrids, EREVs and BEVs are in the mix now and some of them are deeply satisfying to drive even if you love speed.

    What to do about trucks?

    Well, go after unnecessary weight, and hybridize them. While we’re at it, let’s use some of the media and social techniques we use to make some things cool, to instead make unnecessary trucks uncool. Let’s get back to some sense of proportion on how much of the market needs a truck instead of a car, without having the government regulate that. And how about smaller, lighter trucks wherever possible?

    Between 1994 and 2014, my peak-power cars ratcheted upwards in power from 235 to 305 to 330 to 400 to 443 to 556hp. Now a 2016 Cadillac ELR is under my butt most days. It has 233hp/373 lb./ft. and an 84hp 1.4L gasoline-fueled generator backing up a 17.1 kwh battery. It’s 0-60 time is 6.4 secs, which is right in there with most of the great 60s muscle cars. But its 0-40 and 40-80 performance is hard for many performance car drivers to accept in real-world traffic when they get outrun or outmaneuvered by an ELR.

    I’m doing 96% of my driving on battery-stored electricity. I have driven almost 3000 miles since my last gasoline purchase and still have half that tank. When I do use gasoline, I get 40-46 mpg. My actual driven miles relative to gasoline consumed are so high the car stops calculating at 250 mpg.

    And that’s for a motive architecture originally designed in the latter ‘Aughts. Chevy will have a pure BEV by the end of this year with ~215-240 miles of range per full charge. There will be a plug in version of the excellent Cadillac CT6 with an 18.4kwh battery and 2.0L turbo 4, with 30 miles of battery range, though the real intent of that config is to deliver real world performance at high engine efficiency — more hybrid than Volt. Tesla’s gigafactory is in development. GM is accumulating vast experience with vehicle electrification and has arguably the most advanced automotive battery in the world.

    Does anyone genuinely believe the automakers cannot and will not do better than they think now, by 2025? Of course no one actually thinks that. Time and again, the automakers drag their feet on emissions and safety; the government prods; the automakers end up delivering lower emissions, higher safety and higher performance. Would Ford have stepped up to take 750 lbs. out of the F150 and move its market to Ecoboost without the EPA’s ramping efficiency targets? I don’t think so.

    I love quick, fast, competent cars. But I can’t qualitatively justify 10 – 20 mpg cars burning unnecessary volumes of gasoline. Not for my world or the one the next few generations will live in. And frankly, after having EREVs in my mix since 2012, I don’t see ever going back to a strictly ICE car, or wanting to. Keep the CAFE targets. Let’s see how close the makers get. There’s only upside to burning less fossil fuel.

    Phil

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      It’s not that they can’t do it. They’ve all said they can. It’s that the increased costs to consumers will be high over a short period of time and result in lost sales and margins. It will ultimately hurt the consumer with increased costs. The EPA says the added cost will be $1800 per vehicle. The SAE says it will be closer to $5000. I know who I trust more on the subject.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Danio – A $5,000 purchase price increase might be viewed as a problem but I don’t see it that way. What is the price premium for a Ram Ecodiesel? or a Colorado diesel?
        Even if all I see is a 20% improvement in MPG that means I’d hit a break even point on that 5k in 5 years.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          And unfortunately there are the other costs potentially involved with modern Diesels, such as cleaning the particulate filters (a large-ish cost, unless my story isn’t straight).

          (And I’m not talking about the urea fluid here, since as I understand it, if you stay away from the dealer and buy five-gallon jugs from a nearby truck stop in a similar manner as the generic washer fluid found in any convenience store at the typical gas station, the cost isn’t that onerous. Correct me if I’m wrong.)

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatic

      Wow something well written on TTAC.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Phil should offer to write articles on ttac. He writes well and gets his message across. Certainly a point of view appreciated by all of the B&B interested in this philosophy.

        Reading Phil’s article, my mind slipped back to the days when my dad’s dragster burned 5-gallons of nitro-methane in the quarter mile.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Pity that, intelligent adult comments were far more common a few years ago when I first discovered this site.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Maybe it would make sense to raise fuel taxes and put the money toward better and more efficient roads – allowing the consumer to decide how they want to reduce their consumption – rather than coming up with schemes to favor large vehicles and perpetuate the unnecessary use of them.

      “No! We demand that the government force automakers to build huge vehicles that get slightly better fuel economy on some lab test than the ones they replaced, and that we be provided with cheap fuel to operate them so we don’t have to drive vehicles that are actually fuel efficient like a poor person would! Our roads are in such horrible shape we need something with huge tires and a lift anyway!”

