By on September 22, 2016

2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist, Interior, fuel economy, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

As low gas prices persist and electric vehicles fail to find the widespread traction once predicted by the Obama White House, automakers have supercharged their fight against the country’s lofty 2025 fuel economy target.

Fuel prices and the popularity of trucks and SUVs means the federal 54.5 mile per gallon target isn’t reasonable, automakers say. Continuing down the same road and pretending the landscape hasn’t changed? That’s a recipe for disaster, according to industry groups.

According to Reuters, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a U.S. industry group representing top automakers, will press the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee for a U-turn on mileage today.

In prepared testimony, Mitch Bainwol, head of the alliance, says the issue isn’t whether gas mileage will improve. The group wants to know “how will automakers meet the aggressive standards currently in place, by when and at what cost to consumers, industry and the economy as a whole?”

Joining AAM at the committee is the Association of Global Automakers, representing (among others) Honda, Nissan and Hyundai.

Federal agencies and regulators are in the midst of a midterm review of a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) target set back in 2011. Born in a land of skyrocketing gas prices and great expectations for the emerging field of electric vehicles, the target now finds itself under fire.

In a technical assessment report released in July, regulators gave kudos to automakers. Average mileage for light-duty vehicles has risen greatly, thanks to widespread use of fuel-saving technology. Yay, turbocharging and direct injection, the report read. Boo, pesky low gas prices and those darn crossovers, trucks and SUVs, it added.

On its present course, factoring in the shift away from cars and into utility vehicles, the industry can only expect to reach an average of 50 to 52.6 mpg. Hitting the 2025 target set in 2011 will cost automakers money. In its testimony, the industry group cites an Obama administration estimate of $200 billion between 2012 and 2025.

The ramp-up in CAFE in the last few years before the target date could add significant cost to vehicles. Regulators expect a $894 to $1,017 price bump on American vehicles between 2021 and 2025, and counter criticism by saying fuel savings will offset the price. Those are early estimates, though. Industry groups, including AAM, say recent factors — including zero-emission vehicle regulations in California — put more distance between automakers and the target. It also heaps more potential costs onto their vehicles, assuming the 54.5 mpg target remains in place.

The midterm review wraps up in April 2018, when the agencies will release their final recommendation.

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145 Comments on “Automakers Step Up Battle Against U.S. Fuel Economy Target...”


  • avatar
    Higheriq

    All I can say is: it’s about damn time. This silly, socialistic CAFE standard should NEVER have made it past the garbage wherein it belonged. Let the market price of fuel determine what people WANT to buy, and then the automakers can design and sell vehicles to fit those wants.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Regulation socialism.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Automakers should have refused CAFE standards at the very beginning. We’ve gone from a government of limited powers to one that thinks it can pass any measure.

      The government’s justified interest is health and safety. Fuel economy standards to reduce dependence on imported oil is neither, in the absence of a declaration of war suspending constitutional limits on government powers.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Oh, Lorenzo,
        I liked Ayn Rand when I was 18 too, but haven’t we all grown up by now? Let’s just consider a few facts:

        1. CAFE actually saves money for consumers. Why are you so opposed to cars that are lighter, faster and get better mileage? If you hate driving great cars so much, this may not be the best use of your time.

        2. Reducing dependence on foreign oil saves the lives of all the American soldiers and sailors who have fought and died for that oil in the Middle East over the last few decades. I personally value their lives, even if you don’t.

        3. Climate change *is* an issue of health and safety, and improving mileage is a means of reducing carbon and pollution emissions.

        • 0 avatar
          ilkhan

          3: Transitioning power generation to solar and nuclear will save far more carbon emissions than halving oil usage in passenger vehicles.

          2: True. But we should be incentivising EVs not punishing gas burners.

          1: If you drive 20k miles a year, maybe. But again you have better options than CAFE to induce that change. Encourage mass transit or bike commuting (motor or pedal) or something.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          Oh, VoGo!
          1. The government is not in business to save consumers money. It’s main job, per the Declaration of Independence, is to preserve individual rights.

          2. Reducing oil imports can be achieved with greater production, and we should let the Europeans and Chinese send troops to the Middle East to fight for THEIR oil. Most of our imports are from Canada, Mexico and Venezuela.

          3. Climate change has been going on since the planet formed. The original name, global warming, stopped at the end of the 20th century, and was never outside the range of normal variation. CO2, needed for photosynthesis, is still rebounding from ice age lows, and is in no danger of causing the earth to burn up. It was measured in thousands of parts per million in earlier ages teeming with wildlife and vegetation.

          All three of your arguments are promoted by groups who have other, less benign goals of a political nature, than addressing any real problems.

          • 0 avatar
            Erikstrawn

            …and all three of your arguments are also promoted by groups who have other, less benign goals of a political nature.

            1. The government does not have the sole job of preserving individual rights. The government’s job will always be subject to the whim of the people who run it, which can usually be loosely defined as caring for the welfare of its citizens.

            2. Greater production won’t reduce oil imports, it’ll just lower prices and people will drive more. Also, a smart player would keep our oil in our hip pocket and burn up everyone else’s oil while it’s cheap.

            3. There is overwhelming evidence that climate change is real and man-made. The only people arguing otherwise are scientists on the payroll of big oil and conspiracy theorists.

            Want to get rid of CAFE? Raise fuel taxes.

        • 0 avatar

          I concur. Why pay more, even if oil prices are that low? Why pollute more? As a matter of fact, low oil prices in the U.S. puts Detroit at a disadvantage compared to foreign car makers. The U.S. car market is flooded with more fuel-efficient foreign cars. Can’t say the same thing vice versa.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      I think very high, European taxes on fuel would be a great way to accomplish the same goal of less fuel use and lower CO2 production by the transportation sector. Oh, and put that tax money to use to make our roads great again.

      • 0 avatar
        Duaney

        High European style taxes is Socialism at it’s worse. One reason Europe doesn’t have the robust economy that the United States does. Some casualties of high fuel prices would be the entire tourism industry, virtually all of the destinations that we Americans go to, such as restaurants, stores, entertainment, etc. Why even buy a new car or truck if it’s too expensive to drive it? This would be a good way to turn the United States into a third world DUD.

