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Old 12-18-2007, 11:29 PM   #1
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35 MPG CAFE std. almost law

End of domestic RWD renaissance???

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With a resounding 314-100 majority, the House of Representatives has passed sweeping changes to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards that govern auto fuel economy.

With approval already having come from the Senate, the bill heads to the White House tomorrow, where the Associated Press reports that the President will sign it into law.

The epic bill calls for fleet average fuel economy among passenger cars, small trucks and SUVs to rise to 35 miles per gallon by 2022. It has been 32 years since the CAFE standards for cars have changed; light-truck standards were recently raised by the Bush Administration.

The bill puts a large burden on the auto industry to change its offerings and to build more fuel-efficient vehicles, but it also lays out changes to other environmental standards that might also save fuel. The bill mandates an increase in the use of ethanol to 36 billion gallons by 2022, a figure six times higher than today. And, the AP adds, energy efficiency standards for lighting, appliances, and federal buildings would be tightened.

Detroit's automakers have already chimed in on the new fuel-economy regulations.

In a statement, GM CEO Rick Wagoner said, "GM commends the Congress and President for passage of an energy bill. The new fuel economy standards within the bill set a tough, national target that GM will strive to meet. We will focus our engineering and technical resources to attain these standards and we remain hard at work applying the innovation and developing the advanced technologies that will power tomorrow's cars and trucks."

Bob Nardelli, CEO of Chrysler LLC, said something strikingly similar: "We commend the Congress for passing an energy bill today and we fully support it being signed into law. Chrysler is committed to meeting the fuel economy standards of the bill - and doing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our country's reliance on foreign oil. We continue to devote significant resources to develop quality, fuel efficient products that our customers expect. This year alone, we offer six vehicles that get 28 miles per gallon or better, and more are on the way."

Automakers had little choice but to go along with the legislation. With the price of oil from the Middle East hovering near $90 per barrel and the U.S. dollar taking a beating on global markets, the fuel economy standards had become linked to national security.

While Detroit's responses sounded canned, environmental groups clearly cheered the passage of the bill, a historic defeat for the auto industry's powerful Washington lobby. Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director, said the bill and CAFE changes signaled a new direction: "This bill is a clean break with the failed energy policies of the past and puts us on the path toward a cleaner, greener energy future."

Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Charitable Trusts Campaign for Fuel Efficiency, added that the bill resolves a longstanding debate in the U.S. about fuel economy and tied it to national security, a wedge issue that's become effective with more Republicans, 95 of whom joined Democrats in voting for the bill in the House today. "Americans demanded action on energy security and global warming and Congress responded," Cuttino said. "This new fuel efficiency standard shows how powerful these issues have become -- and they're not going away."

The final bill was not as severe as recent versions have been. House leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had tried to insert provisions that would revoke tax breaks for oil companies totaling more than $13 billion but those were blocked from the final bill.

While Democratic leadership in Washington suggested the changes to meet new CAFE standards could save drivers $700 to $1000 a year in fuel costs, automakers have long challenged the cost savings notion, pointing out that the technology required to meet the new regulations could easily exceed $1000 per car.
http://www.thecarconnection.com/Auto...73.A13762.html
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:02 AM   #2
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wow..
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:26 AM   #3
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thats redicurous.....

has anyone seen the research that correlates cafe standards going up and automobile deaths per capita increasing? because the engines arent helping just hte cars are getting lighter....

also gas is going to increase in price because oil companies are energy companies and they are going to justify it by saying you get more energy so they get more money.

basicly this is a sad commentary on how retarded congress is and how thier trying to do right by the little guy is f'fing us all over
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:31 AM   #4
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also gas is going to increase in price because oil companies are energy companies and they are going to justify it by saying you get more energy so they get more money.
That is so true.. the government could of came up with a better solution than this..
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Old 12-19-2007, 03:12 AM   #5
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BUT.. it still has to happen. 35mpg by 2022? Is the motoring industry that backward that after (what will be) 130 years of automotive R&D we can't get a V8 to put out a reasonable mileage?