      Car and Driver had an interesting series of turbo vs. naturally aspirated comparisons in the June issue. While the Ecoboost 3.5L was faster – especially while towing – the 5.0L actually matched its fuel economy unladen, and beat it while towing. This is a fairly common result in comparison tests of the Ecoboost. Stay out of the boost like you’re driving the EPA cycle and the Ecoboost probably will do slightly better. But really, owning an Ecoboost F150 (or almost any modern truck) is mostly about having excessive size and power.

      I agree that it would be beneficial to the planet and humanity for us to reduce fossil fuel consumption for a number of reasons. The convoluted ways we propose to do it just come across as ridiculous to me.

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        Ever see government use tax money responsibly? Know what the Highway Trust Fund was spent on?

        (HINT: It wasn’t highways)

        Know how much taxes you already pay on gasoline? Fifty cents A GALLON (I guess the Speshel Snowflakes will be scared that I’m shouting again). How much MORE do you want?

        Government is institutionally INCAPABLE (there I go again, all this shouting!) of spending money wisely or limiting itself to allocated uses. It has not…ever.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          JustPassinThru,
          You don’t seem to like the US government or its taxes on gasoline. Please feel free to go to another developed nation to buy your gasoline. See how you like their taxes.

          And by the way, the vast majority of Federal gas taxes fund road development. A minority of the money funds public transportation. Which I recognize is very offensive to some because public transportation benefits the community and because the working poor use it.

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            I happen to support the PRINCIPLES (here I go, shouting again!) the nation was founded on and and supposedly still represent.

            It is not I, nor my ilk, nor the authors of the Constitution who wanted to “Transform” the nation – into a Eurosocialist nanny-state, as it turned out.

            I don’t like taxes. Anyone who works for their money doesn’t like them, or how they’re wasted. Some are necessary; but when we see how the money is taken, squandered on things not authorized by the funding statutes…I’m not gonna smile and shrug and parrot the Groupthink line about how it’s for our own good.

            Other nations are further down this path, and it’s a failed path. That’s why informed people are trying to stop it.

            I guess you want a race to the bottom. Would you like an economy, and government, and auto industry (Renault) like France’s?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            JPT, ttac is a Canadian site and draws readers that may not always be familiar with the American way of life, or the principles that America was founded on.

          • 0 avatar
            Paragon

            VoGo, when he mentions our government, who he is really talking about is our members of Congress, the House and the Senate. Countless articles have been published over the years in newspapers, online, and in magazines like Readers Digest, where they document case after case of (government) waste, fraud and abuse by members of Congress. I know I was reading it back about 40 years ago, so nothing ever really changes, since we never seem to hold Congress accountable for their actions. It is Congress who holds the power to spend our (tax) money.

            So, think about it. This misspending or misappropriating, or overspending has been exposed for a long time, and yet nothing changes and most members of Congress seem to get re-elected. Just look at that feeble old fossil Harry Reid. He and a whole bunch of others needed to be replaced with new blood, with fresh new ideas and a new vision of direction for our country. Perhaps all of Congress needs to be replaced to give us a fresh start, because they have been leading us in a direction that appears to be disastrous for our country, us and our kids and grandkids future. I’m suggesting that something has got to change, besides the POTUS, and real soon. Of course, the only obstacle to that is the fact that nearly all politicians (of both parties, I might add) are bought and paid for with big money from lobbyists representing banking, finance, manufacturing industries, retailers, labor unions, etc. So, consequently, they’re NOT really working for us and looking out for our best interests.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            If I were a member of the working poor, I wouldn’t see public transportation as being any less wasteful than I do now. In that case, I’d rather they just give me the $5 or so per ride in subsidies and I’ll walk or ride a bicycle. There’s no way I’d travel any significant distance for a low-paying job when there are thousands of those jobs within walking distance and tens of thousands within cycling distance.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          Regardless of the source of funding, it would be nice to have well-maintained roads; and it would also be nice if all fuel-specific taxes went toward those roads, and were levied in proportion to usage and impact.

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          With all due respect, you are fitting into the classical “Conservative Movement” group think. The basic and errant assumption is that all government is bad, there is and can never be effective, beneficial, smart government, so don’t even try.
          So please, name any well developed rich nation that does not have a substantial public/governmental sector.
          The whole last thirty years since Reagan sent the ship of state sailing off to the right has resulted in the ongoing evisceration of the middle class, all the while creating economic kings like Kochs, Buffets, Soros, Murdochs etc. Of course they want little or no government, it is the only thing that rivals their power, and of course they are going to spread the lie that government is bad, unfixable, and the villian. We are well into economic Feudalism at this time, all the while the right wing propagandists blame the misfortunes caused by moving to the right on the liberals.
          Ultimately and certainly counter intuitively to to lots of those propagandized by the Right, think about it, in strictly legal terms, only Government can protect your freedoms. Ours has the Bill of Rights built right in to its most foundational written law. Anarchy, feudalism, oligarchy, and tyrrany are what awaits those who would render written law, rule of law based government powerless.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Every single comment here about how terrible and wasteful the government is was posted on an internet created with tax dollars by wasteful bureaucrats.

