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  (Source: blog.thesietch.org)
U.S. regulators say it isn't a big deal, since consumers will save on fuel over the vehicle's lifetime

A National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) official said a new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) proposal could add as much as $5,000 to the sticker price of a new vehicle.

The new CAFE proposal aims to increase the average fuel economy of cars and light trucks sold here in the U.S. to 54.5 mpg by 2025 in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen the country's dependency on foreign oil.

Don Chalmers, chairman of NADA's government relations committee, announced in a Detroit hearing for the proposal that nearly doubling today's fuel economy standards would force manufacturers to use expensive "fuel-saving technologies" that would bump up the sticker price of a new vehicle an extra $5,000. NADA is expected to release a study next month showing that the costs for the new higher fuel-economy standards will overshoot government estimates by over 60 percent (meaning an extra $5,000 to the sticker price for new 2025 models).

Chalmers argued that an extra $5,000 would put many potential buyers out of the new-car market because it could add another $60 to $70 to a monthly car payment and hurt a customer's chance to receive financing.

"I want to sell more fuel-efficient cars," said Chalmers. "If the customer can't get financing, it makes no difference."

U.S. regulators see the situation differently, though. Many believe the extra $5,000 wouldn't be an issue because customers save on fuel over the lifetime of the vehicle.

"We're hearing broad support," said Margo Oge, director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at the Environmental Protection Agency. "What we heard is that this standard will create green jobs. This is what the consumer wants. This is where the companies want to invest. So, overall, it's been very positive."

Other supporters for the new CAFE proposal by the Obama administration include 13 major automakers, such as Ford Motor Co., General Motors, and Chrysler; United Auto Workers (UAW), and environmental groups like the National Wildlife Federation.

"These proposed rules will reduce the pollution that contributes to climate change, significantly reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and save American families money at the pump," said Bob King, UAW President, who added that the proposal could save customers around $4,000 over the life of the vehicle. "They will also create jobs in the auto industry and throughout the economy."

"This proposal provides our industry both a single program moving forward, as well as regulatory framework that enables manufacturers to plan and invest for the future with confidence," said Sue Cischke, Ford Motor Co.'s vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering. "We are committed to working with you to finalize these regulations. The standards proposed are aggressive, but so are the demands from our customers for greater fuel efficiency."

Others, such as Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG, are on Chalmers' side with opposing the new CAFE proposal. They say the new proposal offers "no new incentive for diesel cars."

The hearing for the proposal was one of three that will be held to give the public a chance to comment. The other two are scheduled for January 19 in Philadelphia and January 24 in San Francisco.

Source: Automotive News



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By Qapa on 1/18/2012 9:14:47 PM , Rating: 2
I understand what you mean (I read the replies on semantics, below), but I think your going about it the other way: if you had all those conditions 99% of the drivers would buy one!

I also agree that current electrics are niche cars useful for some (very) specific cases (usually, double car families living in/very near cities).

But supposedly, Nissan Leaf's batteries have 5 years warranties and after 10 years still have 80% range - that's not bad (initial range I discuss below).

Charging stations vary a lot, but in my country (and specially my city) there are chargers in dozens of public parking places and most malls. Adding to that, my work place has them as well, and at home I can also charge (private parking place already with electricity).

So, for me only 2 problems still exist: range and price.

Range, is definitely a problem. On the other hand, I usually need ~40km (~25 miles) per day (home-work-home), which means I can always go visit family or friends, shopping, dinner, go out, whatever. As for trips, I do a few small ones, within range. And 2-6 longer trips per year, some still within range+"quick 30min recharge", so I could almost live with this, maybe renting a car for a couple of weekends per year.

Also, most people don't mention but, on your daily chores, if you have charging places, you can keep charging, increasing the range - for instance, if you can charge at work, you can pretty much live on the edge of your range and don't stop for recharging on the way home, ok more reasonably would be to work up to 70 or 80 miles away from home being fine.

Price: I already mentioned (in other posts) that in Europe the prices are higher than in the US... like this:
~30% more (before taxes and incentives)
~60% more (after taxes and incentives)
So this simply sucks!!

In other words, for the US price I would already own one.

Granted, I started complaining you're mentioning it isn't for you and as a consequence it wouldn't be for anyone - you can't generalize like that. So I'm also not saying it is for everyone, in fact I started by saying it is a niche car, for now. But for some/many, and some statistics say most people drive less than 50 miles per day, this can already be something to consider... but I'd say, just increasing the range to 200-250 miles would make a lot of people really start considering this, specially in Europe but with US prices :P


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