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New EPA window sticker

Hybrids like the Toyota Prius will be the biggest losers with the new EPA ratings
The EPA brings mileage ratings closer in line with reality

Starting with the 2008 model year, manufacturers will be required to post newly revised estimated mileage figures for their vehicles' windows. Customers have long complained that their cars, pickups, SUVs and hybrids are not achieving their rated mileage and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finally doing something about it.

The previous EPA ratings standards have been in place since 1984 and don't accurately reflect real-world conditions. EPA testing failed to take into account stop-and-go traffic, lead-footed drivers, driving faster than 55MPH, extreme cold temperatures and the use of air conditioners in vehicles.

According to the EPA, most vehicles will see average city mileage ratings drop by 12% and highway ratings will drop by an estimated 8%. Hybrids will be the big losers, however, with the new EPA testing. Hybrids like the Prius and Civic Hybrid will see their city ratings drop by 20% to 30% in the city and 10% to 20% on the highway.

Despite what will likely be a slight damper on the image that its Prius hybrid projects, Toyota is fully behind the changes. "This doesn't change the car or the technology, just the way the mileage is calculated," said Toyota Motor Sales USA spokeswoman Ming-Jou Chen. "It makes the estimate closer to real-world numbers, and we fully support that."

The EPA sticker is also getting a makeover and will include an estimated city/highway mileage range of competing models, estimated costs based on 15,000 miles of driving and a link to www.fueleconomy.gov where potential buyers can go for more information.



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Why are they bound to the city/highway model?
By AxemanFU on 12/13/2006 2:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
Why not a speed/load consumption chart or a curve or something? Two stupid numbers that still don't reflect reality? The sticker on my truck read 12/17, but I get 16MPG practically no matter how fast I drive, or whether or not it is city or highway. The only thing that drops it to 12MPG is when I tow a 7000lbs trailer.

My wife's vehicle shows realtime MPG based on current fuel consumption rate/speed, and it would seem reasonable that graphs, charts, or ranges for multiple conditions could be set. City/highway is almost a copout, because it leaves such a large range, and more precise data is available. It is still used because even the slowest minds can sort of comprehend it, I guess. Oh well, kudos for making the data more accurate, but boo/hiss for not making it much better than it was, and not nearly as informative as it could be. I guess real use data from owner groups or road test websites will still provide a good reality check.




RE: Why are they bound to the city/highway model?
By AxemanFU on 12/13/2006 2:47:54 PM , Rating: 3
Thought I might add I got an average of 19.7mpg once driving from Houston to Dallas at an average speed of 80mph. How that happened, I don't know, but I do know how much gas was used and how far I went, so the MPG is right. Maybe it is a sweet spot for the engine and tranny/diffy gear ratio and the aerodynamic resistance curve....


RE: Why are they bound to the city/highway model?
By Kuroyama on 12/13/2006 3:04:42 PM , Rating: 1
It is generally not accurate to compute mileage over a single tank, because the tank will get filled to different levels each time you put in gas (so a 20 gallon tank might get filled to 19 gallons once, but 19.5 another time). As a result, it may just be that your tank was more topped off when you filled it before the drive, and less topped off the next time you filled it. Or, as you say, perhaps you just hit a sweet spot.


By ksherman on 12/13/2006 3:22:24 PM , Rating: 2
What I do to calculate my mileage in my car, at every fill up, I take the amount of miles on my trip (which is reset everytime i fill up) and divide that by the number of gallons I put into the car. it does not make any sense to base it off of a full tank (ie 12.5 in my car), since as you say, you dont ever put in that much.


By AxemanFU on 12/13/2006 4:20:56 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed. My truck (built for long range towing) has a 35 gallon tank, so with that much volume, small fluctuations in fill level aren't as significant of a variation as with a 12 gallon tank. That being said, I used the fill to totally full, drive, and then refill to totally full again method, then taking what it took to refill to totally full as the gas that was used. The variation in topped off fill level should be just a few ounces. It'd be better to try it several times to get an average of course. I think road conditions, tires, bearing condition, engine condition, oil condition, weather, driver skill and habits, road surface, traffic flow, etc have enough influence on average mileage that it'd be hard to get any kind of reliable numbers consistently.


