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Automakers claim new fuel economy ratings will put hundreds of thousands out of work  (Source: Business Week)
Supporters of increased efficiency standards claim the numbers are inflated

The battle between the auto industry and the federal government over changes to fuel economy regulations is exploding. Lawmakers in Washington want to impose much more efficient standards on future vehicles that could see a fleet wide fuel economy average of 62 mpg in effect by 2025.

Some in the automotive industry argue that the costs to reach the lofty 62 mpg fleet wide average will be much higher than the cost of burning more fuel in less efficient vehicles for consumers. Automakers have previously claimed that the costs would have a dire impact on the industry.

new study by the Center for Automotive Research has been published and the study claims that the rise in efficiency standards by 2025 to 62 mpg could add up to $9,790 to the cost of a new vehicle and will reduce sales by 5.5 million units. The report also claims that the resultant price increase would force a reduction of 260,000 automotive industry jobs due to reduced demand for vehicles by consumers.

On the other side of the battle, those pushing for the increased efficiency standards claim that the tech needed to meet the efficiency standards would only add $770 to $3,500 to the price of a new vehicle.

David Friedman, deputy director of the Union of Concerned Scientists' Clean Vehicles program and supporter of the new efficiency mandate, said, "The Obama administration should ignore this industry-advocate propaganda piece and focus on setting the strongest vehicle efficiency and global warming pollution standards based on credible scientific analysis."

President and CEO of the Union, Jay Baron, says that the main difference in cost between the industry and government studies depends on how much the price of the technology will come down over the next 15 years.

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Because who knows better
By FITCamaro on 6/15/2011 2:07:30 PM , Rating: 1
What things cost? Those who build cars or those who think about how others should build cars.

RE: Because who knows better
By phantom505 on 6/15/11, Rating: -1
RE: Because who knows better
By mindless1 on 6/15/2011 2:40:18 PM , Rating: 3
Innovation to me would be LOWERING the cost to get the same thing. I don't know how to put it but the way I get from point A to B driving a car hasn't changed much in recent years. I don't want big brother deciding for me what I can and can't buy, let the FREE MARKET decide.

Let the automakers build whatever they want to, and the *winning* combination of design and price revails. But wait, letting the citizens decide what happens as individuals, with their wallets, seems too democratic or something.

RE: Because who knows better
By Smilin on 6/15/11, Rating: -1
RE: Because who knows better
By FITCamaro on 6/15/2011 3:09:25 PM , Rating: 1
Yes and we've gone far beyond the reasonable constraining of it to protect consumers.

RE: Because who knows better
By Smilin on 6/15/2011 3:20:29 PM , Rating: 1
That's a full debate in itself.

If you'll concede that the free market doesn't self-solve every problem then I'll meet you in the middle and concede that govornment meddling can indeed get too heavy handed.

RE: Because who knows better
By Denigrate on 6/15/2011 4:16:16 PM , Rating: 1
"Can"? I think the right answer is "Always does". Please point out the last government project that was anything close to being efficient, or remotely used a light touch.

RE: Because who knows better
By Shadowmage on 6/15/11, Rating: 0
RE: Because who knows better
By torpor on 6/15/2011 6:18:08 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Because who knows better
By Shadowmage on 6/15/2011 6:35:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, the Free Republic is an excellent source.


RE: Because who knows better
By torpor on 6/16/2011 3:24:34 PM , Rating: 3
There are pages and pages of counter opinions in that google result set.

Read any of them you like, if Free Republic isn't your thing. But in the information age, saying you aren't aware of a counter opinion on an economic topic is the same as saying you don't care if one exists.

Spare me your willful ignorance.

RE: Because who knows better
By ppardee on 6/15/2011 7:02:29 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, well, even a dead squirrel is right twice a day...

The interstate system was a good move because they filled a definite and distinct need. But it could have gone either way. It very possibly could have flopped. The government could have built roads to nowhere. At that point it would have been a colossal waste of money. FDR got lucky that people built where the roads went.

You can see the same thing happening in China. The Chinese gov. is building cities, complete with housing, malls and roads, but no one is moving there. It very well could have been the most successful government program in history and been lauded as a triumph of communism. It was the will of the market that determines how successful the action is.

This is the reason why profits are a good thing. They allow companies to determine if the action they are taking is positively impacting people they will never meet and rarely get any direct feedback from. Nothing the government does has any real feedback. Sure, we elect our representatives every 2-6 years, but this doesn't reflect on individual actions (and in some districts it doesn't reflect on anything but the marketing done by the candidate's team).

So, yeah... FDR got lucky. There isn't any real distinct need for 62 mpg vehicles. Any thinking man will tell you that increasing gas mileage has diminishing returns. Going from 10mpg to 20mpg saves you 5 gallons of fuel per 100 miles driven. Going from 20-40 saves 2.5 gallons. Jumping all the way up from 40 to 100 mpg saves 1.5 gal/100miles driven. 100-200 saves .5 gallons.... what's the point? And where does it end? The government doesn't know. The free market does, but only when we get there.

RE: Because who knows better
By Spuke on 6/16/2011 12:26:16 AM , Rating: 2
The free market does, but only when we get there.
Good post!! Thanks for that info.

RE: Because who knows better
By Bad-Karma on 6/16/2011 3:59:20 AM , Rating: 3
FDR had nothing to do with the interstate system. That was undertaken with President Eisenhower more than 13 years later. Eisenhower witnessed the Germans ability to reshuffle and resupply whole divisions almost overnight using the autobahns and rail networks.

And it was developed more out of a need for military logistics and readiness than economics. While economic development wasn't exactly secondary it was not the initial intent.

RE: Because who knows better
By ppardee on 6/17/2011 6:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
I stand (gratefully) corrected... I hate FDR! :)

Thanks for the info! It looks like the history of it is worth more research.

RE: Because who knows better
By FITCamaro on 6/15/2011 11:31:27 PM , Rating: 1
The interstate system was a good thing.

As a whole, the New Deal did nothing but prolong the depression.

RE: Because who knows better
By Bad-Karma on 6/16/2011 4:06:43 AM , Rating: 1
Your exactly right. The country didn't really begin to recover until the last couple of years leading up to WWII and our retooling of industry. First for the Lend lease effort to Britain and the Soviet Union, and later with our own involvement.

RE: Because who knows better
By FITCamaro on 6/16/2011 12:03:36 PM , Rating: 3
I guess people feel 97% tax rates were great for economic investment.

RE: Because who knows better
By dgingeri on 6/15/2011 3:08:56 PM , Rating: 3
Let the automakers build whatever they want to, and the *winning* combination of design and price revails. But wait, letting the citizens decide what happens as individuals, with their wallets, seems too democratic or something.

To do this would mean the union people would lose their jobs because they demand too much pay for the business to compete. It would mean lazy bums and incompetents would lose jobs so that those who are willing and able to work can compete better.

We can't have a free market in a country of mostly lazy incompetents. the majority rules.