    • 0 avatar

      @loweriq

      If the market decides that I have to breath polluted air I suppose that’s the price we pay for free markets. Personally I prefer clean air than polluting cars.

      CAFE isn’t so we can reach a high form of social ecstasy, it’s so we can breath fresh air.

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        CAFE standards were inacted after the Arab oil embargo. All Energy conservation messages since are to have us be independent of oil supplies. Given the current situation, I think it’s succeeded fairly well.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        If it’s about clean air, why does CAFE 2025 still support the widespread ownership of low-mpg vehicles like pickup trucks?

        CAFE 2025 is nothing more than the EPA and NHTSA seizing the right to tell auto manufacturers the specific fuel economy a vehicle must return based upon an arbitrary measurement of vehicle size (footprint).

        It’s the easiest way to gain control of the automotive industry without spending any public funds, which was the real goal. Obama admin didn’t need to switch to footprint regs to achieve fuel efficiency.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        @JPWhite, CAFE doesn’t clean air, it’s a conservation measure. Emissions regulations have cleaned up the air dramatically since the 1960s, when the only pollution control device on cars was the positive crankcase ventilation valve. If your photo is really you, then you’re old enough to know better.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Highriq,
      Actually CAFE is a design standard set by all involved in the auto industry, including the government.

      You see CAFE was created as a way to keep low energy prices and force higher FE standards across the board.

      The simplest and cheapest way is to just increase fuel tax to alter behaviour.

      Let the manufacturers build what they want and people will buy what they can afford to operate.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Higheriq – silly and socialist in a sentence belies your blog name ;)

      The “market price” of fuel is open to manipulation on many levels. “taxation” is a dirty word to any politician on both sides of the isle.
      How does one exert downward pressure on oil consumption without taxation?

      Here is a little excerpt for you to ponder, “Petroleum consumption in the US was lower in 2014 than it was in 1997, despite the fact that the economy grew almost 50% over this period.”
      “Fuel economy standards explain up to 43% of the increase in fuel economy between 2003 and 2014, and will explain an even larger portion going forward as tighter standards set in.”
      World Economic Forum website.

      “Free markets” for the great unwashed masses is for all intents and purposes a myth. “Free” just means free to manipulate without government intervention and that has been proven time and time again to have poor outcomes for the middle and lower class.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    It seems pretty ridiculous to blame consumer preferences for missing targets. Regardless of what you think of the targets, the solution is an easy one. Gas guzzler tax for those vehicles that do not meet the regulations. You can bet consumer preferences will change with significantly more price tacked onto the cost of that pickup truck, powerful cars and large SUV/CUV.

    Basically what the automakers are saying is that “we are making tons of cash selling inefficient vehicles right now and would like to keep doing so, thus, we cannot meet the targets”.

    I know that targets are a bit “anti car” in that it will limit choice, dampen performance and maybe move the needle back on cheap speed and horsepower, but I cannot get on board the “two pickup trucks in every garage” train. That seems like the far less desirable option in my eyes.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      We should also note that the automakers that complain about consumer preference and the ones spending billions of dollars on advertising to shape that preference. If you want people to buy more fuel efficient cars, then hold a Chevy Volt Month instead of Chevy Truck Month.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      what’s ridiculous is penalizing the automakers for what their customers buy. CAFE is a bass-ackwards way to try to get people into more economical vehicles. “You all better start buying more fuel efficient cars, or we’ll…. we’ll… we’ll fine the car companies a few million dollars!”

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “You can bet consumer preferences will change with significantly more price tacked onto the cost of that pickup truck, powerful cars and large SUV/CUV.”

      No, they won’t. The F-150 was the best-selling vehicle when gas was $4-5/gallon.

      Americans will pay *anything* for a gallon of gas, or a truck, or health care, because these things represent freedom, status, and eternal life.

      Gas could go to $8, and you could add a $5000 surcharge to trucks, and they’d still sell like crazy – with cash on the hood.

      • 0 avatar
        thegamper

        I agree they will still sell, there will always be a market for them at any price. The F150 may have still been the best selling vehicle during the $5/gallon gas era, but you also have to recall how much and how quick the market changed. Consumer preferences may have stayed the same, but people were (temporarily) buying smaller, more efficient vehicles. Price did have an effect. The same goes with the tax idea. You are right, people would still buy with a large tax attached to them, the automakers would probably try to offset that tax with incentives. So that is a loophole isn’t it. The effect of a tax would certainly depend on how much it touches the consumer. If the consumer is paying it out of pocket, you can bet it will effect consumer behavior.

        Its not a particularly pleasing scenario for me to see high powered vehicles taken out of circulation or no longer available. Im not really an environmentalist, but I can recognize the value to society of these goals. Not just for environmental purposes, but also for energy independence, job creation in home grown industries, etc.

        Its not all bad.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          @thegamper, you’re advocating having the government not only telling us what’s good for us, but MAKING us do what’s good for us. When did angels take over the government?

  • avatar
    kosmo

    CAFE: Social engineering at its finest!

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Civilization cannot exist without government to organize it. By definition, government is social engineering. The debate is what to engineer in order for a nation to adapt and survive factual circumstances.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        @ttacgreg, The debate is not what scheme the government can engineer for us lowly peons who can’t think for ourselves or act in our own best interests. The debate is how to rid ourselves of the elitist social engineers who think they know better than us what we want and need.

        • 0 avatar
          thattruthguy

          For starters, oil is a strategic resource. Americans die to maintain national access to it. In the event of war, merchantmen will die running blockades. If the blockades are successful, domestic manufacturing and agriculture will be impacted, along with transportation and labor.

          (If you want to depend on domestic reserves, that’s cool. Show how the math will work on that.)

          If you want drivers to pay their own way, fund the DoD from a gas tax.

    • 0 avatar

      CAFE = Clean air, who cares about social engineering.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Catalytic converter = clean air.

        CAFE = statist inefficiency and waste.

        Don’t worry, the robots will fix everything! Hey if not them definitely the alleged “Syrians”.