By michael2k on 12/13/2006 5:30:40 PM , Rating: 1
Suck. When I travel 80mph I usually get 27mpg.


By otispunkmeyer on 12/14/2006 4:26:13 AM , Rating: 4
over here we have an energy rating type system, more like how efficient the car is.

cars get graded much like our other domestic appliences do (fridge, dishwasher, washing machine) from A to F

A is uber good...your car is efficient (hi MPG) and doesnt produce alot of harmful gases (CO2, NOx etc)

F is poor.

and lol 19mpg at 80mph? what the hell are you driving?

come to europe...i mustered 52Mpg out of a 2.2Liter ford modeo TDCi, it had 6 gears....85mph = 2500rpm FTW. its got 170Bhp too....from a diesel.

the prius is a joke too, european diesel engines, espescialy the smaller ones 1.4-1.6liters are better than driving a prius. especially on motorways because diesels have enough torque to be using taller gear's


By AxemanFU on 12/14/2006 10:04:43 AM , Rating: 2
A 3/4 ton model long bed extended cab chevy with a 6.0 liter V8, to be precise. Its a work truck: I have the need to tow trailer loads up to 8000 lbs or more at times, and haul large loads in the bed, and need people space also sometimes. A car is utterly useless to me, for what I require out of a vehicle. I live in the burbs and have to make regular trips out to the middle of nowhere, as Texas is a big state, somewhat similar in size to France, (to set a frame of reference for euros). I made sure to live close to my office location, so my day to day commute is short. 16-19MPG for a large truck is rather decent. If they made a hybrid that could tow that much and meet the requirements I have, I'd try it, but so far, the technology only works out in small light vehicles. Maybe ultralight diesel tech in the future?


By NegativeEntropy on 12/15/2006 8:22:39 AM , Rating: 2
As you point out, the US badly needs more passenger car diesels. As we are finlly getting ULSD (ultra low sulfur diesel) this year, we will hopefully see more than just the VW TDI in the next few years.

The difference is driven by consumer perception of diesels too, which is negative in the US.


By masher2 (blog) on 12/13/2006 2:55:41 PM , Rating: 2
> I get 16MPG practically no matter how fast I drive, or whether or not it is city or highway..."

The breakdown between city and highway driving isn't due to differing speeds, its due to the stop-and-go nature of city driving. Excluding this, one would expect to get slightly better mileage in the city, due to the lower speeds involved.


RE: Why are they bound to the city/highway model?
By rushfan2006 on 12/13/2006 4:10:24 PM , Rating: 2
The highway/city model is based on what you said the "stop and go"..but also, and please don't take my word for it because I posted this on on an Internet board, instead ask someone certified/in the know -- like a dealer mechanic or the actual manufacturer....it actually takes comparatively less fuel to maintain a constant speed, whatever speed it is, than it does to reach that speed (again coming into play with the stop and go)...

So stop and going constantly from 0 to say 45 mph for an hour is actually LESS fuel efficient for the engine than cruising a constant 60 MPH for that same hour.



By masher2 (blog) on 12/13/2006 6:33:06 PM , Rating: 3
It's just basic physics...maintaining a constant velocity requires no work, other than to overcome frictional losses, whereas acceleration requires additional energy...energy that is lost when you slow down.

This is one of the two primary reasons hybrids are more efficient, as regenerative braking allows you to actually capture some of that energy upon deceleration.


RE: Why are they bound to the city/highway model?
By dmurdock on 12/14/2006 1:14:04 PM , Rating: 1
Frictional effects are perhaps the least of the forces acting on a vehicle. Have you thought of wind resistance, tire deformation, and the fact roads are not flat? Try dragging a 16000lb trailer down they highway @ 70mph (my RV) and tell me with a straight face that the only thing holding me back is "friction". lol


By masher2 (blog) on 12/14/2006 1:38:33 PM , Rating: 2
> "Frictional effects are perhaps the least of the forces acting on a vehicle. Have you thought of wind resistance, tire deformation, and the fact roads are not flat? "

Err, wind resistance is a frictional force, as are frictional effects between the tire and the road. Frictional losses within the drivetrain itself are another component.


