Print 33 comment(s) - last by tastyratz.. on Jul 29 at 10:51 AM

Support announcements could be made today

The deliberations between Washington and the automotive industry have been fierce when it comes to agreeing on the new CAFE standards for automobiles. The automotive industry still maintains that he cost to implement the tech to reach the CAFE standards proposed by 2025 will cut sales and cost jobs in the automotive market.

However, it looks like Washington and Detroit are near to making a deal, as five of the top automotive manufacturers (Chrysler, GM, Ford, Honda, and Hyundai) are ready to back a slightly reduced fuel economy standard by 2025. The original CAFE proposal had the fleet wide fuel economy average at 56 MPG by 2025 and the new reduced standards are 54.5 MPG.

However, the new plan also has other stipulations. Earlier this week DailyTech reported that Detroit was looking for reduced standards for light truck and work trucks. Washington is willing to deal according to the Detroit News. The new plan will see the fuel efficiency on light truck going up 3.5% annually from 2017 to 2012 -- in 2022-2025, the economy standards will go up by 5% anually.

There is also a plan to make special rules for work trucks as was requested by Detroit. An official in the Obama administration said, "We are encouraged by the strong, positive feedback we are receiving from many companies and look forward to wrapping up the discussions in the near future."

Announcements of support for the new plan could come as early as today reports The Detroit News. There hasn’t been word from the environmentalist camp in California that was strongly supporting higher CAFE standards. If California isn't happy, they still have the power to set their own standards within the state.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, "This is not easy, but the companies are being very cooperative. Frankly, everyone is working 24-7. These deliberations are going on somewhere between 12 and 18 hours every day for the last several days … I think we will get there."

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I don't get it
By phatboye on 7/27/2011 1:30:04 PM , Rating: 3
All this for a difference in 1.5MPG? Might as well just left it at 56MPG. I really don't think that small amount would have made that much of a difference.

RE: I don't get it
By 3DoubleD on 7/27/2011 1:39:22 PM , Rating: 3
My friend has a VW Golf TDI wagon. With optimal driving conditions he just barely achieves 5.0 L/100km (<50 MPG). There are few reasonable vehicles that can achieve better fuel economy. An average of 56 MPG is a tall order at this point in time, but should result in some interesting engineering solutions.

RE: I don't get it
By quiksilvr on 7/27/2011 2:38:56 PM , Rating: 1
It's not a tall order at all. Carbon fiber costs roughly three times as much as steel. Just make that Golf TDI lighter and there you go.

Make it a plug-in hybrid (which is what WV is doing now) and you'll achieve insane numbers. WV estimates 112 mpg US with a top speed of 110.

RE: I don't get it
By NellyFromMA on 7/27/2011 4:10:12 PM , Rating: 3
Do you have any idea why you failed to miss the point. A hgue part of engineering is cost-effectiveness particularly from a manufacturer and materials perspective.

You just voided your own statement with your own point.

RE: I don't get it
By Reclaimer77 on 7/27/2011 4:41:02 PM , Rating: 3
How in the hell can you make a TDI "just lighter" while at the same time throwing in big ass heavy batteries in it? And STILL pass crash tests.

RE: I don't get it
By theapparition on 7/28/2011 12:04:20 PM , Rating: 2
Weight is completely irrelevant for highway mileage numbers. And hybrid powertrains are most usefull in city driving where no engine is required.

So what are you going to do now?

RE: I don't get it
By superstition on 7/28/2011 2:02:59 AM , Rating: 2
Keep in mind that the US TDI engine is the 2.0 which is bigger than the more efficient 1.6 available in Europe (to say nothing of the 1.2 and 1.4 three cylinder TDIs).

And, the 7 speed DSG isn't available in the US because it only works with the 1.6 engine or less due to torque.

And, there is no stop-start on American VW TDIs.

And, the drag coefficient of American VW TDIs isn't all that impressive.

and so on.

VW TDIs indeed are quite efficient when compared to most American gasoline vehicles, but there are more efficient models available in the UK. Even the Passat is available there with Bluemotion and the 1.6 liter TDI.

I'm sure some thought combustion engine vehicles were as fuel efficient as they could be back in 1980, but somehow we've found ways to improve efficiency since then.

One article I read recently had charts that showed that the American auto industry has a history of strongly overestimating the cost of implementing new efficiency tech.

RE: I don't get it
By Brandon Hill on 7/27/11, Rating: 0
RE: I don't get it
By FITCamaro on 7/27/2011 2:37:51 PM , Rating: 3
Says the guy who doesn't design automobiles for a living.

RE: I don't get it
By ClownPuncher on 7/27/2011 2:51:10 PM , Rating: 5
Positive thoughts are all we need. Also, glitter.

RE: I don't get it
By idiot77 on 7/28/11, Rating: 0
RE: I don't get it
By Targon on 7/28/2011 8:17:47 AM , Rating: 2
While I don't agree with him, there is the issue that you can't just make a proclamation and poof, it is possible. To say the auto industry MUST be able to improve fuel economy by ANY percentage every year discounts the increase in difficulty as you make improvements. Look at computer chips, you don't see 5GHz processors all over the place, do you? There comes a point in design where you have to accept that you just can't make improvements in some areas beyond a certain point with current technology, so you MUST focus on other areas.