Okay, BIG sweeping statement and to be honest, I don't really agree with my own comments - but millions probably do and we have to accept that we're actually in the minority :(

Still, with quad-cams, DOD etc I reckon it easily doable with the clever bods around the world doing their thing!
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:56 AM   #6
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^Well the internal combustion enging IS an outdated design, but yeah you would think they'd get better mileage out of it.

Something similar to this is bound to happen over here soon, which is kind of inorinc seeing as the most popular cars are Volvos and Saabs and many of those are the big heavy station wagons and SUVs that could certainly be considered gas guzzlers.
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:41 AM   #7
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The government doesn't want the average person to be able to afford a car. Atleast that is what they are shooting for. They want to control every aspect of our lives. Like how much energy we consume in our homes. It's not about global warming. Global warming is just a cover up for their true motives. Eventually cars will cost so much, because they are so expensive to produce with the new standards, that most people will not have them. America and China will change places. They will be wealthy, and we will be walking everywhere.
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:55 AM   #8
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Cali's trying to pass a law about exhaust emissions that will go beyond the federal laws on top of this cafe crap. sometimes I hate CA. Most expensive cost of living and hardest laws on cars (90% aftermarket parts are illegal).
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:29 AM   #9
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First off, let me start by saying I'm not so naive as to think that this huge Gov't (size) we have right now is a good thing. Nor do I think they are very bright.

Secondly, as you may/may not see below - I'm am neither Democrat, nor republican - but after this administration, I don't look to kindly on the republicans right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by headpunter View Post
also gas is going to increase in price because oil companies are energy companies and they are going to justify it by saying you get more energy so they get more money.
I too, can see that happening - which is why I think it's a load of crap the Republicans blocked the revoking of the oil company tax breaks. Unfortunately, a certain president, and no doubt many others, have a decent amount of stake in oil. Oil Companies are BAD. And they need to be taken down a notch. Just like Insurance companys, and healthcare companies....

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Originally Posted by willisit View Post
BUT.. it still has to happen. 35mpg by 2022? Is the motoring industry that backward that after (what will be) 130 years of automotive R&D we can't get a V8 to put out a reasonable mileage?

....Still, with quad-cams, DOD etc I reckon it easily doable with the clever bods around the world doing their thing!
Someone said it before; The Internal Combustion Eninge is, by it's nature, an inefficient design. if you really think about it, it is intentionally designed to lose energy potential through heat (cooling system), and only develops power through 25% of it's cycle.

However, 35mpg is NOT as difficult a task to reach, as some may think. Some may be forgetting, or not realizing that 35 mpg is a Corporate Average fuel economy standard; not every vehicle, every engine.

Then you need to realize that, indeed, our vehicles have gotten fatter. But what do you expect when some vehicles offer more comforts than our own homes...I still don't have A/C in my house. And these cars are as safe as anybody could hope for in a car. Airbags - literally - all around you. (you think that doesn't add weight to a vehicle?)

Finally, for GM specifically; no doubt it's going to be a 'difficult' task to reach. but this goal is for 2022. Now, assuming we don't blow up, or incinerate the surface of our planet by then...GM will have over 16 (for sure) Hybrid model vehicles alone - saving gas. Then they have Flex-fuel vehicles. On top of all that, they've got their savior - The Volt. Why do you think they're rushing all this stuff out the door so quickly? A Volt by 2010?!?! Yes. Because it has to be done. Relax on this account - Gm can do it. Here's a list of tech that I know of, (and there's more: you know there's more ) that can/will make this possible:

HCCI
DIG
VVT
AFM
Dual-Mode Hybrid tech.
E85 capability.
Solenoid-controlled valve actuation
Dual-Clutch Transmissions

Maybe not finally. It's not the 70's - I realize that. But did the all the fuel economy stuff then kill off the muscle car, or SUV's? No!! The Camaro/Firebird posted its highest sales that decade.

Okay - so this is 'finallly'. Don't be fooled into believing this is solely about the environment. It's not - maybe a little bit, but not really. This is about our way of life, and the energy demands it has. China, India, and other "third-world" nations, are not third world anymore - at least, they're coming out of it.

