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Automakers want less stringent standards on work trucks
Michigan still says proposed CAFE standards will cost jobs

Talks between the automotive industry and Washington continue as both sides try to come to an agreement that sees the environmentalists in Washington and the Obama administration happy with the CAFE standards over the coming years. The automakers are fighting for what they consider a more realistic level of improvement in fuel economy they need to build into cars each year.

Delegations from Michigan where much of the automotive industry calls home have raised concerns about the Obama administration's efforts to come to an agreement. The delegation from Michigan wrote a letter to Washington claiming that the proposed fuel economy standards aren't feasible. Automakers fear that the costs of implementing the fuel economy increases will add enough to vehicle prices to decrease sales and thereby force job cuts in the automotive industry.

The letter written by the Michigan delegation said, "With the Michigan unemployment rate standing at 10.5 percent, we are unanimous in our concern about the consequences of an excessive proposal, and we urge you to continue to work closely with U.S. manufacturers who have the most at stake." The letter continued, "[Congress has urged the White House to] sit down promptly and at one time with all three domestic auto manufacturers and the United Auto Workers to work through an acceptable solution."

So far, there has been no agreement between the two parties. The proposed fleet standard for 2025 is 56.2 mpg working out to about a 5% increase in fuel economy each year from now until 2025. The Obama administration figures that the cost of the tech needed to reach that kind of fuel economy will add about $2,100 to the cost of each new vehicle. That number has been greatly contested.

Washington already took a step back from the new fuel economy standards and the increase of 5% in fuel economy each year on light trucks by agreeing to hold trucks and SUVs to only 3.5% increase each year from 2017 to 2021. Washington and automakers are also trying to hammer out a deal on work trucks that would see less stringent standards.



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By cruisin3style on 7/25/2011 2:55:46 PM , Rating: 2
Making these trucks less powerful might not be the answer.

I picked up one of those AMD Fusion E-350 processor/motherboard combos because I almost always have my computer on and wanted to save on electricity. This is basically a laptop part that uses a lot less electricity than most computers. By selling my old computer parts, this made a lot of fiscal sense.

And it works amazingly well for most tasks, and especially when the computer is just sitting unused. But if I'm doing something that requires a lot of processing power, it takes a lot longer than say any Intel Core processor to do this task and ends up using 1/4 to 1/3 more electricity getting there.

So while I don't and probably never will own a work truck, I'm envisioning a similar problem might exist if you underpower them for the tasks they are meant to perform.


By Solandri on 7/25/2011 3:43:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I picked up one of those AMD Fusion E-350 processor/motherboard combos because I almost always have my computer on and wanted to save on electricity.

I just went through the exact same purchase for a 24/7 home file server. I put together an E-350 box which drew 20 Watts at idle according to Kill-a-Watt.

Then I learned that the newer Intel CPUs have very low power draw when idle. So I returned the E-350 system, and put together a much more powerful 3.1 GHz i5 system. At idle it draws 24 Watts. Yeah if I push all four cores to max it peaks at 86 Watts (vs. about 30 W for the E-350). But it'll finish the task almost 10x quicker, then go right back to idle.

Same thing is true for car and truck engines. While the peak power output does negatively impact efficiency at cruise, it's not as big an impact as most people think.


By Spuke on 7/25/2011 4:04:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Same thing is true for car and truck engines. While the peak power output does negatively impact efficiency at cruise, it's not as big an impact as most people think.
What holds trucks back from good fuel economy is aero. You're never going to get a brick to cut through the air like a piece of paper. Just not going to happen. And about lowering power. Current Ford Super Duty diesel's have 400hp/800 lb-ft of torque. My 06 Super Duty makes 325hp/570 lb-ft of torque. The new trucks are 6.7L V8 diesel's and mine is a 6.0L V8 diesel. Weight is similar. Fuel economy takes a hit because of newer, more stringent emissions requirements not power (actually Ford got some fuel economy back with the 6.7L versus the previous 6.4L). Some dude hypermiled the 6.7L and got 30 mpg (the article is on the internet).


By mindless1 on 7/25/2011 8:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
You spent more money for a system with higher idle power, when a home file server will never come remotely close to maxing out a E-350 platform.

In doing so you also needed a more robust power and cooling subsystem. It was the wrong choice.


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