RE: Because who knows better
By JediJeb on 6/16/2011 5:52:07 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe the majority isn't the lazy incompetents but those willing to work harder and more efficiently at a lower wage yet are barred from competing for the jobs by laws that only allow the industries to hire the more expensive workers regardless of how hard or efficiently they can work.

It has turned into a situation of minority rule with minority rights instead of majority rule with minority rights as our laws are intended to be. Union automotive jobs and state highway workers are two groups that come to mind with this. Both groups, once hired and through the initial 60-90 day trial period become almost impossible to fire no matter what they do or don't do on the job and raises are only based on time worked and have nothing to do with how well you do your job. But you know that is exactly what is being taught in the schools now days too, everyone is equal and all deserve the same things regardless of whether or not they put in any effort.

RE: Because who knows better
By wallijonn on 6/15/11, Rating: -1
RE: Because who knows better
By theapparition on 6/15/2011 4:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
What an utterly incompetent backward analysis.

People WANT big cars and SUVs. The auto manufacturers (all of them, Toyota, Honda and Nissan have plenty of those "evil" SUVs too) were only happy to oblige by producing what people WANTED.

Don't give anyone else the marketing BS. Marketing didn't create the desire for American consumer preferences. You act like someone is sitting on a couch, sees an ad for a Hummer and all of a sudden changes thier mind not to get an econobox. Ridiculous.

Auto companies made what people wanted, and when consumer preferences shifted quickly, the automakers who had the most invested in those high profit models felt the pinch the most.

In Phoenix nearly 50% of the vehicles seem to be SUVs. I'd wager that less than 1% use them off road. I'd also wager that you can't buy or sell a SUV in NYC right now.

SUV's have nothing to do with off-road capability. While Jeep popularized that image, the most important aspect of an SUV is it's utility (oh, imagine that, it's part of the name). People wanted on vehicle to haul the kids, pick up items from Home Depot, and have enough power to tow a boat. Do I think many owners of SUVs have overbought? Yep, but I'll never infringe on thier rights to buy what they want.

RE: Because who knows better
By Shadowmage on 6/15/2011 5:35:41 PM , Rating: 2
What's the point of marketing then? Why did people buy Intel CPUs even during the P4 days, when AMD dominated? Clearly marketing influence peoples' purchasing decisions, and you'd be naive to think otherwise.

RE: Because who knows better
By torpor on 6/15/2011 6:23:11 PM , Rating: 4
Lots of reasons.

Some people remembered some of AMDs older products, which were horrible, and refused to trust them again.

Some people believed that the bandwidth capabilities of RAMBUS would outshine what AMD was offering, and wanted to buy into that model.

Some people had no idea what they were doing, and just bought what was familiar or easily available.

Some people would have bought AMD processor-based computers if they could find them, but due to proven monopolistic actions, Intel prevented AMD from effectivly getting their processors to the end consumer.

There are lots of reasons people buy/do things that have nothing to do with marketing. Marketing is used to attempt to create a perception about a product. What that perception is or should be, and why you want it, varies by product and strategy.

RE: Because who knows better
By Shadowmage on 6/15/2011 6:37:03 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously people aren't mind-controlled robots that do whatever marketing tells them. However, even you just admitted that marketing is indeed a major factor in peoples' considerations:

Marketing is used to attempt to create a perception about a product. What that perception is or should be, and why you want it, varies by product and strategy.

RE: Because who knows better
By mindless1 on 6/17/2011 10:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yes but remember it was written "used to ATTEMPT", not "does cause", and in this case it would be marketing "buy our SUV instead of the other brand SUV".

It's a bit irrelevant though, people already knew what type of vehicle they wanted, the advertising simply tells them "hey our company makes one of those".

RE: Because who knows better
By Shadowmage on 6/15/2011 6:38:21 PM , Rating: 3
Also, 2 of the 4 reasons you named are due to marketing:

Some people believed that the bandwidth capabilities of RAMBUS would outshine what AMD was offering, and wanted to buy into that model.

Some people had no idea what they were doing, and just bought what was familiar or easily available.

RE: Because who knows better
By Bad-Karma on 6/16/2011 4:21:04 AM , Rating: 2
Ummm.... At the time Rambus was a superior memory standard. What killed it was that it was a proprietary standard that was being stingily licensed and its' exorbitantly high price.

You could also add to the argument that being coupled to the P4 architecture did it in.

The inclusion of Rambus memory simply priced mainstream users out of the market. However, I will point out that lots of high end workstations in the business world still favored the combination or Rambus and Intel.

RE: Because who knows better
By torpor on 6/16/2011 3:16:04 PM , Rating: 2
Let me get this straight.

You feel it's marketing's job to publish technical whitepapers, and to encourage ignorance as a sales strategy?

The underwear gnomes know more about how to make money.

RE: Because who knows better
By Bad-Karma on 6/17/2011 5:25:14 AM , Rating: 2
underwear gnomes
.......You now have my full undivided attention!

RE: Because who knows better
By theapparition on 6/16/2011 9:52:13 AM , Rating: 2
Marketing's primary purpose is to distinguish your brand and product above the competition. It can also create demand for new products. Certainly, marketing has it's uses and I wasn't dismissing it entirely.

But the idea that the auto manufacturers created the demand for SUVs by marketing them is ridiculous drivel. Could it be that people just like them? In the 60's the family truckster was the van, then the station wagon in the 70's. 80's was decade of minivan, 90's of SUV and 00's is of crossovers. Consumer trends shift and manufacturers are more than happy to sell whatever people demand.

As for your Intel vs. AMD scenerio, everyone seems to have short term memory on the situation. P4 Willamette was far superior to anything that AMD had at the time. How many AMD systems overheated due to poor thermal management. P4 Northwood was extremely competitive, at first better, then towards the end of it's life getting eclipsed by AMD. Some benchmarks went one way, some went the other. P4 Prescott was a terrible chip, and the time when AMD's offerings were clearly superior. But in the whole "P4 war", AMD only had a clear product advantage for a short time.

As the other poster commeneted, there were many other reasons why people stayed away from AMD.

RE: Because who knows better
By Strunf on 6/15/11, Rating: 0
RE: Because who knows better
By theapparition on 6/16/2011 9:28:33 AM , Rating: 2
Funny families in Europe don't seem that smaller than in the US yet in Europe people want smaller cars

No they don't. Don't for one second kid yourself. People in Europe buy smaller cars because that's all they can afford. Taxes on gasoline, engine displacement and registration make larger cars unobtainable for all but the wealthy. And the wealthy don't buy small cars.

Another factor is the signifigantly higher population density, roads that date back to the crusades, and the lack of accessible parking make large SUVs untennable in the cities. That's not a slight at Europeans, just doesn't make financial or practical sense for most families to own SUVs. But the American situation is quite different, and anyone who trys to compare American and European habits are completely misinformed.

Try and spin it all you want, but Europe is home to such gas guzzlers as Bugatti, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche and many other sport cars that are only able to be obtained by the wealthy. Find someone with the means, and I bet you'll see a Range Rover in thier garage.