RE: Why are they bound to the city/highway model?
By dmurdock on 12/14/2006 4:08:34 PM , Rating: 1
OK, so basically your saying any force acting on a car @ 65mph is frictional? If not, what other forces are there (using your unique definition of a frictional force). Whatever YOU may call them, they ARE NOT trivial. I think the problem is you are using "basic physics" when a little more "advanced" understanding is necessary.


By masher2 (blog) on 12/14/2006 4:31:14 PM , Rating: 1
> "OK, so basically your saying any force acting on a car @ 65mph is frictional?"

Any force? No, of course not. Wind and road resistance are frictional forces...this is pretty basic, indeed. Torque from the engine is a nonfrictional force, as is gravitational acceleration experienced whenever the car ascends or descends a slope. There are many other possible forces...but for a vehicle travelling at constant speed on a level highway, frictional forces are the vast majority of those experienced, and are sufficient to exactly counter the work done by the engine.

> "I think the problem is you are using "basic physics" when a little more "advanced" understanding is necessary."

Your sarcasm is noted. However my undergraduate degree is in physics, and while I admittedly struggled a bit in quantum mechanics, I did quite well in classical dynamics.


By bigbrent88 on 12/14/2006 5:55:07 PM , Rating: 2
Not completely, depends on what you consider "ity" speed driving. I've got a 1993 325IS with the nice BMW fuel computer so I get to see the difference in speed/rpm/throttle/shifting. Basically I cant get to a peak stable mileage until I get to 2300rpm in 5th, around 32-35 MPG at that speed. On a long 3 hour trip doing 70-75 pretty consistent I averaged 30mpg with is better then the stated 28, but I do have a chip and cold air running 93 so maybe thats helping. In real "city" around here, stoping and sitting, starting again I can get 20-21.


By mezman on 12/13/2006 3:02:02 PM , Rating: 2
That would certainly be useful to folks like you and me. But charts and graphs are probably too tough of concepts for Joe Dimwit and he struggles to decide what car to buy.


RE: Why are they bound to the city/highway model?
By Aikouka on 12/13/2006 3:27:59 PM , Rating: 1
I believe the point of City/Highway is for ease of use. There are really two types of consumers in this world, Mr. Axeman, and they are the informed and the not-so-informed (for the lack of a better word). The informed would probably love to see information like you're talking about, curves based on 2 or more factors that help show how efficient a car is at certain stages and someone could "select" their stage (mph, location, etc) to see how greedy the car is with gas. But the other type of consumer wants an easy way to compare. They don't want to read a chart, they want straight-forward numbers.

18 > 17, it's that simple, but when going to graphs, you've gotta find your x... your y and coordinate to find where they combine then... my god, just too much effort for some people ;).

Also, the way people drive really hampers their mileage. I tend to waste the most gas on a certain 10 mile stretch, because people are such bad drivers. They constantly slow down, speed up, slow down, speed up and refuse to use the environment to their advantage (such as not braking on a hill and using it as extra speed). All this speed modulation causes more gas use as it's easier to keep your speed than (on level ground) than it is to get back up to your speed.

You know one thing that also grinds my gears... why do people take on-ramps sooooo slowly? I mean, I can understand a huge dumptruck not going fast (due to physical limits), but a car similar to mine (even with my struts that need to be replaced) goes 25 when I take it at 45. You may say that there's no need to go 45 on an on-ramp, but I disagree. Merging onto a highway (65mph) or an expressway (65 or 75mph) at 30mph just tends to slow other people down and gives you a longer time to accelerate up to a tolerable speed (unless you put the pedal to the metal!)

But anyway, that's enough ranting for me... driving 30 miles one-way to work each day encountering your worst pet peeve will do that to ya ;).


By RyuDeshi on 12/13/2006 3:48:07 PM , Rating: 2
I hear ya man, I deal with the same stuff driving 25miles to school each day.


By Alexstarfire on 12/13/2006 4:00:45 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I don't know why hybrids would really be affected that much. My old model Prius, before 2003 I believe, gets about the same EPA estimates as the new ones which are supposed to be more fuel efficient. The only time I don't get that much is when it's really cold outside, like below 40F. So you can imagine that I don't get great gas milage ATM since it's winter. Hell, I even get more highway MPG than they rate, and that's when I go about 65, which isn't the sweet spot.

