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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 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.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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