RE: Because who knows better
By GTVic on 6/16/2011 3:26:25 PM , Rating: 2
The question is, why do Americans buy larger disposable vehicles. Why buy a Dodge Caravan when the evidence is all over the road that it will rust out at the same time as all the parts start failing which is right after the warranty expires?

RE: Because who knows better
By mindless1 on 6/17/2011 11:01:57 PM , Rating: 2
That's unfounded nonsense. Certain american automobiles do have quality control issues but if there's any vehicle that I always think of totally rusting out it would be the old toyota pickup trucks and that was over 20 years ago + age of truck.

The answer is obvious, Americans aren't tricked into squeezing themselves into tiny spaces, they can afford something larger because of the volume of larger cars being made reducing their cost per unit, and that with the gas prices being lower.

In america, the little econobox cars are the disposable ones not the larger cars, because of their higher RPM engines, their weaker suspensions, their lack of cargo space, how badly they get damaged in accidents making repair not cost effective, etc.

RE: Because who knows better
By surt on 6/15/2011 4:24:39 PM , Rating: 2
The free market has proven again and again that it will not guard the long term interests of this country against foreign forces. The market is a short-run tool only.

RE: Because who knows better
By FaaR on 6/15/11, Rating: -1
RE: Because who knows better
By EJ257 on 6/17/2011 9:43:29 AM , Rating: 2
Agree. We saw this in 2008 when gas prices went over $4 for the first time. People were ditching their SUVs and buying smaller, higher MPG models whenever they can. Then the depression hit, 2 of the big 3 US auto makers had to be bailed out. If we had let free market take its course we would be left with only Ford as the sole remaining US auto maker. I don't wish for people to loose their jobs but sometimes I wonder if it was the right thing to reward a company for making a series of bad decisions leading to insolvency and then bailing them out.

RE: Because who knows better
By mindless1 on 6/17/2011 11:09:38 PM , Rating: 2
That is a misconception. Generally people were whining about gas prices and driving less, not taking a financial loss selling a vehicle then incurring additional expense buying a new one, UNLESS they were wastefully driving excessive distances making them foolish to have bought the SUV in the first place without a need to haul things with it.

The US automakers weren't operating in a free market, there were alread government mandates effecting the price of cars, and competition against foreign automakers whose governments had devalued their currency to make them more profitable.

If we had had a free market you would see what is plainly obvious, that at least in the case of GM, they were still selling a lot of cars, the free aspect of customer choice was working, it was the union obligations that sunk them and that has nothing to do with free market as it relates to letting customers decide what they want to buy and be able to.

Government intervention that causes a company to make a product the customer doesn't want or value for the cost, is potentially a lost sale, and obviously worse for that company than if they offer what the prospective customer does want.

Further, the more expensive automobiles become, the lower the replacement interval because it becomes too expensive to replace a vehicle on a shorter time table and it takes more damage to total one when it has higher value so the existing consumer car age goes up on average, fewer cars sell per year.

RE: Because who knows better
By Reclaimer77 on 6/15/2011 4:35:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, sucks having to innovate and all.

The private sector is CONSTANTLY innovating. The cars we have today are more advanced than we thought possible 10 years ago. And it's NOT because of some suits in Washington demanding it be so.

Why can't we just use Model Ts so we wouldn't have to pay for the development of new cars. They did the job, albeit slowly and somewhat dangerously. How Soviet.

You really are an idiot aren't you? Do me a favor, please find me the law or Congressional mandate that stated we needed to advance past Model T's. Because clearly you think that without the government we would still be using them.

RE: Because who knows better
By 91TTZ on 6/15/2011 5:03:08 PM , Rating: 1
The cars we have today are more advanced than we thought possible 10 years ago.

What do cars have today that we didn't think was possible 10 years ago?

RE: Because who knows better
By Reclaimer77 on 6/15/2011 5:16:48 PM , Rating: 3
Infinitely variable valve timing? Direct injection? Cars that can parallel park themselves? Cars with radar built in! Things like satellite entertainment and GPS and internet access being affordable for the common person and widely used. Voice activation technology (SYNC), unheard of 10 years ago. Cars that apply braking automatically in crash situations. Hell man, the average car today has more computing power than a circa 1999 personal computer EVER had.

RE: Because who knows better
By twhittet on 6/15/2011 6:29:08 PM , Rating: 1
You really are an idiot, aren't you? You use a government technology (GPS) to point out how awesome the free market is?

RE: Because who knows better
By Kurz on 6/15/2011 7:20:18 PM , Rating: 2
>.> GPS integration in the consumer sector is innovation.

RE: Because who knows better
By Reclaimer77 on 6/15/2011 10:41:36 PM , Rating: 2
You're right, how stupid of me. I forgot that the government developed GPS for use in civilian passenger cars!

RE: Because who knows better
By 91TTZ on 6/16/2011 10:57:57 AM , Rating: 2
Infinitely variable valve timing?

My 1991 300ZX TT has variable valve timing, Nissan was using it since 1987. It wasn't infinitely variable, but surely they could see back then that it was the next step. Porsche has been using infinitely variable valve timing since 1999.

Direct injection?

First used on gasoline engines in 1925. Didn't provide a huge benefit so it never became popular. With newer emissions laws automakers will probably have to go that way.

Cars that can parallel park themselves?

Toyota introduced that on production models in 2003, and surely was in development long before that. I don't think you can say it was unheard of.

But really, if a person can't control their car enough to parallel park, they shouldn't be driving.

Hell man, the average car today has more computing power than a circa 1999 personal computer EVER had.

That's completely untrue. Car ECUs use low-powered microcontrollers, not powerful general purpose CPUs. I think GM and Bosch uses the MPC5xx series. The fastest processor in that family can process 28 MIPS. An Intel Pentium 3 from 1999 could do over 2,000 MIPS. A better comparison would be a Intel 486 from the late 80's or early 90's which could do about 50 MIPS.

RE: Because who knows better
By Reclaimer77 on 6/16/11, Rating: 0
RE: Because who knows better
By Reclaimer77 on 6/16/2011 11:14:18 AM , Rating: 2
First used on gasoline engines in 1925. Didn't provide a huge benefit so it never became popular. With newer emissions laws automakers will probably have to go that way.

P.S., your arguments are akin to saying the Chinese first invented firework rockets hundreds of years ago, so a modern cruise missile isn't a "big deal". Are you being serious or just trolling?

RE: Because who knows better
By 91TTZ on 6/16/2011 2:04:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'm all for private industry. I'm not a liberal or a socialist who thinks that a government run (and easily abused)welfare state is going to produce progress like a capitalist system will. I'm all about survival of the fittest, personal responsibility and the ability of people/companies with good ideas to be able to profit off them.

I'm familiar with car electronics and electronics in general. I made a few dataloggers to interface with my cars' ECUs so I could pull the raw data down from them, and playing with an Arduino microcontroller makes me respect the amount of work that can be done by a low powered processor.

The vast majority of the processors in a car are going to be very low powered, things like the ECU, the transmission's control unit, the climate control unit, the traction control unit, the ABS control unit, the trip computer, etc. The most powerful processor is going to be in a newer car's media center.