      • 0 avatar
        Powerlurker

        Or you could just increase the gas tax and you wouldn’t have to deal with the more invasive social engineering aspects.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          The gas tax is a user fee to build and maintain roads. It’s use for any other purpose is social engineering.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If you can’t figure out that road building is a form of social engineering, then you’re more naive than I had thought.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Please point to the part of the Constitution that mandates that all taxes collected on the sale of gasoline be used for road maintenance.

            We’ll wait here while you look that up, Lorenzo

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The part right after “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” :D

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            VoGo, you’re dead wrong. Gas taxes were enacted SPECIFICALLY to finance roads and bridges. There’s no need to invoke the Constitution for justification, it’s a user tax, that’s what the law was enacted for.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Gas taxes were enacted SPECIFICALLY to finance roads and bridges.”

            Stop repeating that lie.

            The federal gas tax began during the Hoover administration as a temporary deficit reduction measure. It was made permanent under FDR.

            https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/gastax.cfm

            This stuff can be learned with 30 seconds of searching on the internet. Please refrain from making inaccurate statements; when you make them repeatedly, it starts looking less like a lazy mistake and more like a lie.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        I want clean air too. Even more than you do. So let’s make a new CAFE that would require new car satisfy 1000 mpg by 2017.

        Sounds reasonable? Not really. So, after all, an over generalization such as “I want clean air” is not enough of a rationalization for an intelligent and mature adult.

        1) You need to consider about something called “diminishing return”. If we are to spend $100B as a society to improve mileage by 1mpg, does that make sense? No one can answer that question without comparing to alternative plans, for example, why not use the $100B in public transit, or simply plant more trees to make the air clean?

        2) Even if having clean air is a mutually agreed goal, we still need to choose the right economic model to implement. For example, instead of CAFE, we could collect a hefty gas tax and use that money to build public transit or plant trees.

        It’s like: you want a steak, but are you going to spent $100 for a one pound of Sirloin? Probably not. It takes some intelligence to go beyond over generalization such as “I want a steak” or “I want clean air”.

        • 0 avatar

          @wsn.

          Why wait until 2017? :-)

          At least I have put my money where my mouth is and have driven an EV for over 95,000 miles over 5 years. Doing my bit to clean up the air.

          Since you state you want clean air more badly than I do, what’s your ride? Do your actions match your rhetoric?

          • 0 avatar
            wsn

            No, you can do better :)
            You are still breathing out CO2 everyday.

            I also put my money where my mouth is. I chose a building lot with the most trees and paid my share of gas tax.

            Where I live, over half of the electricity comes from coal. I would be seriously polluting the environment, if I drive an electric car.

            Again, back to the steak analogy. Yes, you can put your money where your mouth is by buying that $100 one pound Sirloin. Just don’t pretend it’s intelligent.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Why do you drive so much JPWhite? Why don’t you live closer to where you work, in a sustainable high-density habitat? How many tires has your tank of an EV consumed driving 50% more than the average American, who is less avaricious than you in binging on resources? Where did all the energy come from to power your EV? Where did the battery chemicals come from, and at what cost to the planet and its people? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You’re heinous.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Q: How can you tell if someone drives an electric car?
            A: Don’t worry, they’ll f***ing tell you.

          • 0 avatar

            @toddatlas.

            Why don’t I live closer to where I work?

            I used to, then my employer moved further away from my home due to office space issues, increased my commute. The good news is come November 11th this year they move into new offices much closer to my home which will cut my commute to 20 miles/day less than it was before and 40/miles day less than now.

            We have choices, but so do our employers. I knew it was a temporary office location (temporary being 3 years in this case). SImply not worth the move to only have to move again.

            As for living in sustainable habitat, I’m getting there. You will be pleased to learn that despite my EV representing 20% of my total electrical energy consumption, since 2007 when I started a conservation initiative in my home, my electrical consumption today is down 30% compared to 2007. I recently signed up with Arcadia power, so 50% of my electrical consumption is offset by wind energy. I am considering investing in community solar so I can be 100% renewable offset. It won’t be long before my home is in fact sustainable. When I have the money I’d like to add solar and battery storage to be locally sustainable, not just offest.

            We do what we can. I’m not perfect. Are you?
            What’s your story of sustainability bliss?

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Not that I disagree about planting more trees, but the difference between that and upping MPG targets, among other things, is that tree-planting is reversible, while MPG targets are always going up, never down.

          • 0 avatar
            wsn

            Not really. Over a young person’s life time, he could have used 10 electric cars, each of them cause a lot of pollution to produce and decompose, not mention all that fossil electricity. But if he planted trees on his estate, the trees could easily out live him and in the end be cut down and used as lumber (instead of decomposing).

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I never brought up electric cars, which are another beast entirely (electric cars are agnostic as to the whether the source of their electricity is renewable or non, for instance). I mean that X number of trees have to be planted just to make up for deforestation, then we can start a net tree increase. MPG targets, OTOH, never have to worry about getting lessened because once the technology has been established, it’s there for good.

        • 0 avatar
          ilkhan

          Its easy to say “Less buy that $100 sirloin” when its not their money paying for it.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    I’ve said this before: the reason why SUVs and crossovers are selling so well is because their gas mileage has improved greatly under CAFE. Very few families could afford to run them otherwise.

    Automakers will complain, that’s a given, but they may just kill the goose that lays golden eggs by fighting CAFE. It’s been a win-win for consumers and industry. We get economical, affordable, and reliable vehicles, and they get fat profits.

    • 0 avatar

      Really we complain about CAFE but it has resulted in very efficient and powerful cars of all sizes. Also most car prices did not seem to increase all that much because of it either.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Exactly. We’ve seen large increases in mpg across the board. Would pickups sell as well as they do if mpg was 70’s era?

        I’ve said this before, my 2010 F150 20 foot long crew cab 4×4 is considerably longer, larger and heavier than my 1990 reg cab F250. It has 27% more horsepower and can tow more and haul the same BUT mpg is around 23% better.
        Factor in inflation and I’m not paying any more in money for that huge improvement.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          The biggest driver of fuel efficiency has been fuel injection. There was fuel injection in the 1950s, but the computer chips that make it efficent weren’t available yet. The first cheap transistor came out in 1957, most cars had tube radios! By the early 1960s all car radios were transistorized. There was no program to improve fuel injection or car radios, it just happened when technology in other areas opened possibilities.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    In an idea, world, we wouldn’t need CAFE, because we would have a gas tax that would address the problem more directly and efficiently. The problem is that increasing the gas tax has not been politically acceptable. If not CAFE, how do you address motor vehicles’ contribution to climate change? Now even labor will be pressured to lobby for repeal of CAFE because the automakers continue to move production of smaller cars out of the US.