Here's one, eliminate Ethanol, and suddenly you get better fuel economy! Or come up with another type of fuel entirely(not EVs since electric power MUST come from somewhere, even if it's not the car itself), but can gas itself be further refined for better fuel economy? Push carbon nanotube technology as a way to improve batteries so a hybrid doesn't need a HUGE battery pack.

If you have a job, and your boss expects you to improve your productivity by 5 percent per year, does he/she really think that after ten years you will be that much more productive? Getting more productivity out of anything requires a greater and greater effort, and like trying to accelerate to the speed of light, there comes a point where it's just unrealistic. If you change the way things are done in a MASSIVE way, then getting a huge productivity boost will work, but that does require a real game changer to achieve it.

Computers...they changed the way things were done in an office, but just throwing more people, or working longer hours before computers wouldn't make ANYONE as fast as a computer when it comes to looking up information. That is the only way that the auto industry can survive with idiots in politics who have never made a product in their lives and don't understand the basics of how difficult it is to produce something.

Remember, most politicians can't even draft their own bills, and they require a small army of aides to do much of the work in wording the laws. Hell, they get pay increases every year, perhaps we should require they spend that much longer in their offices every time they get a pay increase, and after 30 years, they should be able to be in their office for 40 hours a day, even though there are only 24 hours in a day.

RE: I don't get it
By tastyratz on 7/27/2011 4:18:30 PM , Rating: 2
It's only money, right Brandon?

New standards and old standards, they are both tighter than reasonable expectations. As a business the costs get passed on to the consumer and unreasonable expectations are going to result in serious compromise. You can not legislate engineering and physics out.

I for one do not look forward to the out of reach crappy bland anemic new car, it's pricing in the future, as well as the cost of heating oil, transportation, and other petroleum based production items as time progresses.

Speculators will cause oil costs to continue to rise and find it easier to do so as consumers now purchase less oil they can afford to pay more per gallon.

15 years is a very long time and results should be had, but this seems steep to project. Look at averages over the LAST 15 years and even look for cars now that get 54.5mpg - they are few and far between and we are not holding them to peaks, they are to average.

RE: I don't get it
By dubldwn on 7/27/2011 4:32:38 PM , Rating: 3
and even look for cars now that get 54.5mpg - they are few and far between

Not taking sides but just so we're all on the same page 54.5 mpg CAFE is about 40 mpg EPA (combined) which is something like a Fusion Hybrid.

RE: I don't get it
By Reclaimer77 on 7/27/11, Rating: 0
RE: I don't get it
By tastyratz on 7/29/2011 10:51:18 AM , Rating: 2
I am glad you posted that because I was unaware we were talking different numbers. I did some reading and now I am far less alarmed at the drastic changes, although that will be a milestone for fleet averages still none the less

RE: I don't get it
By Reclaimer77 on 7/27/2011 4:19:18 PM , Rating: 2
What huge breakthroughs do you see happening in the next 15 years that could possibly allow for these kinds of fleet-wide efficiency standards?

I'll tell you what, the same kind of "breakthroughs" that Europe had. Tiny cars, tiny turbo diesels, and mass transit. Because anything else will be nearly impossible to provide to the masses.

Here's the breakthrough I'm seeing. Hopefully 10 or 15 years from now people will look back at the disaster that was 2008-2012 and strike down CAFE or at least seriously curtail it's intrusion into the free market. We cannot maintain our way of like with these standards, and in 15 years it's my dearest hope that common sense will finally rule the day, not agendas.

RE: I don't get it
By Reclaimer77 on 7/27/2011 4:27:38 PM , Rating: 2
edit: like=life.

RE: I don't get it
By Zoomer on 7/28/2011 10:59:00 AM , Rating: 2
People will just find it more attractive to hold on to old cars, which are less safe, less fuel efficient, and MORE polluting.

Good job.

Cars today with PZEV are a joke when many have these old cars that probably put out more crap than a few thousands PZEVs.

RE: I don't get it
By mindless1 on 7/28/2011 10:50:18 PM , Rating: 2
I hold onto my oldest car because it's nearly free to do so. It doesn't get driven much so annual repair and maintenance costs are under $200, but it's handy to have a spare around should another vehicle be out of service for repair or accident/etc reasons.

RE: I don't get it
By mindless1 on 7/28/2011 10:45:48 PM , Rating: 2
Remember something. They are not claiming they can't reach the goal. They are claiming the extra expense will reduce sales and cost jobs and they are probably correct.

LOTS of people don't drive a dozen thousand miles per year, especially if they are concerned about fuel consumption and cost. It would take too long to recoup the money AND everyone keeps throwing out overly simplistic calculations that ignore the compounded interest over 10 to 11 years (now the average vehicle age in the US, I can't fathom why some people talk 5 year trade-in period as if the vehicle ceases to exist after that point in time) on the necessarily more expensive vehicle.

Old cars would be kept running longer as a result, possibly completely negating the national fuel efficiency increase of all vehicles on the road that would come from government mandates, versus what competitive design and free market customer choice would cause.

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