RE: Because who knows better
By jhb116 on 6/15/2011 5:31:24 PM , Rating: 1
Maybe we should raise the price of gas to what Europeans pay - then the free market will demand Volts, Prius's and Fusions.

I do favor pushing the fuel efficiency standards. The problem that most argue over is how far to push. 62 mpg seems high - high enough to likely require a major tech achievement for regular gas engines. One could argue that the Volt can far exceed this figure today if you set up the right test conditions - which is a separate argument.

RE: Because who knows better
By Hiawa23 on 6/15/2011 7:17:14 PM , Rating: 2
I am baffled by this article. It's only 2011, & that would give them 14 years to come up with something. Are you telling me they feel they can't make cars efficiently by then or don't want to. They better do something or we all will be in the poor house thanks to high assed gas prices which will affect everything we buy.

RE: Because who knows better
By Spuke on 6/16/2011 4:20:22 PM , Rating: 2
Are you telling me they feel they can't make cars efficiently by then or don't want to.
I guess you're not reading. The car companies are NOT saying they can't do it. They can, it'll just cost US $10k PER car to do it. All I know is, I'm not paying that much extra for a car unless it has a Porsche crest on it. That said, it will more than likely be less than what that study says but definitely more than what the enviro wackos/government says. If you guys think cars are expensive now.....

RE: Because who knows better
By Samus on 6/15/11, Rating: 0
RE: Because who knows better
By FITCamaro on 6/15/11, Rating: -1
RE: Because who knows better
By Samus on 6/15/11, Rating: 0
RE: Because who knows better
By dgingeri on 6/15/2011 3:26:55 PM , Rating: 1
you're right about it being political, but not for the reasons you think.

1. Diesel fuel in the US is targeted for extra taxes so that the politicians can tax corporations heavier in hidden ways. This drives up the cost of diesel to the point that, even with better gas mileage, it costs more to operate diesel cars than gasoline cars. Shortly after bio diesel started getting into mass production, the government decided that it was included as a diesel fuel, increasing the cost so that it costs more than regular diesel.

The politicians won't let go of this tax because they like having more money. once taxes go up, they are almost impossible to bring back down, even when the majority wants it to happen. They get addicted to that extra cash and spend it to gain political favor. (Like Obama bringing in many GE upper management types as government employees and GE getting government contracts in exchange for the company helping him raise more campaign funds.)

Even better is that the uneducated masses do whatever the politicians, mass media, and Hollywood activists say. Never mind that these people don't have any clue what they're talking about and have no credentials to back up their authority or facts to back up their claims.

2. Diesel has a bad rep, as well, and few people are willing to make that rep go away. Someone says diesel and the uneducated masses think about the black smoke belching from big-rig and construction equipment pipes. It stinks and is ugly. Never mind the fact that today's diesel cars have less of an emissions problem than gasoline engines now that there's 15% ethanol in what's available at the pump now. The morons see one thing and connect it to anything remotely similar. (This is the same reason so many people fell for the 9/11 conspiracy crap. they see buildings blown up by Hollywood, see the clouds of crushed concrete from the WTC buildings, and think it's all smoke. Never mind the fact that real explosives used for demolition don't produce nearly as much fire and smoke as the Hollywood garbage.)

Of course, the politicians play to the masses, and the masses don't know a darned thing, so they go with what people think rather than reality. So they keep to what people stupidly believe and let them continue thinking it. They aren't going to tell people they're too stupid to know what's really for their own good.

RE: Because who knows better
By mcnabney on 6/15/11, Rating: -1
RE: Because who knows better
By 91TTZ on 6/15/2011 3:30:10 PM , Rating: 3
We've had engines that could give an F150 30MPG highway with similar towing capacity and an Escort 70MPG highway for decades. The technology is constantly buried for political reasons, mostly regarding oil, much like the GM EV1 technology was destroyed 15 years ago.

LOL. I hope you don't really believe such nonsense. There is no secret, buried technology out there that would magically do all the things you want. These ideas are usually canned for a more mundate, logical reason.

The EV1 was canceled because it cost between $80,000 and $100,000 to produce and would have been sold at a time when gas cost less than $1 a gallon. It would have never been profitable at the time.

RE: Because who knows better
By mcnabney on 6/15/11, Rating: 0
RE: Because who knows better
By 91TTZ on 6/15/2011 5:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
The best example is Chevron's ownership of NiMH battery patents. They prevented the creation of large cells. They don't have to be tiny - they can be much bigger and FAR cheaper to make. Instead, inside the battery packs in cars like a Prius are literally hundreds of little cells with a bunch of expensive electronics to lower voltage levels created by using many smaller cells versus fewer large cells. This IP exclusion limited EV cars to heavy lead-acid, highly toxic NiCd, or needlessly complex NiMH.

I looked that up and it seems to be a bit misleading. General Motors owned the patent for a while and didn't do much with it. They used it in the EV1 but said that it wasn't ready for production use. Then they sold it to Texaco, which was acquired by Chevron. So you can't claim that the oil companies got in the way of the auto companies since the auto companies had it, and tried it out, first. Again, I think the price of gas is what really killed it. When people were paying 80 cents a gallon for gas there wasn't much of a market for electric cars.

RE: Because who knows better
By mcnabney on 6/16/2011 3:40:21 PM , Rating: 2
GM didn't license the IP until the 4th generation of EV1. By then, it was planned to be scrapped.

And more important, they couldn't use larger cells. They were only allowed to make their own.

RE: Because who knows better
By Reclaimer77 on 6/15/2011 4:30:21 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I love quacks that repeat that BS. Like the car that could "run on water" that the oil companies bought out and locked away lol. Riiiight.

So what
By Smilin on 6/15/2011 2:23:03 PM , Rating: 3
Ok, I'll buy the doomsday scenario and believe the $10k**

So what?

That's 15 years out:
Go look at auto prices from 1996.
Go look at your income in 1996.
Now make your own wild assed prediction of fuel prices in 2025.

Wrap it all up and yes, things will be more expensive but not by much.

**(for argument sake only...Automakers are doing some pretty incredible stuff today with just the classic non-diesel ICE. Both interested parties here have fed us a load of crap about CAFE in the past and I think the truth is probably somewhere in the middle)

RE: So what
By RussianSensation on 6/15/2011 2:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
Inflation has outpaced wage growth for most people in the last decade (or more). As a result, real wages have actually declined. So in fact, things only get more expensive with time relative to your wage. The reason your standard of living is largely improving is primarily a result of innovations in the technology and medical fields. However, if you were to compare the cost of modern education, food, energy, etc. they have all become many times more expensive relative to today's average earnings.

RE: So what
By Smilin on 6/15/2011 3:17:13 PM , Rating: 2
You assume I'm not outrunning the rest of the pack.

There will be 9 billion people on this planet pretty soon. A greater and greater percentage of them will be poor. Overpriced food will be more of a concern than an overpriced car.

The point regarding increased standard of living because of technology is an interesting one. While my powertrain might go up $10k do you still think they'll be charging $2500 for a built in entertainment and NAV system?