    • 0 avatar

      “how do you address motor vehicles’ contribution to climate change?”

      The same way you stop polluting the air we breath. Cutting emissions.

      Solar/wind + battery + BEV = Zero emissions.

      Gas taxes are a bad idea. Here’s why.

      Let say we go the whole hog and add $10 of taxes to the price of a gallon of gas.

      Those who can afford modern fuel efficient cars will buy them like they are going out of fashion, driving the cost of second hand efficient cars upwards, inefficient cars will be dime a dozen, new or used.

      Those who cannot afford more efficient vehicles get left paying a disproportionate amount of tax. The tax essentially punishes the poor who are not in a position to get into an efficient vehicle.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    I like driving on my silly socialistic roads. Here’s a thought: increase spending on road maintenance and improvement and fund it via a … gas tax increase. Then the consumers will move towards more fuel efficient vehicles, the targets to save our environment will be easier to meet, and I’ll have nicer roads to drive whatever I can afford to get past the regulations.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Can’t agree: Increased vehicle fleet efficiency reduces revenue from gas taxes.

      Roads should be paid for with an annual tax calculated as follows:

      Tax = GVWR x miles driven x tax rate.

      Using this method, everyone pays for the effect their vehicle has on the road system.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        this would also mitigate the loss of revenue from cars which use no gas at all.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          Using its 99 MPGe, my former Leaf would have paid $45/yr in gas tax, even at PA’s super-high rate. That doesn’t seem fair for a 3400-lb car driven 9k miles/yr.

          So yes, the roads care more about the weight and stress cycles on them, than the means of propulsion.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        I prefer your refinement to my original proposal. I’d go one step further to better reflect the GVWR effect by squaring it in the formula though.
        edit: I can’t help but notice that this greatly rewards light weight with big power… that might be a little self serving for these pages.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        This is very reasonable. It’s probably why it will never happen.

      • 0 avatar

        @SCE to AUX.

        Agree totally. Gas tax is a bad idea.

        A universal tax per mile driven much like your formula is the way to go to ensure roads are paid for. That way EV’s don’t get a ‘free ride’ and attract regressive taxes in the name of fairness like in Georgia where an EV driver pays more than the average gas car driver and there are two taxes to administer.

        Besides which due to the higher MSRP of an EV, EV owners already pay more sales tax. Wonder what the states are doing with that money? They certainly aren’t fixing the roads with it.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        “Tax = GVWR x miles driven x tax rate.”

        Not a good model.
        1) How do you track out of state registrations?
        2) What’s cost of managing and maintaining such a database, by unionized government employees (as compared to almost no overhead for increased gas tax)?

        • 0 avatar

          Gas tax models don;t work the less we use it per mile driven. GVW would work. Many states have inspections/ emissions testing. A mileage confirmation would be done at that time. You could base the tax at 12,000 miles a year and credit or bill the customer the actual. Out of state would not be tracked same way gas bought in one state in used in another by cars is not now.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          wsn, When someone registers their car, mileage can be recorded and included in registration costs. The infrastructure to manage this already exists at the DMV.

        • 0 avatar

          Such databases already exist.

          GVWR? Your county registrar knows that.
          Miles per year? Recorded at the time of vehicle registration/re registration bu your county registrar. (How else does carfax know my mileage every year even though I didn’t trade?)
          Tax rate, your county registrar sets that.
          The rest is maths.

          Gas tax only taxes those who use gas. So to tax EV’s you have to setup another system which complicates issues. No matter how you calculate an EV tax it will always be unfair to one party or the other.

          A universal tax system provides parity across the board.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        SCE to AUX – GVWR is only part of the equation when it comes to stress on a road. How big are the wheels on a vehicle? and/or how many wheels are their?
        I’m willing to bet that a Raptor on 35’s is going to exert a similar PSI on the ground as a CUV on “high mpg” tires.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    US carmakers to America: “Thanks so much for the eleven billion of your hard earned dollars that you gave us when we needed it. Now that we’re making tons of money for ourselves selling trucks, we don’t want to do what’s right for our country by focusing on fuel efficiency, we’d rather hire lobbyists to get at more of your cash.”

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “Joining AAM at the committee is the Association of Global Automakers, representing (among others) Honda, Nissan and Hyundai.”

      And looking at the AAM’s member list:

      “BMW GROUP, FCA US LLC, FORD MOTOR COMPANY, GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY, JAGUAR LAND ROVER, MAZDA, MERCEDES-BENZ USA, MITSUBISHI MOTORS, PORSCHE CARS NORTH AMERICA, TOYOTA, VOLKSWAGEN GROUP OF AMERICA AND VOLVO CAR USA.”

      And last year, the automakers fined the greatest amount for not meeting CAFE were:

      Jaguar Land Rover $46.2 million
      Daimler $28.2 million
      Volvo Cars $17.4 million
      Porsche $4.8 million
      Fiat $3.6 million

      But keep raging against GM as though you have some kind of point.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      All carmakers are global, for profit companies. They have no interest loyalty to country. They have interest in profits. Why would you think otherwise?

      In this respect, they are no different than any other company that received bailouts.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        And speaking of global, it seems to me that the automotive business is becoming increasingly global, and there are some major markets of their I.E. China and Europe who are also imposing similar standards.
        Economies of scale would seem to encourage that the US manufacturers go along with this trend.

  • avatar
    mustang462002

    Ah freedom to buy whatever you want regardless of the consequences. Just don’t ask the government for help.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    CAFE 2.0 was designed to be constantly renegotiated. This is just part of that ongoing negotiation process.