The planet cannot support our way of life for that many people. So we need to cap our energy demands. Once the oil starts "running out", do you think those countries with their new cars, are going to bow down to the glorious USA, and say - here, you can take the oil. We'll go back to where we were. NO!! So we need to limit our energy needs - so we can say that (^).

/Rant.
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willisit View Post
BUT.. it still has to happen. 35mpg by 2022? Is the motoring industry that backward that after (what will be) 130 years of automotive R&D we can't get a V8 to put out a reasonable mileage?

Okay, BIG sweeping statement and to be honest, I don't really agree with my own comments - but millions probably do and we have to accept that we're actually in the minority :(

Still, with quad-cams, DOD etc I reckon it easily doable with the clever bods around the world doing their thing!
I don't doubt that they can do better on the mileage, but as even Bob Lutz has said, its going to add $5-$7K to car prices.
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:34 AM   #11
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the way I see it, like dragoneye said, GM is already putting out the volt. 50 mpg (not counting the electric motor!) on a car puts them ahead of the curve and gives me full confidence that they can't easily get a truck to 35 mpg or at the very least have enough cars close or above it that they will have no trouble meeting these standards.
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:39 AM   #12
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oil companies:
they are companies, the repeated bashing by the media doesnt help thier imge at all. Everyone hates a big corporation in this country. when you think about how much capital oil companies take to run and thier overhead expenses, they are asking reasonable prices. They are just like any other company, they are trying to make money. why shouldn't they?why should the government limit thier profit? people dont get into a business to break even. if we would deregulate energy companies it would help reduce costs immensely.

added cost without benefit: Side Curtain airbags, i have friends that are firemen, they despise the side curtain airbag. wanna know why? say to roll your car or it catches fire after your accident, they have a nigh impossible time trying to get you out. they have to have special knives to cut the material and it still takes a long time to do, all while you are bleeding out or burning alive...

about energy consumption:
funny thing is out of america, china, india, and other 3rd world countries are limiting thier consumption? Not a chance.
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Old 12-19-2007, 10:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Cali's trying to pass a law about exhaust emissions that will go beyond the federal laws on top of this cafe crap. sometimes I hate CA. Most expensive cost of living and hardest laws on cars (90% aftermarket parts are illegal).
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I still have nightmares about "50 State Legal"

I can't count how many times I was pulled over and asked to provide the certs for all the aftermarket performance parts on my truck. I was amazed at how well the knew the aftermarket products. After the first ticket I learned to keep that information in the truck.

For a state with such a Hot Rod history they sure do make it hard on you guys.

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Old 12-19-2007, 11:38 AM   #14
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I thought all of this was from months ago...which was why GM "shut down" their rear wheel drive plants and put them on hold???

Because even though this was passed, legislation was put into effect that if GM, Ford, and Chrysler couldn't meet the standards, then the gov't could lower the mpg...

Isn't this an old article? All should be fine by now...
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:51 AM   #15
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These clowns know absolutely nothing about the auto industry first off, so they certainly have no business trying to regulate it without some sort of mutual agreement. Now domestics are under the gun.

However, I'm most conerned about how this will effect domestic RWD cars?? What's Soctt's take??
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAG UR IT View Post
I thought all of this was from months ago...which was why GM "shut down" their rear wheel drive plants and put them on hold???

Because even though this was passed, legislation was put into effect that if GM, Ford, and Chrysler couldn't meet the standards, then the gov't could lower the mpg...

Isn't this an old article? All should be fine by now...
No. Ironically - what happened then, was the preliminary 'passing' of it. When it was drawn up, and people started saying..."this is a good idea". That's when Lutz 'got nervous'.

Then about a week or so ago, they tried passing it, again (I think) at which point they couldn't. So they took out the provision for the elimination of tax breaks on Oil companies Go figure. Now bush is expected to sign it.
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:59 AM   #17
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aaahhhhh.... crap.
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerScotsman View Post
These clowns know absolutely nothing about the auto industry first off, so they certainly have no business trying to regulate it without some sort of mutual agreement. Now domestics are under the gun.