Graphs would be great, but I don't see that being posted on a car, maybe the internet though.

I too hate it when I see people slow down going DOWNHILL. I mean, it's free money yet they still seem to waste it. Just goes to show you that the majority of people don't care about saving money, gas, or the environment.


RE: Why are they bound to the city/highway model?
By hubajube on 12/13/2006 4:12:38 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Just goes to show you that the majority of people don't care about saving money, gas, or the environment.
True but most people are also stupid.


RE: Why are they bound to the city/highway model?
By Moishe on 12/14/2006 8:19:45 AM , Rating: 3
One thing is true whether you realize it or not. People aren't stupid just because they aren't like you. It's a hard lesson to learn but I've found it to be pure truth.

Yes, there ARE stupid people, but this is not the majority of the population. It's easy to be caught up in technology when you're young, us young people automatically think that way. Older people aren't like us. Equally bright but taught different things. We like to think our way is best because we humans are an arrogant bunch. In reality, our way is one of many and it only looks best from our perspective. A little humility goes a long ways.


By rushfan2006 on 12/14/2006 9:52:06 AM , Rating: 2
I agree.

To add/drive home your point further....most people (and isn't kind of funny we all go "most people" in our opinions..lol) in my opinion....especially the more "mature" buyers (as the current p.c. sales lingo would call them) they have more pressing things on their minds than reading all kinds of graphics, charts and data merely to detemine a more accurage fuel economy for a vehicle.

It is funny how (and from time to time I'll admit my own guilt here as well) we sometimes call some people stupid merely because they don't place the same priority on a subject as we do. Just because "you" would love all kinds of data nad bar graphs and charts on a car's mpg estimate before purchase makes you no more intelligent, wiser or brilliant than the guy who has much more important issues on his mind or in his life than worrying about saving an extra gallon or two of gas per mile on his next car purchase.

Life is all about priority...this is one of the biggest things that in fact cause conflict and debate among us all...what you fight for passionately for as a topic...could be low priority to me..and vice versa...




By Keeir on 12/13/2006 4:17:44 PM , Rating: 2
You get the EPA estimates because you drive with the thought to increase you milage. Unfortunely most people don't.

I think the driver should be asking "What can I do to increase my milage without sacrificing time?" not asking for lower ratings...



RE: Why are they bound to the city/highway model?
By lucyfek on 12/13/2006 7:15:14 PM , Rating: 1
i too like cruising downhill, down the road, to the stop sign, red lights, etc., but for people with auto transmission this is not an option - transmission downshifts and effectively they get nowhere (mileage-wise), with my stick-shift, non-hybrid:( 2002 focus i can get ~34mpg regardless of traffic/city/highway, slightly less in winter ~32. my best score was on the trip to ... smoky mountains/ blue ridge parkway - with heavy use of neutral and up to 70 mph for "free" down the hill i got 48 mpg.
if other folks used their head they could also save some $ on gas, but in the USA majority seems to be inclined towards waste of any resource (to include the pricey ones).
my next car will be hybrid, regardless of how the EPA manipulates the stickers on the windows.


By Aikouka on 12/14/2006 12:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'd also like to remark how some vehicles simply have a different drivetrain and overall differing designs, and that affects how well they can coast. For example, while I was getting my car's transmission fluid changed, I borrowed my mother's 2001 Saturn LS2 to use for the day. In a spot where I usually just let off the gas and coast on flat land, the Saturn will drop down to 40mph from 55mph rather quickly (note that this area also legally drops from 55 to 40). My car (2002 Dodge Stratus) will not drop down that far, and in fact, will stay near 55 unless I use the brakes. I think the car weighs more, although I'd presume it also has better aerodynamics as it is more wedge-shaped than the Saturn, which looks more like a traditional sedan.

Although my car gets horrible mileage... best I've ever got was 28mpg, but I think that's partly due to there being an issue with the piston rings not sealing properly (gotta love buying a car used) and that causing some compression loss. Finding oil on your spark plugs when you change them isn't a good thing :(.


RE: Why are they bound to the city/highway model?
By Spivonious on 12/13/2006 3:33:59 PM , Rating: 1
Why have these at all? It's obvious that the average consumer doesn't read them, otherwise no one would ever buy an SUV, let alone the mammoth Hummer H2.