RE: So what
By surt on 6/15/2011 4:10:58 PM , Rating: 2
No, a nav/entertainment system will run $5k by then, but it will project holograms of your driving route and holographic movies.

RE: So what
By Smilin on 6/15/2011 4:14:06 PM , Rating: 2
hehe that will be the fancy one. Todays one will be the ghetto equivalent of manual roll down windows and cost $5.

RE: So what
By GuinnessKMF on 6/15/2011 2:44:58 PM , Rating: 2
So what you're saying is that if the government kept its hands off regulating the fuel efficiency requirements of vehicles the free market would turn out in such a way that it would make economic sense for the auto-makers to make their vehicles fuel efficient on their own?

Weird how that works out.

RE: So what
By Smilin on 6/15/2011 3:11:59 PM , Rating: 2
If you oversimplify things I say to the point where they have little meaning then they won't be hard to debate. Good tactic so long as you don't get called on it.

The market is focused on the now and has no regard for the future. It will *begin* to generate more fuel efficient vehicles *after* there is a demand for them. If it takes 10 years to develop suitable technology then the consumer will just have to deal with without it for that long.

RE: So what
By GuinnessKMF on 6/15/2011 3:17:31 PM , Rating: 2
I like to make fun of big companies too, but you honestly think they aren't already developing new systems with fuel efficiency in mind?

They just won't bring them to market until they're economically a net gain, so the OP arguing that it will make economic sense to have fuel efficient vehicles by then is not a pro or a con on regulating standards.

RE: So what
By Smilin on 6/15/2011 3:36:04 PM , Rating: 3
They are thinking of what will sell, not fuel efficiency. When the two align then progress gets made.

*More* progress gets made when you point a gun at them.

Checkout progress on MPG over the last 60 years. Efficiency will wallow with no improvement unless one of two things happens: The govornment regulates or an oil crisis of some sort happens.

The problem: When a crisis happens there is a delay in relief while the market turns like a big boat to the new direction. Our auto industry knows peak oil will happen but their customers aren't thinking that far into the future so there isn't a demand do do anything.

History shows the automakers suck at predicting crisis-based demand. Honda and Toyota (that came from where the market demanded more efficiency) came in and kicked the big 3 in the balls during the 80s. Flash forward 30 years and did they learn a lesson? Lot after lot full of marked down Hummers during $4/gal gas... nope, they didn't.

Regulation or crisis. One is proactive, one is reactive. The first one sucks. The second one sucks worse.

The only thing that wouldn't suck is just having cheap gas forever.. and unicorns.

RE: So what
By Smilin on 6/15/2011 3:41:57 PM , Rating: 2
PS: I don't like having to "point a gun at them". Really I don't.

You don't always like what's good for you though.

My daughter hates taking an allergy med so I have to armtwist every !#$ morning to make it happen. It sucks. She hates it; I hate it. But... come noontime if she hasn't then she'll come running to me asking for it then be miserable while she waits for it to kick in.

I'm not a huge analogy fan but I hope that helps explain my view some.

RE: So what
By Spuke on 6/16/2011 12:34:54 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not a huge analogy fan but I hope that helps explain my view some.
Your first explanation was good.

RE: So what
By Reclaimer77 on 6/16/11, Rating: -1
RE: So what
By mindless1 on 6/15/2011 3:00:25 PM , Rating: 2
I suspect you don't understand what they mean. They aren't suggesting cars in 2025 will cost $10k more than they do now, rather than they will cost $10k additional cost over what they would have risen to by 2025.

You are acting as though this isn't a big increase but it is! Did you think if car costs go up it won't trickle into other markets and the cost of everything doesn't go up too by an additional amount over what it otherwise would have due only to normal inflation?

I do agree the truth is probably somewhere in the middle, one camp claims $770-3,500 (averages out to $2,135) and the other claims $10k. The middle is then ($2135+10000)/2 = $6,068

One thing is clear, the nonsense has to stop. IF enough people want to pay extra for these vehicles, that's called a market niche and an automaker can choose to make vehicles that will (or won't) sell in this market segment. If there aren't enough potential buyers, it's a clear sign the public does not want them and so, the will of the public should be reflected by the actions (or lack thereof) of the government in ceasing this madness.

Let technological merit sell itself IF it is worth the cost. Cramming things down peoples throats based on some ana!ized ideals about fuel economy won't make a difference, in the grand scheme of things we will run out of oil to meet demand eventually, whether it happens on one particular date or 20 years later isn't very significant in the grand scheme of things. Our reduction in oil consumption is trivial compared to world wide use for other purposes and especially increase in use by emerging countries.

RE: So what
By Smilin on 6/15/2011 4:12:28 PM , Rating: 2
I suspect you don't understand what they mean. They aren't suggesting cars in 2025 will cost $10k more than they do now, rather than they will cost $10k additional cost over what they would have risen to by 2025.

I get it but I have no choice but to be a bit loose with their assumptions. WTF does $10k mean? You mean if I have a $9000 car getting 50mpg that it will double in price to reach 61? Or do you mean a $70k car with 10mpg will get 51mpg improvement for *only* $10k?

See what I mean? The number is utter bullshti without any context. Numbers are so easy to lie with.

You are acting as though this isn't a big increase but it is! Did you think if car costs go up it won't trickle into other markets and the cost of everything doesn't go up too by an additional amount over what it otherwise would have due only to normal inflation?

That's a pretty big improvement in efficiency so no, I don't think $10k is that much. Do I think it would trickle elsewhere in the economy? Complicated question. Lemme kinda dodge and pose some different ones: If the US could make a big investment now then run the whole economy with ultra low cost energy later do you think it would put us at an advantage? Do expensive efficient vehicles remain expensive after economies of scale are reached? Do other components in the car not drop in price to compensate (I'm looking at you, $2500 headrest DVDs !@$#!)

I'm not a believer that the free market can fix everything. I just believe it's the best system we have. In fact I kinda side with that CEO of Shell Oil in this regard. We're going to run out of oil. When that happens there will be a scramble to keep the gears of the world turning. It would be best to plan ahead and avoid the scramble. The free market is not capable of making this transition smoothly left all on it's own.

Our reduction in oil consumption is trivial compared to world wide use for other purposes and especially increase in use by emerging countries.

We're still the #1 consumer for now but China will overtake soon. I think it would be best if China (and others) are utterly F*cked when the oil runs out while we chug along using solutions we sacrificed to develop today.

I know there are tree hugging socialists out there. I'm not one. Nor am I some 'murrican who thinks I can just gobble up the worlds resources because I'm free to do what I want.

RE: So what
By FITCamaro on 6/15/2011 4:25:46 PM , Rating: 2
I think it would be best if China (and others) are utterly F*cked when the oil runs out while we chug along using solutions we sacrificed to develop today.

If we invest in the RIGHT solutions, we won't have to worry about much change or running out.

Biofuels (algae based diesel or gasoline) can replace fossil fuels for vehicles. Yes that doesn't help us for things like plastic and tires though.

And China can easily switch to electric since they have the resources to make the cars and don't have the hippies protesting nuclear power there.