However, I'm most conerned about how this will effect domestic RWD cars?? What's Soctt's take??
I don't know about Fbodfather, but GM posted this in their blog:

Quote:
Fuel Economy vs. Fuel Efficiency

The gas engine's demise has been greatly exaggerated

By Dan Hancock
Vice President, GM Global Powertrain Engineering

With the energy bill now pending in Congress, many have questioned the viability of the gasoline fueled-internal combustion engine in cars, citing incremental mileage gains of the past few years as proof the technology has reached its zenith.

But GM doesn’t believe the gas engine is dead. It will absolutely remain a significant part of our Advanced Propulsion Technology Strategy for the foreseeable future. As Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said on Dec. 3, “The new CAFE standards pose a significant technical and economic challenge to the industry. It’s a challenge that GM is prepared to put forth its best effort to meet with an array of engineering, research and development resources.”

For decades, we have been successful in squeezing more and more miles out of a gallon of gasoline, while driving emissions as close as possible to zero.
And, in 2008, GM once again leads the U.S. industry with 15 models that achieve 30 or more highway miles per gallon. This is a very impressive accomplishment, especially considering the more stringent method that the EPA began using in 2008 for calculating fuel economy labels.

Continuous improvement of conventional powertrains is an important part of our Advanced Propulsion Technology Strategy, and technologies such as direct injection, Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation system) variable valve timing and six-speed transmissions have contributed to the advances we have made in efficiency.

These advances have complemented evolving vehicle design trends that have produced vehicles that deliver vastly improved performance and safety.
There is no one “silver bullet” solution for powertrain or energy technology.

It will take a blending of many different sources of energy to reduce both our reliance on oil and the automobile’s impact on the environment, while successfully meeting the growing energy demand. This is why our Advanced Propulsion Technology Strategy is focused on energy diversity, which includes improvements to the conventional engine and transmissions, electrification of the vehicle with hybrids and range-extended vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell technology.

For argument’s sake, let’s compare similar GM vehicles of the past 20 years: The 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt, the 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier and the 1988 Chevrolet Cavalier; each powered by a four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission:
  • 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt: 2.2-liter engine; 148 horsepower; 2,780 pounds; EPA mileage ratings of 24 city and 33 highway.
  • 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier: 2.2-liter engine; 115 horsepower; 2,583 pounds; EPA mileage ratings of 21 city and 31 highway.
  • 1988 Chevrolet Cavalier: 2.0-liter engine; 90 horsepower; 2,359 pounds; EPA mileage ratings of 22 city and 33 highway.
When comparing the numbers, the ’08 Cobalt weighs approximately 17 percent more than the ’88 Cavalier, yet delivers a significant 64-percent power premium with essentially identical fuel mileage. And when compared with the ’98 Cavalier, the ’08 Cobalt delivers nearly 30 percent more power, almost 6.5-percent better highway mileage and 14-percent better city mileage – despite a 7-percent weight penalty.

By the way, the mileage ratings of the 1998 and 1988 models were originally listed higher, but they’ve been converted here – and on the EPA’s web site – to correlate with the newly adopted fuel economy testing standard from EPA, which is used to calculate the mileage of all 2008 and newer vehicles. You can compare the updated and original mileage ratings at www.fueleconomy.gov.

So, the efficiency of GM’s gas powertrains have made tremendous gains over the years. These gains, however, have been tempered by changes in vehicle design. Some of the changes were driven by safety, such as the use of higher-mass, high-strength steel in body structures and multiple air bag modules – all of which add mass that wasn’t found in vehicles 10 or 20 years ago. The ’08 Cobalt, for example, comes standard with four air bags (dual frontal air bags and head curtain side air bags), but air bags were not offered on the 1988 Cavalier.

Other, customer-desired features, such as larger wheels, navigation systems and even all-wheel-drive systems, also add mass that generally wasn’t found on new vehicles a decade ago. Given the evolution of the market, GM believes continual refinement of the internal combustion engine, such as we demonstrated recently with prototype cars powered by homogenous charge combustion ignition (HCCI) engines, allows vehicles to retain the safety and convenience features that customers have come to enjoy and, yes, expect. HCCI offers the efficiency of a diesel, but without the added cost of an expensive after-treatment system.