  • avatar
    zoomzoomfan

    The problem I have with the car makers being so upset and blaming the shift to SUVs is that…most SUVs/crossovers now are car-based and get car-like fuel economy. We have a crossover (Mazda CX-5) and it gets roughly the same fuel economy as the cars it shares a lineup with. Same goes for all other car based “SUVs” on sale today. I see far more of those than I do the body-on-frame gas guzzlers.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…and electric vehicles fail to find the widespread traction once predicted by the Obama White House”

    Just because Obama said it, doesn’t mean it was attainable. Nobody believed that when he said it. But I think we’re about halfway there.

    EV (meaning it has a plug) sales:
    2016: 140k (projected)
    2015: 116k
    2014: 122k
    2013: 98k
    2012: 53k
    2011: 17k
    2010: 345 units

    And, we’re going to see a sales jump as more 200-mile BEVs come out over the next few years.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      I hope you’re right about that jump, because plotting those sales #’s with a 2 order polynomial curve is not promising.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Tesla’s Model 3 reservations represent 2/3 of the current EV fleet in the US, which is promising. Chevy’s Bolt is compelling, but its sales projections are modest.

        If there isn’t a jump with the availability of 200-mile BEVs, then Tesla will fold, and the EV industry will have to do some introspection.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Tesla’s Model 3 reservations represent 2/3 of the current EV fleet in the US,”

          the cognitive dissonance here is amazing. you can’t have non-existent cars in a fleet.

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            @JimZ:

            Obviously, I was pointing out that there is actual demand for a single vehicle, the volume of which is a substantial portion of the entire EV fleet today. And I did call them ‘reservations’.

            Better?

            When we speak of the future EV market, would you rather ignore real, trending data? Using your insult as a guide, we shouldn’t even discuss the Chevy Bolt, because it doesn’t exist.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Two things to consider:
        1. gas prices are a lot lower today than anyone expected
        2. as affordable 200 mile electric cars come to market, we’ll get a better sense of how viable the marketplace is. The fact that as many people put down a deposit for a Tesla 3 than have bought EVs pre-2016 tells us something.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Tesla has demonstrated that there is a niche market for electric vehicles that are priced at a loss.

          The market of EV buyers who are willing to pay prices that are high enough to produce a profit does not seem to exist.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Sigh.
            Serious industry analysts have published credible analyses of production costs, showing that within 5 years EVs will be at parity with ICE.

            The future is clear, whether B&B like it or not.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “5 years EVs will be at parity with ICE”

            Highly doubtful and even then people still won’t buy them. I believe the hybrid will gain traction and become even popular again as gov’t budgets crumble and European style fuel taxes are floated.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You can’t measure demand for a product by considering those who don’t want to pay enough to produce a profit.

            The demand for steak would skyrocket if it was five cents per pound. But it isn’t anywhere close to costing that little, so the quantity demanded when priced at five cents per pound is irrelevant.

            Raise the price of a Model S by $25k, and that will give you a better idea of what the market looks like.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            We’ve had this conversation before, PCH, and until I see evidence you can (a) learn from others and (b) acknowledge that others can hold opinions different from your own without labeling them as idiots, I will pass.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I’m just stating a basic economic fact about how to measure demand. Sorry if that fact is inconvenient.

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          Who here wants to bet low gas prices are here to stay? I would not bet on it.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          200 mile range makes one feasible for virtually every person BUT At this point in time I won’t consider an EV simply because I’m not going to spend $38k on a small to midsized car. I don’t care if it runs on gas, diesel, hybrid or electric. I’m sure that most of the motoring public feels the same way.
          Ford went to aluminum and smaller engines in the F150 because it is their volume seller.
          VOLUME SELLER.
          That makes sense.
          38k for a low volume small car makes ZERO sense from a business perspective.

          Knock a few mpg off a pickup and you’ll make a significantly larger positive impact on fuel consumption and the environment as opposed to selling BEV’s.

          • 0 avatar
            furiouschads

            ” I won’t consider an EV simply because I’m not going to spend $38k on a small to midsized car. ”

            Me neither and I just leased a 2017 Chevy Volt.
            36 mo/ 15k miles per year.
            MSRP: $35,885
            Agreed upon price: $31,660
            Adjusted cap cost, including all taxes, discounts, rebates: $27,167

            Total out of pocket expense over 3 years: $10,595

            Residual value was calculated very high to sweeten the lease. I won’t take that offer at turnin but might offer the dealer $500 over the auction price.

            Volts are a really good way to move most of my driving to electricity, while still being able to go long distances using the gas engine.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    The SAE estimated at the onset of the regulations that the added cost would be 3-5000 dollars. I trust their numbers more than the EPAs

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I am happy to pay $4K (which I think is a high estimate) to save $750 annually for the life of the vehicle.

      Consumer Reports estimated $2K to comply, and lifetime savings of $4,600+.

      So before we all whine about how the government is stealing our money, why don’t we take a minute to understand the actual facts.

      • 0 avatar
        Whittaker

        Sounds like a great deal.
        Automakers are selling these at a loss.
        Add in the federal and state rebates. Plus the occasional free charging stations.
        Its gotta be a steal!

        (Segue to the confused bureaucrat scratching his head at low EV sales)
        He comes to the conclusion that the masses are just too stupid to understand that he is trying to save them.
        “Oh well” he sighs as he licks the sheet cake from his fingers.”We will just have to fund more outreach”.
        He grabs a fist-full of pens and hurries to make his 1:00PM stakeholder meet/tee time.

      • 0 avatar

        If automakers choose to sell cars at a loss that is their own fault.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Perhaps automakers should source their tech from vogo and Consumer Reports then.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Alternatively, they could consult with the Union of Concerned Scientists or the National Academy of Sciences.

          Sorry, Danio,
          You’re a good guy, but my allegiance is with America.

    • 0 avatar

      To be fair SAE has more people who could run the numbers, but they have a somewhat vested interest in the industry so their views will likely be aligned.

  • avatar
    Blackbeard

    Futile. Short of amending the Clean Air Act, and getting past the inevitable presidential veto, Congress has nothing to say about CAFE. Ever since EPA’s engagement finding re CO2 this has been strictly an administrative matter which means EPA decides.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    The time is now! Bring back rationing!

    Drive whatever you like. A little.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    CAFE isn’t going anywhere. Mileage standards have become the norm in the developed world, and those countries that don’t yet have them can be expected to get them.

    The US will never have European-style fuel taxes — that is one issue that the right-wing and liberals can agree upon.

