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.
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.
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.
quote: 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.
quote: 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.