Indeed, GM is working very hard to squeeze more miles out of a gallon of gasoline and reduce emissions. HCCI technology is still in the experimental stage, but we are confident that it will be one of the fuel-saving technologies we will offer customers in our future product portfolio.

We’re also delivering five new ’08 gas-electric hybrids, including the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon Hybrids, the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid and, next year, the ’08 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. The 2WD versions of the Tahoe and Yukon Hybrids are rated at 21 miles per gallon in the city – equal to the city fuel economy of the ’08 Toyota Camry with the base four-cylinder. The difference is the Tahoe and Yukon seat eight and can tow up to 6,200 pounds. The Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid returns for ’08 as the SUV with the highest highway fuel economy.

We’ll produce eight gas-electric hybrids during the next four years, including the 2009 Silverado Hybrid that was announced at the L.A. Auto Show. This full-size pickup will use our same patented 2-Mode Hybrid system as the Tahoe, Yukon and Escalade. Plug-in hybrids are also on the horizon. And with nine new fuel-saving six-speed transmissions already in production, we’re years ahead on our commitment to deliver 10 by 2010.

As efficiency continues to increase, the gas engine will continue to play a significant role in the propulsion of vehicles for the foreseeable future. Over the past three decades, in the U.S. alone, General Motors has improved fuel economy on cars by as much as 130 percent and on trucks by as much as 75 percent.

Yes, there are more gains to be had – and we’re finding them everyday.
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:28 PM   #19
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35 MPG CAFE IS the law

^Thanks! I read that not too long ago but I'm not sure I read the whole thing.

Quote:
Energy Independence Bill That Raises CAFE Standard Becomes Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the revised version of the Energy Independence and Security Act, returned to it from the U.S. Senate this week. After a camera-ready trip to the White House in a Toyota Prius, the bill was signed into law by President Bush this morning. A key provision of the bill is an increase in fuel-economy standards to average 35 mpg by 2020, which is the first time the CAFE average has been raised since the 1970s.

The bill also calls for an increase in the U.S. CAFE standard every year starting in 2011
and at a "maximum feasible rate" during the years between 2021 and 2030.

Renewable-energy mandates were a controversial aspect of the bill, and some of the more draconian measures — including heavy taxation of the biggest oil companies — were stripped out of the bill before it passed the Senate. The bill in its final form calls for the U.S. fuel supply to include 36 billion gallons of biofuels — including 15 billion gallons of ethanol, with the rest from "non-food" sources — in 2022.

There are other alt-fuel and energy-saving provisions that cover everything from lighting efficiency to dishwashers' water usage.

What this means to you: A small step for "energy independence" that most likely will have to be followed by bigger leaps, but it's a start. — Laura Sky Brown, Correspondent
http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do...ticleId=124020

This can only mean that 5thgen powertrains will be developed to meet these new regulations. Scott and company no doubt have some huge surprises for us (for those that care or not) in regards to fuel efficiency.
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Old 12-19-2007, 07:26 PM   #20
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its company average, which means hybrid aveo with 50 mpg will offset 20mpg camaros....in theory, thats why corvette might become thier own brand so chevy's overall average will go up and corvette will just pay the penalties
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:35 PM   #21
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I really have mixed opinions on this:

Against it:
1. CAFE is pointless. The market moves totally independent of it. When it was introduced, the market demanded cars that were even more fuel efficient than mandated. When gas became cheap again, the SUV was created, taking advantage of lower CAFE regulations for trucks. As a result, as soon as a couple has one kid they go out and buy the biggest SUV on the market because they "need" the space. Now, consumers give lip service to more fuel efficient cars, but they still buy the biggest, fastest car they can afford. Sure Prius sales are on the rise and truck sales are declining (mainly due to the depression in the construction industry) but if the market actually reflected the rhetoric about fuel efficiency most people would be driving subcompacts and you'd find the odd SUV here or there in the hands of the most hardcore outdoors enthusiast.

