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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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.

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