RE: So what
By Nutzo on 6/15/2011 6:21:51 PM , Rating: 2
China is building hydro-electric plants, and will build nuclear as needed. No need to spend millions in studies just to have the approval overturned by some liberal judge at the last minute.

RE: So what
By Spuke on 6/16/2011 12:43:56 AM , Rating: 2
And China can easily switch to electric since they have the resources to make the cars and don't have the hippies protesting nuclear power there.
As their population grows and becomes more "involved" in their market, it will be harder and more expensive for them to switch. If they were smart, they'd skip oil and go for electric now. But they're going to be just as entrenched (probably more so) as everyone else. All IMO.

RE: So what
By mindless1 on 6/16/2011 3:45:20 PM , Rating: 2
I take it to mean something like, if the average price of a fuel economical car in 2025 would otherwise be $28,000, it becomes $38,000. That doesn't seem too excessive an estimate to me considering it would probably require electric power, motors and battery pack and the government can't subsidize cars forever.

The numbers don't add up from the big investment. The modest change in passenger vehicle fuel efficiency has to be weighed against total global oil consumption. The government is insisting on only a little more fuel economy but at great expense to achieve it. I mean only a little more compared to what it would be the expected achievement in 2025 w/o the mandates, based on historical engine efficiency improvements over the past decades, once you factor that the automobiles have crept up in size and weight.

With the current model they are following
By smackababy on 6/15/2011 2:19:28 PM , Rating: 2
cars are increasing in size every generation it seems. If they went back to making smaller cars, better gas mileage would be easier.

RE: With the current model they are following
By Argon18 on 6/15/2011 2:28:10 PM , Rating: 2
The size isn't the problem, it's the weight that is keeping MPG numbers low. For example, a hatchback from 20 years ago, the VW Rabbit, weighed in at about 1800 lbs. Compare that to a hatchback of today, a 2011 VW Golf which weight about 3000 lbs. That's a massive increase in weight. I use the Golf as an example because I own one, but all cars from all manufactures are guilty of packing on the pounds.

Plush 12-way adjustable power heated leather seats. navigation systems, airbags and antilock brakes, huge power tilt/slide moonroofs, and lots and lots of sound proofing are what's making modern cars so heavy. Some of that is safety related, but most is comfort / convenience equipment.

By killerroach on 6/15/2011 2:41:46 PM , Rating: 2
I'd argue that most of it is safety-related. Nice seats and sound systems add a few pounds of weight here and there - structural steel packs on the poundage in a hurry.

RE: With the current model they are following
By mindless1 on 6/15/2011 2:48:40 PM , Rating: 2
It's been a few years since I've seen a VW rabbit but from what I vaguely recall, besides being a roughly similar shape (short hatchback), the rabbit is a significantly smaller vehicle.

Let's add up what you listed. seats, about 20lb, navigation system adds negligible weight, air bags 10lb, antilock brakes a couple pounds, moonroof 20lb, soundproofing 10lb. That's 62lbs total not 1200. Even if I'm off by 100% that's still only 124lbs not 1200, but of course we can also assume a few hundred to meet more stringent impact tests but the rest is most likely that the car itself is larger.

RE: With the current model they are following
By dgingeri on 6/15/2011 3:01:22 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, you're off a bit. the seats are about 50lbs heavier. (there are multiple electric motors in electric seats, and steel arms to operate the adjustments. I've installed these, I know how heavy they are.) the ABS system is about another 30lbs. (the ABS system adds a Brake Pulse Modulation valve at about 20lbs, 4 wheel hub sensors at about 1lb each, a control computer at another 5lbs, and extra brake fluid and connecting pipes.) The moonroof would add about an extra 150lbs. (A moonroof has to have extra framing around the opening plus a heavy, hail resistant 1/2" thick sheet of glass that weighs in at about 70lbs. these suckers add a lot of weight.) Granted, the GPS nav system would be near nothing, and sound proofing would be about 20lbs, but still, some of your numbers are way off.

By Spuke on 6/16/2011 12:48:55 AM , Rating: 2
Most of the added weight is indeed in safety equipment and stiffer structures. Some old friends that turned their street cars into race cars shaved a TON of weight off by cutting out structural reinforcements and safety crap. I agree, seats and sunroofs are damn heavy. You can easily shave a few hundred pounds by swapping in lighter seats, no sunroof, and even a lightweight battery (a lithium ion starting battery is now an option on some Porsches).

By mindless1 on 6/16/2011 3:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
I suspect you are considering total weight, NOT weight difference. Yes I have installed power seats, swapping out manual seats. The motors are a pound each, maybe two, there was already a metal track for support so the extra tracks add another pound or two (per seat).

ABS modulator is now being integrated into master cylinder, reservoir and valves assembly, for a smaller car there is not much added weight anymore contrasted with years ago. Even with medium to larger cars having the module separate it's closer to 10lb than 20lb in recent years.

I was comparing the difference between a fancy electric sunroof and the older style, since a sunroof isn't a new invention, could be ordered as a factory item on many cars for quite a few years, or of course installed later and this is still optional, it's not hard at all to buy a car without one.

It's been quite a few years since cars were barren of any *luxury* items unless buying some cheap base model economy car, else you have to special order it because of the way things are packaged, dealers tend to have cars with quite a few extras on their lots.

By chick0n on 6/16/2011 10:11:52 AM , Rating: 2

have you ever handle the ABS module/Seat/whatever with your hands?

ABS module is about 20 lbs on it's own with all it's related wiring/logicon/pipes.

Leather seat compare to cloth seat is at least 20 lbs heavier EACH.
Navigation system is about 8-10 lbs. depends on how big the head unit is.
Moonroof with all it's related rack and motor weight at least 100 lbs.
Air bags are light, it's just wrap up but all 7 airbags (modern cars) with the sensors and stuff weight at least 5-10 lbs.
but the biggest weight comes from "beefier" chassis. Bigger Front member and rear weight at LEAST 200-500 lbs or more. depends on the material used.

RE: With the current model they are following
By mindless1 on 6/15/2011 2:42:22 PM , Rating: 2
It's not a concern, they're going to price midsized and larger vehicles out of the budgets of the average buyer so by default more smaller cars will be sold.

By smackababy on 6/15/2011 3:44:40 PM , Rating: 2
The sub compacts from the 90s are now the midsized vehicles. They are having to introduce new smaller vehicles in their lineup because the ones they had before got much larger.

"Center for Automotive Research" is lying.
By Amiga500 on 6/15/2011 2:48:15 PM , Rating: 1
It would cost nothing to improve fuel consumption to 62 mpg right now .

A VW polo blue motion can do 80.7 mpg (English gallon).

That is 67.25 mpg (US gallon).

How much different are the testing methodologies?

The technology exists today to sell cars that beat the target figure. A sacrifice in choice will have to be made to make that target apply across an entire range, but there will, and have been sacrifices made already to improve fuel consumption.

The difference is, those sacrifices have been driven by consumer spending trends, not govt instructions.