2. It isn't the federal government's job to tell me what kind of fuel economy my car should have. I should have the freedom to make that decision based on my own economic standing and social principles. Really, I want a fuel efficient car anyway (which is why I'm hoping for AFM on the base V8 and possibly considering one of the Alpha sedans), but I hate having it imposed on me.

3. The government really doesn't know what the reality of the industry is. They assume that the cost of fuel efficiency is negligible. They are so sure that they can make cars as fuel efficient as they want, and they just choose to make them as efficient as they are now, so they can just choose to make them more efficient. They honestly believe the increased cost (if any) would be easily offset by the fuel savings. They have no idea that mandated safety equipment and restrictions on freer flowing air intakes and exhaust systems actually work against fuel economy.

4. GM is wrong. Gasoline is about over. As soon as China and India really come on line, good luck getting affordable gas for everyday use. It won't matter if fuel economy is 26 mpg or 35 mpg or 100 mpg. Clean, renewable, homemade bio-fuels and electricity are the future.

For this legislation:
1. Actually, 35 mpg is the industry standard. Some manufacturers will be held to higher than average standards, some to lower than average standards. GM will likely be held to lower standards, Honda and Toyota to higher standards. HA!

2. It could have been worse. Bigger idiots than Bush (coughhillarycough and the other Democratic candidates) got into a game of one-upmanship and vowed increasingly tougher regulations if they won. "I'll make it 50 mpg" "well, elect me and I'll make it 55, and it won't cost you a cent" "60" "70!" and so on. So getting this passed now locks in a more reasonable standard.

3. It still includes plenty of loopholes, like credit for flex fuel vehicles. They're totally pointless, but it basically allows credits for nearly no cost. :party0038:

4. This thread has allowed me to have fun with all the wonderful new smileys
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:36 PM   #22
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Best anti-CAFE argument I've read yet:

Quote:
At Witz’ End: The 35-MPG Showroom
“Sorry, no vehicles meet your specifications.”

by Gary Witzenburg (2007-06-27)

Most of us know that the U.S. Senate has passed an energy bill that dictates a 35-mpg Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) for all vehicles, cars and trucks, by 2020, and the House will likely follow. But how many understand what that means?



I'll bet the technologically challenged lawmakers who voted for that standard, like their accomplices in the mainstream media and the vast majority of the public, believe it means the same kinds of cars and trucks they enjoy today will get much better mileage down the road. How hard could it be to move from today's long-established 27.5-mpg car CAFE to 35 miles per gallon, a mere 7.5-mpg (27-percent) increase?



Almost no one outside the fuel-economy business understands how incredibly tough, probably impossible, and enormously expensive that really would be. Even Toyota - whose hybrid-boosted 2006 car and truck CAFEs were 34.4 and 23.7 mpg, respectively - calls the 35-mpg standard "very aggressive" and "difficult to meet," adding that, "the time frame is too soon."



GM says that to bring all vehicles up to 35 mpg - a totally absurd 58-percent increase for light trucks, now at 22.2 mpg - represents a combined 40-percent boost that would cost more than $100 billion, "the greatest regulatory cost ever imposed on a single industry."



The only way it could come even close to happening would be to dieselize and hybridize virtually everything - at an incremental cost (not retail price) of $5000-$8000 per vehicle -and downsize trucks to where they could barely haul the content of a homeless auto worker's shopping cart. New emissions standards are making diesels way more expensive, and there's not enough battery raw material on the planet for an all-hybrid fleet.





Practical limits



CAFE standards haven't moved much for years because there is a practical limit to what can be achieved. The only way full-line automakers can comply with today's standards is to sell a lot of not-too-popular (and much less safe) little cars, flex-fuel (E85) vehicles, and small car-based crossovers to offset larger cars and trucks.