By masher2 (blog) on 12/13/2006 3:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
I read them, and I still bought an H2. I sold it a few months ago...but it was more due to the rough ride, than any concerns over fuel costs. Of course, I don't commute 150 miles/day like some people do, either.


By Kuroyama on 12/13/2006 4:00:38 PM , Rating: 2
The cost of gas is usually only a small part of the cost of ownership. The cost of buying the SUV, of insurance and of repairs are much higher. For instance, it is likely that Masher2 spent more money on insurance for his H2 than he spent on gas.

Having said that, consider the current sticker which just says something like "10 miles per gallon." Most people will just think "Sounds a bit low", if they notice it at all. But when the big sticker on the H2 says "$4,200 Estimated Annual Fuel Cost" (15K @ say 10mpg and $2.80/gal) then that'll definitely grab people's attention.


RE: Why are they bound to the city/highway model?
By mindless1 on 12/13/2006 7:57:59 PM , Rating: 2
Do you not see how illogical your post was? A few people buying SUVs, and even the rare purchase of a Hummer, is in no way a sign the average consumer doesn't read them. They might even care, just not as much as what kind of vehicle they'd have to get to see a substantial difference in mileage.


By Gooberslot on 12/13/2006 11:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
A few people? Where I live probably half the cars I see are SUVs.


By masher2 (blog) on 12/13/2006 11:36:09 PM , Rating: 3
The important point to remember is that vehicle size and type is not the most important factor in its total gasoline consumption. Miles driven is. There are quite a few Honda Civics in the country consuming more gas than my H2 Hummer ever did.


By iNGEN on 12/14/2006 2:21:27 PM , Rating: 2
A curve or chart may well exceed the sophistication of the typical consumer.


Fantastic!
By encryptkeeper on 12/13/2006 2:19:00 PM , Rating: 2
There's no real change here. Hybrids won't lose any appeal, they'll still have huge fuel savings over other cars. Factor that with hybrids coming down in price, established models of cars having the hybrid option (Hybrid Civic) and better resale value and there should be no problem here.




RE: Fantastic!
By vanka on 12/13/2006 3:22:11 PM , Rating: 3
What huge fuel savings? According to Toyota's site, the Prius gets 60/51 MPG (city/highway) so it seems that you are getting about twice the MPG as a comparable compact car; but according to a Car and Driver column from a year or so ago, it would take you about 5 years to recoup the extra cost for a Prius over a similar conventional compact. This was using the CAFE MPG ratings not actual real-world numbers. What the new MPG rating will do is actually give buyers a more accurate estimate of a vehicle's MPG; but will push an hybrid's break-even point even farther out: about 7 instead of 5 years.


While hybrids are a great piece of tech, there are a few deal breakers for me. The first is that you don't start saving any money on gas until 5+ years after purchase. Most people get new cars about every 5 years so what's the point? You would have spent the same amount of cash if you would have gotten a plain Civic or Corolla; except that with a hybrid you pay more money upfront.

Second, hybrids only appear green; in actuality they have much more potential to be destructive to the environment because of their battery packs. The batteries are at risk to leaks, especially during accidents. Some fire departments have stated that they will not go near a hybrid vehicle in an accident due to the risk of fire. Plus the battery pack will need to be replaced or disposed of sometime down the line; which adds an additional cost (both economic and environmental) to a hybrid.

This is not to say that hybrids are all bad; I just get irritated when people start hailing hybrids as our saviors without looking at the big picture. If you want to make a statement that you're green; more power to you. I, on the other hand, will get a cheaper more powerful compact.


RE: Fantastic!
By Oregonian2 on 12/13/2006 3:46:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Most people get new cars about every 5 years so what's the point?


Those of us who buy a car new and drive it until it drops will like it. That's what I do. My wife's car is a '94 and mine is a '96. Both bought new and we'll drive them until they're not useful -- and that'll probably be another ten years or so. This results in a very low cost of ownership.

Technologies like the hybrid don't have to be bought by everybody, just a big enough number to make the technology profitable (not to speak about pollution requirements and such put on auto companies, esp in California).


RE: Fantastic!
By vanka on 12/13/2006 4:14:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Both bought new and we'll drive them until they're not useful -- and that'll probably be another ten years or so. This results in a very low cost of ownership.