    The utopians among TTAC’s commentariat need to get it a rest. Neither of these points is realistic, and yammering on about them day in and day out isn’t going to change anything.

    And is almost always the case on the interwebs, if you read a claim that something is unconstitutional, then you can bet that it is absolutely not unconstitutional and that the assertion is being offered by someone who has zero knowledge of constitutional law.

    • 0 avatar
      Whittaker

      Constitutional law is what those in power say it is.
      Nothing more.

      Knowledge has very little to do with it.

      When people say “This is unconstitutional” what they are really saying is “Those in power are reading the constitution in a way to advance their ideology and/or increase their power”.
      Those people are almost always correct.

      There are many things now considered constitutional that wouldn’t have passed that test in most of our history.
      First one that comes to mind is the numerous, vague and seemingly endless undeclared wars we are fighting all over the world against “terrorism”.
      Second one is law enforcement confiscating cash from motorist without due process.
      Third is the notion that the state can penalize someone for simply existing(e.g., being alive but not purchasing a govt sanctioned health insurance policy)
      All of those are now considered constitutional because they advance the goals, ideology and power of those currently in power.
      A scholarly understanding of the Constitution plays very little part in modern America.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        You can add yourself to the list of those who don’t understand the constitution.

        The problem is that you don’t have the cajones or talent to first offer a viewpoint, then demonstrate that your view has more merits than the alternatives.

        Instead, you take the lazy coward’s way out. You falsely assert that something is “unconstitutional” in a desperate attempt to claim some kind of authority that you don’t have so that you can avoid the heavy lifting that is required to prove an argument.

        In effect, you offer “Do it because I said so” arguments that aren’t worth a damn because that’s the best that you’ve got.

        • 0 avatar
          Whittaker

          I gave three examples of where the constitution hasn’t changed but the interpretation of it has.
          This proves my point that it is not knowledge but ideology that drives the debate on constitutionality.
          And it proves that you are wrong to claim lack of knowledge is why everyone doesn’t agree with you.

          There are smart people on the left and there are smart people on the right.
          Try to detach yourself from the notion that there is nothing more sacrosanct than what is currently bouncing around in your skull.

          • 0 avatar
            Whittaker

            I believe that govt is necessary to have a prosperous and healthy society.
            I believe that individual rights and freedoms are necessary for a prosperous and healthy society.

            Obviously one must infringe on the other to some degree.
            The bulk of the political debate in the US is where, exactly, that line should be drawn.

            I don’t know why this discussion always has to devolve into “you’re a communist” and “you’re a fascist” and “you’re a coward” and “you’re stupid”.

            Culture wars are rarely won.

            “The stronger a culture, the less it fears the radical fringe. The more paranoid and precarious a culture, the less tolerance it offers.”
            ― Joel Salatin

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Since the ratification of the Constitution, the US fought its first undeclared war in 1798 (a naval conflict against France called the Quasi-War. ) The US waged numerous wars against native tribes without declaring war.

            The US has had civil asset forfeiture in some form since the First Congress and the courts have upheld it.

            The right to tax is an enumerated power under Article 1 Section 8.

            So you’re zero for three. Thanks for proving my point.

            Incidentally, I am generally opposed to civil asset forfeiture. However, I don’t make constitutional claims to support my position because those would be bogus. Just because an argument may feel right doesn’t mean that it is.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            There are those that feel many aspects of the USA war on Terror is unconstitutional:

            1. Undeclared wars: that has been covered under changes to law stating that we now have a “global battlefield.” There has been a deliberate shift of operations from the CIA to the military. The military can say that an operation is “clandestine”. That means in the interest of protecting the soldiers on the ground or protecting the integrity of “preparing the battlefield”, they do not need to divulge anything that risks exposure.
            The CIA on the other hand tends to have most of their operations fall under the title of “covert”. That means “plausible deniability.” i.e. We did it but you can’t prove we did it.

            2. Extrajudicial killing of American citizens in the name of the “war on terror”. That is felt by many to be a prime example of unconstitutional activity.
            The most obvious example is that of the American born Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. In April 2010, President Barack Obama placed al-Awlaki on a list of people whom the US Special Forces and/or CIA were authorized to kill because of alleged terrorist activities. A Predator drone killed him and American Samir Khan who was going to interview al-Awlaki. Khan was the editor of Aspire magazine, an English-language online magazine reported to be published by al-Qaeda.
            Due process and freedom of speech quelled via hellfire missile!

            With that being said, labeling CAFE as unconstitutional is far fetched.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            The ink was barely dry on the Constitution when the government (including some of the holy Framers themselves) started p*ssing on it with the Alien and Sedition Acts.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Pch101,
      I agree with you sediment;)

      The left will protect jobs at the expense of the country and right will protect a profit at the expense of a country.

      Look at how some ridiculous controls are used to protect the US large vehicle, ie, chicken tax, CAFE, etc. The left and right supports these. The left is more ardent supporters of the above.

      Then look at offshoring profits to reduce taxes by the right.

      One wonders why the middle class in the US is in decline. This occurs when the “radical” left and right determine what is best.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      CAFE is junk policy designed to prevent the government from spending money on the major automakers, who were once the dominant forces in US manufacturing, corporate investment, and political lobbying. Congress also wanted to avoid investing in foreign manufacturers who moved jobs overseas.

      Needless to say, things are different now, but Congress keeps the same old policies, updated to give the NHTSA more powers they don’t need.

      CAFE is outdated policy that the Obama administration is using inappropriately. It’s a fail-safe mechanism to avoid the impoverishment of the US via imported oil. It is not the correct vehicle for developing new automotive technology.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Unlike the libertarian warriors who inevitably take over car discussions, I’m a deep green believer. I’m proud of my lifetime fleet average of around 30 mpg, even if it was obtained by ten years of TDI driving. But I’ve come to believe we’re chasing the high-hanging fruit by pushing hard for ever-increasing vehicle mileage.

    At least where cars are concerned. I’d rather concentrate on the lowest-MPG vehicles on the road. It’s a matter of mathematics. Over a 100-mile trip, you can save a gallon of gas by choosing a 50-mpg vehicle over a 33 -mpg one. Or by selecting a 25-mpg car instead of a 20 mpg one. Or by tweaking your 10-MPG truck to get 11.11 MPG. Each change saves the same amount of fuel, so they’re equally meaningful. But which would be technically easier to achieve?