RE: "Center for Automotive Research" is lying.
By Argon18 on 6/15/2011 4:00:28 PM , Rating: 1
It's true, a small turbo diesel engine can achieve 62+ mpg right now today, cleanly and economically. The Big-3 however have their heads up their collective arses and won't offer that here, despite the fact that Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler all already sell cars in europe with small turbo diesel engines.

RE: "Center for Automotive Research" is lying.
By FITCamaro on 6/15/2011 11:36:12 PM , Rating: 2
Would I like to see it offered here? Sure.

Is it going to make GM or Ford get to a FLEET WIDE average of that? No.

Do most Americans want a supercompact car? No.

By Dr of crap on 6/16/2011 8:56:38 AM , Rating: 2
No one asked if the people WANT them.
If the car makers make them and put up for sale then their fleet wide mpg would be in the CAFE area - not?

I don't think they have to sell a proportional amount of each vehicle to make the CAFE numbers. As long as what they offer together makes the number. So if they were to sell some small diesel cars to offset the SUVs then the CAFE numbers would be met.

Whether the small diesel sell, wouldn't matter then!

By zzatz on 6/15/2011 4:42:36 PM , Rating: 2
The differences between the tests make comparisons meaningless. Test measurements also don't relate terribly well to actual mileage. The ratings are only useful for relative ranks within one test.

By RussianSensation on 6/15/2011 2:38:04 PM , Rating: 1
If consumers demand more efficient vehicles and are willing to pay a premium for those vehicles, then the manufacturers will produce those vehicles.

Why should the gov't continue to interfere in free markets/market economy? The government should never tell a business how and what to manufacture unless the country is in a state of emergency (i.e., need to convert factories to make military equipment in a state of war, need to manufacture vaccines against a world-wide disease epidemic, etc.).

The most laughable statistic is the 62 MPG metric. What calculus formula was used to arrive at this arbitrary number? And if manufacturers actually do comply, will these politicians release a new report asking for 150 MPG in 10 more years? This method only prolongs the use of the 100-year-old internal combustion engine. By not letting supply/demand work how it should, it actually discourages more modern and efficient alternative power sources to succeed the internal combustion engine.

Prices of gasoline SHOULD rise as high as possible on their natural supply/demand curve, so that it paves way for newer technologies. Then market participants will migrate on their own without gov't interference.

By phantom505 on 6/15/2011 2:43:15 PM , Rating: 1
That's the government's job. Tell business what to do when they won't do it. That's why we have a government, as written in the constitution for all those purists out there.

Companies are psychopaths and care only about profit. Sure spontaneous demand can spur that need for profit, but Joe Blow usually doesn't understand anything that is not immediately biting him in the chops, right then.

More times than not the government has to either take lead or tell companies what to do. It's that simple. Sometimes they cooperate, sometimes they kick and scream. It's just the approach of the politicians that dictate the reaction.

By RussianSensation on 6/15/2011 2:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
In a free market without gov't interference, the price of gasoline would continue to rise, making it more costly for consumers. Some manufacturers would use this as an opportunity to create more efficient vehicles. As those vehicles start to sell well, other competitors will follow.

Let's consider an alternative scenario. Let's say most manufacturers won't produce more efficient vehicles due to low demand from consumers. Eventually, gasoline prices will continue to rise since oil is a scarce commodity. So at some point alternative technologies will become less expensive than internal combustion engines. Then, we will have replaced the internal combustion engine just like it replaced the steam engine.

In both cases, the market will correct itself, even if it takes longer. What you are proposing is to speed up this process through gov't interference. Unfortunately, this isn't the time to do it - unemployment is near all-time high, economy is weak, there are fears of inflation, etc. The economy is too fragile to force consumers and business to subsidize these increases in efficiency at this time, unless the cost of the investment is offset by the benefits, which doesn't sound like it will be.

By Nutzo on 6/15/2011 4:45:18 PM , Rating: 2
That's NOT the governments job.

Try reading the constitution. There’s nothing in it that gives the federal government the right to decide what mileage the cars we buy need to get.

While I'd love to have a car that gets this type of mileage the number is complete unrealistic. 62 MPG is higher than even the best current hybrids. Maybe a tiny 2 seater hybrid the size of a smart car might be able to get that kind of mileage, but good luck finding something that can haul 3 or 4 kids or a stack of 4x8 sheets of plywood.

What these government mandates do is push technology that is not ready, either due to price or reliability. We can make cars that run on electricity, or hybrids that get 50mpg in the city, but the costs are so much higher than a similar sized gas power car, that most people will never break even, even if gas hits $6/gal.

By FITCamaro on 6/15/2011 11:39:57 PM , Rating: 1
What countries constitution are you fucking reading? Because I damn sure know it isn't the US constitution.

By danjw1 on 6/15/2011 4:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
I think many active duty and military veterans, like me, get that this has much bigger effects on the US then just the cost of the vehicles. Economic impact is that we spent $41.7 billion in just May of this year for oil imports. That is roughly $500 Billion a year. A lot of that money goes to countries where at least some of the population doesn't like us much. This doesn't even take into account the far reaching effects of climate change.

Another article up today talks about how the military wants to have lawmakers consider the energy usage of weapon systems BEFORE , the decide to buy them.

So all these complaints about what a car MAY cost in 2025, seem pretty shallow to me. What ever happened to JFK's call for Americans to "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country".

By The Insolent One on 6/15/2011 5:43:54 PM , Rating: 1
Just as I was contemplating the best way to put this issue into a much larger context, for those selfish "I can buy whatever I want and I pay my fair share" minds... danjw1 steps up and says it perfectly.

This issue is so much bigger than just the price at the pump and how much a week you spend or whether or not you have a right to own a huge SUV.

Nearly every bit of foreign policy that the USA has is based around our consumption of oil. Our country has spent tens of trillions of dollars to either fight or "encourage" other nations to allow us our greedy consumptive ways.

Our nation is breaking under the enormous debt load that has been in large part spent on fighting 2 wars that were started because we have maintained a force in the holy land and throughout the middle east.

Isn't it time that we all realize that even though our cars will cost more, that our country will be better off because we won't need so much foreign oil?

Is this really so hard to understand?

With today's "it's all about me" mentality is it even possible for us to do something that's for the greater good?

By Nutzo on 6/15/2011 6:18:14 PM , Rating: 1
Studies have shown that when people buy cars that get better mileage, they also drive more. (i.e. it becomes cheaper to drive, make a longer commute cheaper, etc.). So the oil savings from better mileage cars will not be that much.

There's also everything else we get from oil, from the case of your ipad to the fertilizer for the veggies you bought last week.

If we REALLY cared about reducing imports of oil, we would be drilling for more of our own, and giving the oil companies incentives for domestic production. Instead we have so many regulations and limits on drilling in the US that it is easier and cheaper for the oil companies to import oil instead of drilling for our own.

Instead we subsidize thing like ethanol that in some cases consume more energy (i.e. mostly oil), than it produces.

