UPDATED: Fed's Proposed 54.5 MPG CAFE Requirements for 2017-2025 Released
November 16, 2011 4:30 PM
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President Obama admires a Chevrolet Volt
(Source: Motor City Times)
Proposed standards are expected to be the same Washington and automakers agreed to last summer
The White House, California, and major automakers have came to an agreement on proposed economy standards that will see the requirements ultimately nearly double
fleet wide fuel economy to 54.5 mpg by 2025
People against the plan in the auto industry and Washington have argued that the 54.5 mpg goal will mean
additional money added to the price of each vehicle
and the loss of jobs in the auto industry due to reduced sales. Some estimates from Washington peg the cost to the automotive industry to meet the proposed standards at as much as $100 billion.
The proposed 54.5 mpg standard would save customers $6,600 in lifetime fuel costs for a 2025 model year vehicle. The Department of Transportation (DOT) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), however, rightly point out that the actual savings is closer to $4,400 when you take into account the additional cost of the technology needed (as reflected by the sticker price of the car) to make cars reach such lofty mileage numbers.
"These unprecedented standards are a remarkable leap forward in improving fuel efficiency. We expect this program will not only save consumers money, it will ensure automakers have the regulatory certainty they need to make key decisions that create jobs and invest in the future," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "We are pleased that we've been able to work with the auto industry, the states, and leaders in the environmental and labor communities to move toward even tougher standards for the second phase of the President's national program to improve fuel economy and reduce pollution."
"This is an important addition to the landmark clean cars program that President Obama initiated to establish fuel economy standards more than two years ago," added EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "The progress we made with the help of the auto industry, the environmental community, consumer groups and others will be expanded upon in the years to come -- benefitting the health, the environment and the economy for the American people."
A letter sent to President Obama this week from 100 House Democrats praised the new standards writing, "[The new efficiency standards] increase our national and economic security in an unprecedented way by dramatically decreasing our dependence on foreign sources of petroleum."
The following are areas targeted for improving fuel efficiency across the board:
More efficient gasoline engines
Greater availability of diesel engines for passenger cars
Improvements in vehicle aerodynamics
Reduced vehicle weight thanks to the use of aluminum and composites
Low rolling resistance tires
Improved air conditioning systems
More efficient vehicle accessories
The rules offered up today are not final; there is still a period for the industry and consumers to make comment on the rules. Administration official in Washington said recently that cars would have to average 62 mpg and light trucks 44 mpg to meet the economy standards of 54.5 mpg by 2025. The EPA estimates that real world driving would see 39 mpg.
Some in Washington have already argued that the new fuel economy proposal will legislate out of existence the cars on the market today selling for under $15,000. Obama and his administration still claim that the new standards will save consumers $1.7 trillion in fuel over the life of the vehicles on the road. That figure is contested and some fear that automakers will be forced to build vehicles
consumers aren't interested
in to meet the economy standards.
Updated 11/16/2011 @ 4:30pm to reflect official announcement and add quotes.
The Detroit News
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RE: Welcome to the land of dreams and fairies
11/17/2011 11:53:59 AM
Biodiesel production can ingest CO2, but not any of the pollutants that really matter.
I think AGW is real, but it's way, way overblown as a problem. The way I see it is that if you're trying to help humanity worldwide, sustainable development is 100x more cost effective than reducing GHG, and if you're trying to help your own country, then particulates, NOx, etc. are many orders of magnitude more dangerous than AGW effects. There's all sorts of studies out there: WHO estimates 70,000 air-pollution deaths per year in the US, the Ontario Medical Association pegs the number at 9500/yr in Ontario (pop. of 13M), etc.
Cities are the most productive and energy efficient way to live, but population density means that despite that, urban air pollution is far worse. The cleanest diesels get Bin 5 certification, while the best gas engines can hit <1/3rd the pollution and EV miles are air-pollution free. Yes, coal produces deadly pollution also, but the impact is muted due the production being far away from where most people live.
PHEV is the way to go from virtually all perspectives: environmental (solid battery wastes, and nuclear waste for that matter, are much more manageable than air pollution), long term resource independence (yeah, rare-earths are a problem at the moment, but less than oil and solvable), and even performance. It's much cheaper to scale electric motors to high power than a gas engine, and it will only get cheaper as production scales.
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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