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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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RE: Because who knows better
By Samus on 6/15/2011 2:31:53 PM , Rating: 0
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.

The only short term solution to improved fuel economy is diesel, and that just might not be the right technology for the American market. It is messy, smelly, and different, all things your everyday texting-while-driving, Katy Perry-blasting driver aren't going to deal with at the pump.

But I agree with you in the end, Fit. We have more serious short term problems to be pushing unreasonable long-term goals. I'm perfectly happy with my girlfriends new Escape getting 31mpg on the highway. That's an amazing improvement for a vehicle that has similar towing capacity as my old Mountaineer with DOUBLE the fuel economy, safety, and quality, for less than I paid for my truck 10 years ago.

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.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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