            As long as you continue to use the internet, you will never be a principled conservative, true to the constitution.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            ARPANET did give birth to the technical foundation of the internet, but it is disingenuous to suggest using “[an] internet created with tax dollars” means “you will never be a principled conservative”.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARPANET

            Here is a genuine challenge, compare and contrast the technological advancements of the four major economic periods and the draw correlations between them and the economic system of the time:

            1870-1913 Laissez-faire Market/Gold Standard
            1913-1944 Free Market/Limited Gold Standard
            1944-1971 Regulated Market/Bretton Woods Gold Standard
            1971-20xx Regulated or Socialist Market/Fiat Standard

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Fiat Standard? Is that a 500 with a stick?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            28, did the government “invent” the Internet? No. But it did invent and/or fund all the key technology behind, it, most notably TCP/IP. The government also was primarily behind developing the original microprocessors that enabled our modern PCs – in fact, one of the first truly modern microprocessor-driven computers was the navigation computer on the Apollo spacecraft.

            Private companies took that technology and made it into the IT universe we know today. And, yes, we can thank Al Gore for sponsoring the bill that enabled the privatization of ARAPNET technology.

            When it comes to high tech, the government-invention / private adaptation model is not just effective, it’s ESSENTIAL. Yes, eventually some company would have invented TCP/IP, microprocessors, and all the other tech that makes it possible for me to write this message to you, but it’d have taken a LOT longer.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @ttacgreg – I am surprised by the lack of cognitive dissonance on the right for the very same reasons you post. The
            Republican party is supported primarily by the upper end of the socioeconomic ladder and the rest tends to be Christian white uneducated and rural. That isn’t meant as a slur. It is statistically correct.
            That lower end demographic is easily lead astray. The Trump campaign is a prime example. Blame the Chinese, Mexicans, immigrants(legal or illegal), non-Christian religions et al and the great unwashed go scurrying to his side.

            Why does the Republican hierarchy fear Trump?
            His campaign has pandered to the low end of the spectrum and his campaign platform if implemented would be incredibly damaging to their business/financial interests.
            Fear mongering is okay if it keeps the great unwashed focused on the wrong enemy but part of his campaign strategy starts to shift policy dangerously close to those currently running the show.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          Perhaps JustPassinThru should go live in Somalia, where he can enjoy the total lack of taxes or regulations, and then get back to us about how he likes it. If he hasn’t been hacked to death in the meantime of course.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Phil Ressler – well said.

      Ocean pH and what is its “living” range is the question that must be answered FOR life on earth. A human being needs a pH between 7.35 – 7.45 to be healthy. That is slightly alkaloid.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Great job, Phil.

  • avatar
    redav

    Another option which I have yet to hear discussed is to instead cap (and decrease) oil imports. In 2015, The US had net oil imports of 4.65M barrels/day.
    http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=727&t=6

    Capping that number at, say, 4M will create a shortage which will then drive up the price of fuels, which then decreases demand and triggers more domestic production. Then, decrease the limit to 3.9M barrels/day, and then 3.8M, etc. The first exporters to cut off would be the middle east, then other OPEC countries, and lastly NAFTA.

    Limiting imports improves the trade deficit, which keep our money in our economy and promotes more domestic jobs. It stunts the flow of money to the mideast & encourages them to modernize so to keep from starving. It also divests the US’ interests from that region meaning less military & security spending is necessary. Isolating the US oil market adds risk for production shortfalls, but it also insulates it from OPEC price manipulation. It also forces real conservation because otherwise, we run out and end up with lines at gas stations. I have no desire to see those, so it would have to be phased in at a rate for price increases motivate sufficient change without getting to crisis levels.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    I think auto manufacturers should form an alliance to stonewall these regulations and the government. Other industries have done this through aggressive lobbying (for better or worse), so the automotive industry should as well. Strength is in numbers after all.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Let the manufacturers and consumers come to an agreement on where fuel economy targets should be.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      “I think auto manufacturers should form an alliance to stonewall these regulations and the government”

      Hmmmm. I don’t know a lot of consumers who would be excited about patronizing a set of carmakers – most of them foreign – that form a cartel to thwart efforts to improve fuel efficiency, reduce oil imports and improve air quality.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Er, from the article:

      “The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — a Washington lobbying group made up of General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Volkswagen and Toyota — wants to impact the midterm review of 2025 fuel economy targets set in 2011, Bloomberg reports.”

      Oh, look: They spend money, too.

      http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/induscode.php?id=T2100&year=2015


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