Every vehicle achieves the fuel efficiency it does because of what it is, what it can do and how it's used. It takes a finite amount of energy to accelerate a given mass at a given rate to a given speed…every time. Then it takes a finite amount of energy to maintain that speed against aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance…all day long. Drag is the product of how much air it must move out of the way and how much turbulence it creates in the process. Rolling resistance is a function of tire and driveline design.



Thus the most meaningful fuel economy factors for any vehicle are weight, frontal area (width times height) and sleekness of shape, followed by tire design, driveline, and how a vehicle is loaded and driven. Engine displacement and power are minor contributors because a large engine can loaf carrying the same size and weight that will overload a small one, which is why a working six-cylinder pickup is not very efficient, but a cruising 500-hp Corvette can be. Operator-added load (heavy cargo) and drag (stuff on the roof) are major fuel economy hits, while efficiency improving technologies can add a lot of cost in exchange for incremental gains.



The 35-mpg showroom



Almost incomprehensibly, CAFE calculations are based on "Raw Combined" fuel economy. "Raw" numbers are those generated by EPA's old original test procedures with no adjustments to make them more realistic. "Combined" is a "harmonic" average (whatever that means) weighted at 55 percent City and 45 percent Highway.



So, since "raw" numbers are higher than today's adjusted ratings, and EPA has already recalculated its 2007 numbers to make them comparable to lower ones generated by the new, more real-world test procedures required for 2008 models, I searched EPA's Web site www.fueleconomy.gov for 2007 vehicles with Combined economy of 30 mpg or better. Just five entries emerged from the "Small Car" class: Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Yaris and Corolla, Honda Fit and Mini Cooper. All except the four-speed automatic Yaris are manual-transmission base models. Only three "Family Sedans," all hybrids, made the 30-mpg cut: Toyota Prius and Camry Hybrid and Nissan Altima Hybrid.



Every other class of vehicle - Coupes, Hatchbacks, Sports and Sporty Cars, Large Cars, Luxury Cars, Minivans and all varieties of trucks - brought up the message: "Sorry, no vehicles meet your specifications. Please try again."



If 35 mpg were the law today, would those eight cars be all you could buy? No, because CAFE is an automaker's sales-weighted fleet average. But a great many expensive extremely high-economy diesel and hybrid small cars would have to be sold to enable automakers to sell any lower-mpg larger cars or trucks at all. How many American buyers would go for those?



One very knowledgeable engineer who has worked on CAFE for many years says that to meet a 35-mpg CAFE, cars will have to average 38-39 mpg and trucks 25-28 mpg, and achieving those levels will require virtually all of both to be either diesel or gas-electric hybrid. He also points out that EPA uses "harmonic" averaging to emphasize fuel consumption (gallons per mile) rather that fuel economy (mpg), which makes CAFE compliance near-impossible for most to understand. "In CAFE math," he says, "to offset a 25-mpg vehicle to get a 35-mpg average, believe it or not, you need a car at 58.3 mpg, not 45."





What will Americans accept?




If 35-mpg CAFE becomes law, it will arrive in increments over a decade beginning in 2010, just two years from now. For passenger cars alone, that may be attainable, though not without enormous cost and consumer adjustment.Europe's proposed future CO2 emission standard of 140 grams per kilometer equates to a very aggressive 37 mpg. But Europe's car fleet today - driven by heavily taxed, ultra-expensive fuel but no fuel economy law - runs about 84 percent four-cylinder, five percent three-cylinder and just one percent eight-cylinder engines, 51 percent of them diesel and 80 percent driving through manual transmissions.



No CAFE standard can force consumers to buy what they don't want. This one will make the vehicles they want extremely rare, or extinct, and everything a lot more expensive. Past CAFE requirements have been counterproductive: by making vehicles more efficient, they have encouraged larger vehicles, more driving and more wasteful driving. And, as we have seen in recent years, it takes high fuel prices to drive meaningful change in buyer behavior.



There's no question that we Americans need to consume less petroleum in everything we do (not just driving), for both balance of trade and energy security reasons, and higher fuel prices are already accelerating us down that path. But don't try to sell me the absurd notion that vehicle-emitted CO2, which is directly proportional to fuel consumption, is destroying the planet. Harmless CO2 gas amounts to just 38 of 100,000 molecules of the Earth's atmosphere and 5 percent of so-called "greenhouse" gases, just 3.3 percent of newly-generated CO2 is man-made, and only 14 percent of that comes from cars and trucks.