True, this would make a hybrid less expensive; until you had to replace the battery pack. Estimates start at $10,000.

quote:
Technologies like the hybrid don't have to be bought by everybody, just a big enough number to make the technology profitable

That's the problem, hybrids aren't profitable; the auto-makers lose money on each sale. If you sell every item at a loss, you'll never make it up on volume. They sell them to meet CARB and CAFE demands because CAFE requires the auto-maker's average fleet MPG (the MPG rating of all the cars they sell averaged) to be I believe at least 35MPG. By selling an hybrid that gets 60MPG, the auto-maker doesn't have to increase the MPG of its gas-guzzlers (of which it sells more) to meet the requirement. As for CARB, the hybrids count as a partial credit for a manufactures required zero-emissions quota in California.


RE: Fantastic!
By hubajube on 12/13/2006 5:03:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
True, this would make a hybrid less expensive; until you had to replace the battery pack. Estimates start at $10,000.
$10,000!!!??? I thought it was half of that and that was still too much for me.


RE: Fantastic!
By Oregonian2 on 12/13/2006 5:19:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's the problem, hybrids aren't profitable; the auto-makers lose money on each sale. If you sell every item at a loss, you'll never make it up on volume. They sell them to meet CARB and CAFE demands because CAFE requires the auto-maker's average fleet MPG


Then it IS to make things profitable. Just have to look at things on a broader scale of economic effort by the companies.

As to battery replacement costs, last one I saw was about $5000 and was expected to drop. Might drop even more if they got popular enough for third party klone battery sets to become available rather than dealer ones.

As mentioned in my previous posting, my car is only about 10.9 years old (about 80,000 miles) so I've still a few years to go on it and I expect hybrids to get better/cheaper by then (and gas more and more expensive which will drive down payback costs even faster).




RE: Fantastic!
By walk2k on 12/14/2006 6:16:17 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, they just classify their gas-guzzlers as "light trucks" ala "SUVs" and be done with that little annoying requirement.


RE: Fantastic!
By FITCamaro on 12/13/2006 5:57:20 PM , Rating: 2
While I'm mostly with you, we're the minority. Most people don't even buy their cars anymore, they lease. And most at the end of the lease will just move to the new model, not buy their lease.

As far as the EPA ratings go. My car (06 Cobalt SS 2.4L 5-speed) is rated at 24 and 32. I average 26 in the city and 31 on the highway. Obviously the EPA ratings are averages based on normal driving conditions(accelerating smoothly). If you think you're gonna get the EPA city rating when you redline the engine every shift, you're an idiot. My dads 02 Trans Am WS6 6-speed is rated at 17 and 27 and it achieves both numbers if you keep your foot out of it. So while I agree hybrid numbers are way off, regular car EPA ratings are about right. Every car my family has ever owned has achieved or exceeded its EPA rating. Even my parents 04 Hemi Durango (14/20).


RE: Fantastic!
By S3anister on 12/13/2006 10:06:47 PM , Rating: 2
Dude I agree with you, i've got a 95' Jetta, and it's got 480,000 miles on it! And i'll keep on using it until... most likely when the transmission goes out.


Estimates not always bad.
By Goty on 12/13/2006 3:51:28 PM , Rating: 2
My car is rated at 26/39 MPG and I hit that mark pretty much all the time. The only car I've seen with really bad estimates is my dad's F-150. That thing gets 14 MPG whether you're coasting down the highway or towing a house.




RE: Estimates not always bad.
By S Random on 12/13/2006 4:36:46 PM , Rating: 2
the whole do a chart under speed is not nearly as accurate as fuel consumption in accordence to RPMs.


RE: Estimates not always bad.
By hubajube on 12/13/2006 5:28:57 PM , Rating: 2
My car is rated at 22/31 and I get 28 currently. Mostly freeway driving with occasional mild city driving. I live in a semi-rural area so that helps.


Bigger issue here not explored..
By Dfere on 12/14/2006 9:24:45 AM , Rating: 2
Is that CAFE standards determine how many gas guzzlers can be comprised of a fleet of vehicles sold in the US. There are minimums for all car makers.