If you want plug-in electric cars to become viable, we need CHEAP electricity to offset the higher cost of the car.
Instead (out here in California) they keep pushing expensive green energy that costs several times as nuclear power and other conventional power sources.
The high cost of electricity, as high as $.38/kw today and projected to climb significantly higher over the next few years, eliminates most the saving that could make electric cars cost effective.

By Philippine Mango on 6/15/2011 10:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
Ok.. so first you say that fuel efficiency causes people to drive more because it becomes cheaper to drive (there is truth in that) and then your solution is to just make the existing fuel cheaper by more drilling? People need to stop thinking in the NOW and think about the future when there is no more oil or when oil becomes expensive because this finite resource is now almost depleted.

By superstition on 6/15/2011 8:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
the list:

And, yes yes... the MPG is in imperial. I think people here can manage to do the conversion.

By The0ne on 6/16/2011 8:22:26 PM , Rating: 2
I was going to say/list the same thing but thank you. Still baffles me why people, even on this forum, continue everyday to discuss and argue over something that has been available and around for years. I don't care if you argue this and that, the point is the vehicles are available and some at much higher MPGs.

We have the means and even if the middle isn't clear to everyone we can work on them to make them better, BUT the end result IS there already. What's so hard to understand? If anything, understanding bureaucracy and politics on these issues should be the problem.

By superstition on 6/17/2011 1:41:40 AM , Rating: 2
I'm glad someone understands this.

Unfortunately, myopia and bizarre solutions appear to be the name of the game here.

yeah in 2025
By Murloc on 6/16/2011 5:36:47 AM , Rating: 2
in 2025 how can you tell how much stuff will cost?
25 years ago it was 1985. Computers were nothing like the phones we have now.
Economy, prices, etc. will change

and the auto manufacturers pull those stupid "hundreds out of job" lines just because they don't like spending money since gullible fatties are still going to buy "american" even if the car sucks.

62 mpg is 3.8 L/100 km. Cars reach that already.

RE: yeah in 2025
By The0ne on 6/16/2011 8:25:36 PM , Rating: 2
In terms of manufacturing and supplies it doesn't take or need 25 years for cost to come down, especially in the auto industry. If this was the case, we be paying through the roof for our new/use cars and making damn sure nothing happens to them or else suffer the "cost" of repair.

More subsidies
By Grizzlebee on 6/15/2011 2:09:01 PM , Rating: 2
No worries, the government will be giving 17k instead of 7k by then for purchasing new cars.

By Philippine Mango on 6/15/2011 4:43:30 PM , Rating: 2
Prius already meets these requirements and then some yet I doubt the technology in a Prius costs $10K more than had they made the Prius a non hybrid.. Keep in mind these requirements are CAFE fuel economy requirements, not the MPG you see on the monroney sticker affixed to the side window. To meet the 62mpg CAFE fuel economy requirements is approximately 44mpg on the Monroney sticker EPA fuel economy 2008+.

Wait a sec...
By hsew on 6/16/2011 1:02:13 AM , Rating: 2
Remember how people used to live without cell phones? It's funny how you live 45 years of your life without a cell phone and now can't leave the house without it.

Now imagine what it would be like without a bloated fed. You can't, because you've lived with it your entire life. You've become complacent, numbed to it. The bureaucracy started spouting huge numbers starting with millions, then billions, then trillions.

And what was it in the name of, you? Did you stop believing in the power of the free market? Did you stop believing in innovation? Or maybe you just stopped believing in yourself. Maybe, just maybe, as much as you statists don't want to admit it, you have lost the ability to make educated decisions on your own. Hell, the fed probably owns most of your opinions.

Just my two cents. Get rid of unnecessary regulation. If people want efficiency, they'll buy it. If they want cleaner cars, they'll buy them. And if they don't, then they don't. Simple as that. Some of us don't have an extra $3000 to spend on a car. So why should we be forced to? What, in the name of us?

In fact, let's look back at some of the regulations placed on our manufacturers. The horrors of the meat packing industry were famously exposed in Sinclair's The Jungle. But what an incredible opportunity for an entrepreneur to say, "Gee, I wonder if I can start my own company and use my competitors' practices to their disadvantage whilst simultaneously increasing the appeal of my own product?" A situation like that would have had NO NEED for government intervention, as if the buyers decided to leave the dirty packers for the clean one, the inferior, less desirable companies would have had incentive to improve their product or else they would have gone under. In fact, many of the government regulations we enjoy so very much today such as seat belts, air bags, brake lights, and turn signals, could very well have been conceived by companies looking to get ahead.

In context with the presented scenario, let us simplify the available options of today. Car A is $10K, 25 mpg, and filled with many desirable gadgets and luxuries. Car B is $10k, 25 mpg, and known to be very reliable and cheap to service and insure. Car C is $10K, 25mpg, and jolly fast (for the Top Gear viewers). Car D is $10K, 35 mpg. As you can see, plenty of choices for consumers. Admittedly too many for those who hate the free market and love others making decisions for them. This scenario is admittedly not a true parallel to the contemporary, but bear with me. If more people chose Car D because of its fuel efficiency, the company that produced said vehicle would become profitable, and the companies that weren't selling Car D would be relegated to the history books if they didn't do SOMETHING to make their offerings more desirable (such as a price reduction). If efficiency became the game, auto manufacturers would start competing on THEIR OWN TERMS to get customers.

And for those of you who are shouting "fascism", "oligarchy", "plutocracy", and the terms of those with two digit IQs such as "nazi" and "racist", It may be beneath me to use religion toenhance my argument, but GOD didn't say "and let there be (cheap) cars", or "and let there be (cheap core i7) CPUs", or my personal favorite "and let there be (sub-par, exorbitantly inefficient and fiscally suicidal) public services".

By Dribble on 6/16/2011 6:00:15 AM , Rating: 2
The world market wants more fuel efficient cars. If America doesn't want to make them then someone else will and they will take over that market then the American car companies will go bust again.

By Raiders12 on 6/16/2011 8:10:57 AM , Rating: 2
Do car companies not know how to research and advance like every other industry?
A 6-core processor computer with 2 video cards cost the same as a dual-core single video card from 4 yrs ago.
A 55" LED 3D TV cost as much as a 45" Rear projection TV 10 yrs ago.
A car that gets 60 mpg will cost $10k more than a car of the present? That sounds like lunacy.

By Xarthos on 6/16/2011 1:36:28 PM , Rating: 2
That's all we need if this is the case. Hell let's make it 30k. You big CEO's can afford it.

By Boissez on 6/17/2011 10:40:22 AM , Rating: 2
Cars costing 10K more? You'll save more than 10K in gas over it's lifetime. ROI may be over 10 years or so but it is still worth it though...

By chick0n on 6/16/2011 10:19:12 AM , Rating: 1
from 10% garbage to 15% ?

ok, so we're getting less mpg cuz of tree huggers and "OMG WE GOTTA HAVE LESS FOREIGN OIL!" dumbasses ?

since they know they get less mpg from garbage Ethanol(not to mention it takes MORE energy to make them than it can release), we just throw the problem to Auto companies to solve(forced) it for the government.

Great job America! YaY !

By Uncle on 6/15/11, Rating: 0
"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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