    Once cars pass 30 or 40 MPG, they’re efficient enough that raising that number doesn’t accomplish much– except for giving the owner a gaudy MPG number to brag about. Maybe we’re talking about efficiency the wrong way. If we used the sensible liters per kilometer formula of other nations, the dwindling returns of extreme MPGs would be more clear.

    What’s really counterproductive is to make future cars so awkwardly streamlined and overly complicated buyers will choose light trucks instead, which seem to face few standards at all.

    And yes, Libber-children, I wish we could concur that a carbon tax would be a better solution that would encourage efficiency automatically, with fewer loopholes. Talk to your GOP Congressmen about that, will you? I’m sure I can get my local Democrat to go along.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I’ve found both the [volume]/[distance] (in this case, L/km) and [distance]/[volume] (MPG) to be equally useful in different situations.

      “If I have this much fuel, how far can I go?”

      “If I need to go this far, how much fuel will it take?”

      • 0 avatar
        Wheatridger

        “MPG” is a lot easier to say. But we seldom put a gallon in our tank just to see how far that will take us, and our fuel gauges don’t read out in gallons remaining (dash displays compute how far you can go.) My problem with MPG is that the decimal steps at 30, 40, 50 mpg appear more significant than they really are (41 seems so much more than 39), and it hides the mathematical fact that each additional MPG actually represents smaller and smaller savings.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Wheatridger – I agree.
      1. Focus on large vehicles like pickups.
      A gain of 1 mpg on a product that sells over 1.5 million units per year will save more fuel and do more fore the environment than all EV’s or hybrids. That is why I believe cutting back CAFE numbers because trucks and large vehicles are more popular makes no sense.
      2. Marketability of “future cars”.
      I’m all for electric vehicles and hybrids BUT not if there isn’t anything on the market that I want to buy. I’d consider a mid-sized hybrid CUV or SUV but not a car. I’d also consider a hybrid truck. 200 miles is adequate for most but I’ve been in remote areas where I’d be dead with that kind of range.

  • avatar
    shaker

    “Over a 100-mile trip, you can save a gallon of gas by choosing a 50-mpg vehicle over a 33 -mpg one. Or by selecting a 25-mpg car instead of a 20 mpg one. Or by tweaking your 10-MPG truck to get 11.11 MPG. Each change saves the same amount of fuel, so they’re equally meaningful. But which would be technically easier to achieve?”

    The manufacturers are already gaming the system with smaller turbocharged engines in heavy, tall SUV’s and trucks. Due to their low displacement, they get close to the EPA HWY mileage but their EPA “City” mileage is not close to the real-world. So, the “average” MPG numbers are going up. Any owner will tell you (if they’re being really honest) that the “city” mileage of these vehicles (either from driving in stop-and-go traffic, or in hilly terrain) is 4-6 MPG worse than the EPA “City” rating.

    So, gas use could actually be going up with higher EPA ratings (go figure?), but no one cares because gas is cheap right now.

    If the price of gas went back up to 3.50/gal, all those “EcoBoost” lawsuits would probably be in the news again.

    I guess the point is that if the “City” numbers are lies, then using the EPA data to choose your vehicle for the best efficiency improvement might give unpleasant surprises…

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      The EPA rated the BMW i3 to have a range of 81 miles. I got 58 miles in 3 days of normal driving.

      The EPA has proven over an extended period of time to be a ballpark guessing mechanism for fuel economy.

      • 0 avatar

        @jkross22

        As with all things automotive, YMMV.

        My personal experience with both gas cars and EV’s is that the EPA numbers are reasonably realistic.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        No, it’s just that it’s nigh impossible to design a scientific test to cover all possible use cases. If they made the test mimic how you use your car, someone else would be complaining how it doesn’t match their results.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Shaker – that has been a universal critique of mpg ratings. They have been gradually revised to be more “real world”. I tend to agree that one benefit of turbo V6 engines is that they test better than equivalent HP V8’s. MPG ratings should be viewed as a starting point. A reference.
      My F150 is rated 14 city 18 highway. If I drive “my” normal I tend to be around 14 in the city. The caveat being that I don’t live in a large metropolitan centre. If I try to hypermile I can push that up to around 15 mpg. Same can be said for highway. The caveat being this, I have to drive 450 miles to get close to a freeway. Highest speed limit I face is 110 kph (68.75 mph). I’ve pushed my mpg to 20.4 mpg highway on 2 separate 500 mile trips with some hypermiling and keeping around 100 kph. If I drive around 110 kph and try to remain smooth, I’m around 18-19 mpg. The harder and faster I drive, obviously drops my mpg below CAFE.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        “I’ve pushed my mpg to 20.4 mpg highway on 2 separate 500 mile trips with some hypermiling and keeping around 100 kph. If I drive around 110 kph and try to remain smooth, I’m around 18-19 mpg. The harder and faster I drive, obviously drops my mpg below CAFE.”

        Sure, the new Fords aren’t that “aero” anymore – so speed plays a bigger role in highway MPG.

        You seem like a careful driver, being aware of your efficiency; I’d be willing to bet that there are many drivers out there getting 12MPG around town with your vehicle.

        This brings me back to a 200-mile trip that I drove (in the 1970’s) between Pittsburgh, PA and Cleveland, OH and back. Got 20 MPG @ 60MPH driving a 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix, 400 cu in, 4 bbl Rochester carb, 3 speed automatic. I remember that my “City” mileage was 10-12 MPG.