We like to think that hybrids are penetrating the market, becuase we as the comsumer is ready to buy them (Pat ourselves on the back!). But I think the fact that most automakers knew this was going to happen eventually, coupled with lower parts prices due to international competition, and resultant declining prices on vehicles worked together to allow the pressure to be taken off the EPA by Big Auto to tighten these standards. A few years ago there was no way the Big Three (and foreigner producers would have not fought this tooth and nail). With hybrids now in fleet mixes, the impact of this restriction is greatly reduced if not completely mitigated.

We need to lobby the CAFE standard be increased as hybrids have now entered the mix, if we want to hold ourselves out to being "green". Everyone ready for higher car prices that will result?




RE: Bigger issue here not explored..
By masher2 (blog) on 12/14/2006 10:01:23 AM , Rating: 1
> "We need to lobby the CAFE standard be increased as hybrids have now entered the mix, if we want to hold ourselves out to being "green"..

Anyone lobbying for higher CAFE standars isn't interested in holding themselves to anything...they want the government to force other people to their own standard.


RE: Bigger issue here not explored..
By Dfere on 12/15/2006 10:46:27 AM , Rating: 2
Disagreed.

If I believe in something, and am ready to pay for something I believe in, I have every right to lobby for it (as long as you are willing to accept the consequences of that choice). If you disagree, you have every right to lobby against it. But if you choose to do nothing you cannot claim it was forced on you. Fascism is the imposition of something on somebody (usually someone's will against your own) . This implies you had no say in the matter. You do.

Inactivity and apathy are not a legitimate defense against actions taken in a democratic fashion.


By masher2 (blog) on 12/15/2006 1:32:44 PM , Rating: 1
If you desire to lower your own personal fuel consumption, you are always free to purchase a more efficient vehicle, drive less, or some combination of both factors.

Lobbying for CAFE standards isn't done by people who want to hold themselves to a higher standard...its done by people who want to impose standards upon the rest of us.


Hmmm
By exdeath on 12/13/2006 3:45:01 PM , Rating: 2
My heavily modified car is factory rated 16 city / 22 hwy but I can get 25 hwy if I keep the boost gauge tame and as low as 10 city depending on how many Civics and Eclipses try to take me at lights and merges on the weekends.

These days though tire costs are starting to be more of a concern than gas costs…




RE: Hmmm
By andrep74 on 12/14/2006 3:11:10 AM , Rating: 2
Which raises the point: as long as the testing conditions are the same, it doesn't matter what the actual values are as much as how the mileage compares to another car driven in the same manner (same acceleration, fuel load, etc.)

Unfortunately, that still means that there is variance based on conditions that favor one type of technology over another. For example, a car with a turbocharger will never engage the turbo if it's accelerated slowly, which should make it more efficient than a supercharged engine; or a car with regenerative brakes might use its advantage more in hard-braking traffic than in traffic that allows coasting. So it could very well be that car (A) gets better mileage under condition (1) than car (B), and vice-versa under condition (2).

I'd actually like to see numbers in a bar-chart rather than two arbitrarily-chosen "types" of driving; if these graphs could be interactive and two vehicles' charts overlaid, I could then choose for myself the type of driving that I typically do and see which is more efficient at a glance. Even the most "stupid" consumer can perform comparisons graphically...


RE: Hmmm
By masher2 (blog) on 12/14/2006 7:57:34 AM , Rating: 1
> "Unfortunately, that still means that there is variance based on conditions that favor one type of technology over another.."

And that was exactly the problem. We all knew the EPA figures were inaccurate...but they still allowed us to accurately compare one vehicle to another. Except for hybrids, which were heavily favored by the old testing methodology. A normal vehicle would usually be within 15% of its test score, whereas a hybrid could be as much as 40% lower.

The new figures aren't perfect by a long shot, but they are a step forward.


It's about time.
By therealnickdanger on 12/13/2006 2:22:37 PM , Rating: 2
I would rather have MPG undersold to me and be pleasantly suprised than buy a car expecting to get 50MPG and only get 35MPG...




RE: It's about time.
By Oregonian2 on 12/13/2006 5:29:50 PM , Rating: 2
But if it said 35 (but really did 50), would you have bought it at all (to be allowed the pleasant surprise)?