So let us all support improved fuel economy within the reasonable bounds of what is achievable and affordable. But let us not let auto-unfriendly, technologically ignorant politicians destroy what's left of America 's automotive industry through ridiculously expensive and probably unattainable CAFE requirements. Simply letting gas prices stay high will get it done.

http://www.thecarconnection.com/Auto...2523.html?pg=1
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:37 AM   #23
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I *think* CAFE is coming to our shores (or a version of it) but I doubt it'll be hard to get over here as the average (as someone up ^ there said) over here is far higher I think across a car range (my Citroen does nearly 70mpg!).

In any case, I'd rather pay MORE to purchase if I knew, over time, I'd be saving on fuel (it would pay for itself). So... $5k extra? Doesn't bother me for 35mpg!
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:48 PM   #24
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Quote:
What does the future hold for supercars with new fuel economy rules?

As the 2009 Corvette ZR1 was unveiled on the very same day that President Bush signed into law a new energy bill, the obvious question is where do we go from here? The most prominent part of the bill was the first increase in corporate average fuel economy requirements in over two decades. By 2020, most manufacturers will have to achieve a sales weighted average fuel economy of 35 mpg for their fleets. Note that was "most" and not "all" manufacturers, a subject we'll return to in a moment.

At the press preview of the new LS9 engine, GM Powertrain VP Tom Stephens was asked about gas guzzler taxes and how the energy bill would affect the future of cars like the ZR1. Stephens acknowledged that the ZR1 would have a gas guzzler tax, although the final mileage numbers weren't done yet. As for the future, it's too early to tell. In the past, the death of performance cars has been predicted repeatedly and here we are at a new high water mark. Corvette VLE Tom Wallace said at the car's debut that the ZR1 would last at least through the C6 model cycle. No decisions have been made about the C7 and beyond. Keep reading after the jump.

Aside from the Corvette, the question actually gets more complicated for other manufacturers. The fuel economy rules actually exempt or grant waivers to manufacturers that produce fewer than 10,000 vehicles annually worldwide. So Ferrari, Lamborghini and Lotus are safe. The trouble comes for the likes of Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, which produce far more vehicles. The latter two at least can balance some of their AMG and M models against smaller more efficient cars. Porsche has no such option, which may be part of why it is taking control of Volkswagen.

In order to get the low volume exemption, the manufacturer has to be a separate corporate entity, which rules out spinning off Corvette as a separate brand from Chevrolet. It all gets lumped together under GM. On the other hand, being part of a large company like GM actually gives the Corvette an advantage compared at least to the German companies. Because the fleet economy numbers are based on a sales weighted average, and the Corvette volumes are relatively small in comparison to overall GM sales, the sports car actually doesn't sway the numbers that much.

It's entirely possible that in the coming years we might see AMG and M spun off from their parents and classed as low volume builders. With technologies like dual clutch transmissions, direct injection, biofuels and some sort of hybrid setup, it's also distinctly possible that enough progress will come that future generations of ZR1, Viper and Carrera will play happily on the back roads with Tesla Roadsters. The absolute truth is that it's anybody's guess what the future holds. But if the past is anything to go by, it won't be what you expect today.
http://www.autoblog.com/2007/12/20/w...el-economy-ru/
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:55 PM   #25
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It can be done, the dual mode hybrid silverado will get the same milage as a regular Camry. I'm sure that it will be possible to make a 5.3L V8 camaro get close to 35 mpg without using hybrid technology. But as I posted in the other CAFE thread, there is a massive loophole involving E85. 15mpg on E85 = 40 mpg rating, regardless of what the car actually uses for fuel so long as it is E85 capable. No idea how they came up with that, but that will make the Volt have an insane mileage rating, something north of 100 mpg. So basically, if a vehicle is E85 capable, it is nearly gaurenteed to exceed the standards.
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