        Yes, it was a car, not a truck — but in real-world terms, are we really doing that much better MPG-wise? Our choices of trucks and SUV’s are threatening to bring back late ’70s/early 80’s MPG averages…

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          shaker – I tend to be gentle with driving. I became more careful about being smooth as a paramedic. No fun being in the back with a sick patient and feeling like a marble in a tin can held by a kid.
          My brother-in-law is a cop. He has an F150 a few years older than mine. His mpg is never as good as mine. He is a self admitted lead foot but as a staff sergeant he tends not to worry about speeding tickets;)
          I do believe we are doing better overall with mpg. I posted an excerpt to that affect.
          My Supercrew gets 23% better mpg than the 1990 3/4 ton reg cab 5.0 I owned. That was smaller than my current truck. My Current truck is only 18% worse than the 1984 2.8 litre V6 Ranger 4×4 I used to own.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            Thanks for the reply –

            My pessimism lies with the fact that many drivers of the mid-sized vehicles equipped with tiny turbocharged engines will drive less carefully than they should — overcompensating the turbo lag, then too much throttle/boost, then too much braking – especially in stop-and-go traffic.
            I believe that these new powerplants require a little more thought to drive efficiently as opposed to a bigger 4 cyl/V6.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Remove CAFE and increase fuel tax to the tune of around a $1 000 or so per year, on average.

    It will cost society no additional money and road infrastructure will be the better for it.

    Imagine the US auto industry if fuel increased an additional $1 000 per year average!

    But, let the manufactures do what they want in the FE department.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      Not enough tax penalty to change behavior, because we pay it at the pump, $10-15 at a time. Currently the annual fuel cost of comparable models I’ve checked runs up to $2000. Switching from a fairly efficient Tiguan to an Audi eTron would save me over $3000 per year, by EPA estimates, but I wouldn’t do it on that basis. The added registration costs in my state would claim all those savings.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      We don’t have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem, and it’s not so much the amount, as the largess Congress aims at people who are already quite wealthy. A cursory glance at the budget will show where all of our money is going, and why we can’t fund basic populism like roads or national park maintenance.

  • avatar
    TW5

    CAFE has noble ambitions, but the policy itself is deeply flawed. Footprint of a vehicle is not closely linked to the imperative of fuel-efficiency, yet the NHTSA has linked these metrics in the name of safety. Many enthusiasts will suffer as a result. V8 sedans dealt a harsh blow by CAFE 1979. CAFE 2025 will basically eliminate them, though they make better fuel economy than fullsize trucks, and they move as many people as comfortably. Also, by what climate imperative should we outlaw a Jeep Wrangler, which has a minute footprint, but allow a fullsize truck? They have roughly the same fuel economy, yet CAFE will eliminate the offroad segment and tolerate fullsize trucks.

    These needless conflicts of interest are just the tip of the iceberg. Raising the cost of vehicle production will put pressure on auto manufacturer margins, and sales have already started to decline now that consumers have satisfied their post-recession pent-up-demand for new vehicles. Manufacturers will either see their stock prices correct or they will move even more production to Mexico. Ford announced it plans to build several new vehicles in Mexico, vehicles that the EPA predicted would have high margins due to high fuel costs.

    Overall CAFE 2025 is just dumb policy. They should eliminate the footprint provisions at least. In a decent world, they will scrap the augural standard (2022-2025) as well, or create a trigger based upon the cost of oil. In a perfect world they will move to a completely different arrangement that funds new technology with public money, rather than dumping the cost on US consumers and auto manufacturers. Time for Uncle Sam to splash some cash on STEM jobs and the middle class, rather than funding champagne socialism for plutocrats in Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.

  • avatar
    Duaney

    Overlooked in these conversations is will the auto industry have the needed technology when the deadline comes for the increased MPG standard, and at what costs? If extreme weight is removed for the most economical small vehicles to achieve the MPG average, how many deaths and serious injuries will result from driving a balsa wood lightweight? Airbags can only do so much.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    There are lots of people who have no business living in a free society. We need a two state solution at this point.

    • 0 avatar
      brenschluss

      I can only imagine what an underwhelming life you must lead to be able to throw so many aimless tantrums on the internet.

      Borderline cases such as yourself are one reason why we don’t have sane, sensible conservative options.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        You’ll be happier when you’re true to yourself. It’s acceptable now, little James Dean fan. As for my life, don’t worry about it. Worry about all my married friends who live vicariously through me.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Worry about all my married friends who live vicariously through me.”

          Wise words I heard from Jack: “Nobody is thinking about you as much as you think they are.”

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            He probably meant you. How many questions do your coworkers ask about your last date, weekend trip, or any time you look tired in the morning? Do they ask follow up questions about every girl they see you with and text you receive? Some people are more interesting than others. Sorry.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      If that happens you might be very surprised which of those two you end up in.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      Oh, great – another wall to build :-)

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Wee Todd on the rampage again. So much anger. The Depends bill is killing him since he gets incontinent with each thought of Hillary as Commander in Chief. LOL

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Years ago I lived with a paramedic. She really wanted me to understand what she did and the sacrifices she made by giving up lucrative TV script writing for public service. I recall a book she had me read, although the title eludes me. She thought it would make me appreciate what she did more, but it really made EMS work sound like public taxi service for diabetic parasites. What stuck with me was that the life of a paramedic is brutal and short. Hers ended last year. I support your choice of career.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        This is just coming attractions, regardless of the puppet, we’re waiting for the Fall of the Roman Empire to start (in 3D! Wow!).

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    If automakers hang tough, band together and keep offering what Americans want, and of course, we keep buying them, CAFE will explode and be gobbled up by the ever expanding DEA.

    CAFE has no real powers and can only suggest policy. Besides, most Americans want highly fuel efficient vehicles, no matter the size, power and capability.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      CAFE isn’t an agency, it’s a formula. The agency that runs that formula has the power to levy gas guzzler taxes for non-compliance. Daimler pays millions to sell their Mercedes cars here because they don’t have gas-sipping econoboxes to sell.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        No they pay guzzler penalties because their cars use too much gas. The current regulations are based on footprint. This is why the automakers accepted the new rules, it divorces changes in customer preference from the equations. Of course they now want to renegotiate because that is how the game is played. Now it is true that they could help themselves by having a micro car that exceeds its target because they can trade withing their fleet.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Luckily the gas guzzler tax only ever hits high-dollar sports coupes/sedans, so they don’t affect sales. Automakers want the CAFE to lower the standards, but will go and build exactly what consumer want. Consumers also want trucks/SUVs/muscle/luxury with the decent fuel economy.

    2025 CAFE fines are too small to really matter, when you consider the vehicles that’ll put them in violation are extremely profitable.

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