By zombiexl on 12/13/2006 2:38:59 PM , Rating: 2
the electric usage sticker on appliances?




wait...what?
By dubldwn on 12/13/2006 3:24:24 PM , Rating: 2
I was under the impression that most cars' milage ratings were off by more than 10% (maybe closer to 20%) for typical driving. This is a good thing, but it should probably go farther.




Different locales
By SmokeRngs on 12/13/2006 4:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
One other thing that is probably missing from the new ratings and most people do not take into account are the different areas the vehicles are used in. My previous cars actually got better city and highway mileage than the ratings. This is even in an area with a lot of hills. You can't go anywhere around here without driving up or down a hill it seems. Hilly areas will usually decrease gas mileage.

My current car did not meet the EPA estimates on mileage and it annoyed the crap out of me. I actually drove this car smarter and have taken better care of it since it was bought new. I have a feeling the reason for the worse than expected mileage is due to some faulty parts/sensors. Warranty is long gone so I can't take it in and have it checked out and the car still runs fine so it's not a huge worry.




the new sticker
By Moishe on 12/14/2006 8:13:47 AM , Rating: 2
The new window sticker is definitely better than the old one. The average MPG in a range is good for people who drive different, maintain their cars differently, etc. My 1999 mx5 gets 31mpg if I drive mostly hwy. The original sticker said 24/29.

In the end, the result will be more realistic mileage ratings, which is good.




my car
By hans007 on 12/14/2006 11:10:06 PM , Rating: 2
is rated for 22/31 city hwy

.

that said 75% of my driving is city. and in the low angeles stop and go i get about 17mpg in the city.

amazingly on a long trip on a freeway at night or something i can get something like 36-37mpg. so the EPA rating on my car is off in both directions.





Sounds very good!
By AKAK on 12/13/06, Rating: -1
RE: Sounds very good!
By ajdavis on 12/13/2006 2:22:27 PM , Rating: 2
50,000 miles does not make a car a "clunker". Evidently you don't drive one of the hybrids they say are affected most by this or you'd know that, as most hybrids are built by brands know for their reliability.


RE: Sounds very good!
By AKAK on 12/13/2006 2:35:44 PM , Rating: 2
This is about all cars not just the hybrids- the whole idea would be to more accurately reflect real world cost of ownership including repairs for those that can afford it the least--- people that buy "economy cars". This would give them more time to either shine or to show the faults. People that buy the hybrids are usually well aware of maintenance costs and the cost of fuel - that one big reason they buy them most of the time.



One of the big things is that these "cheap" cars get thrown away quickly and become junk to throw into the enviroment- this is a huge waste of power and source of polution we can avoid with good info.


RE: Sounds very good!
By Goty on 12/13/2006 3:47:23 PM , Rating: 2
My "cheap economy car" cost me less than $13K out the door with a 10 yeah 100K mile warranty and it regularly gets 35-40 MPG on the highway (where I do the vast majority of my driving). TCO and maintenance don't really matter to me.


RE: Sounds very good!
By hubajube on 12/13/2006 4:57:18 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
One of the big things is that these "cheap" cars get thrown away quickly and become junk to throw into the environment
What crack are you smoking? When someone sells their car after 5 years, do you really think it goes to the junkyard? I'll answer this for you. Someone else (go figure...there are other people on this earth besides me?) buys it and drives it around until they sell it. Then someone else buys it. This continues until the car becomes too costly to own and then it's junked. Hell, that can take anywhere from 10 to 20 years. Just because an item isn't YOUR possession doesn't mean that item no longer exists.


RE: Sounds very good!
By Oregonian2 on 12/13/2006 5:28:19 PM , Rating: 2
I once owned a '83 Honda Accord that I had bought new. About ten years later my wife was in an accident and the car was declared "totaled" by the insurance company who took possession of the car. I found out later that it was owned and being driven by someone. So if that happens, I don't think folk will just trashcan a car because it's five years old.


RE: Sounds very good!
By Kuroyama on 12/13/2006 2:45:42 PM , Rating: 2
If you look at the new sticker you will see that this is "Estimated Annual Fuel Cost" and not "Estimated Lifetime Fuel Cost". The average person drives around 15,000 miles per year, so 15,000 miles is an appropriate figure to use.


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