akwaman, I tend to agree with you. As I have written on this site before, the automobile companies have been wasting their time getting more power out of the same size engine rather than making smaller (and more fuel efficient engines) that get the same power. I expect the near term goal is in reach already in reach with technologies we already have.
The big problem with Detroit is the automobile press. They seem to think that everyone is planning to race their vehicles on the road. I remember when the Porsche Boxster was reintroduced. One of the complaints was that the engine was not powerful enough to take full advantage of the chasis. What the.... Who cares?! But there is was, and the car suffered in the opinion of potential purchasers. It was, of course, a silly thing to say. If your goal is to go as fast as possible, then buy a Carrera Turbo. I know that this example is not a Detroit product, but it is typical of what is often said in the traditional automotive press. Of course, then when the price of gasoline spikes up who benefits? The foreign car makers, becuase they live in an environment where gasoline has always been much more expensive. Then the drivers of pick-ups complain that gas costs too much. While some might need the trcuks, there are many who drive them who do not.
An automobile is a long term purchase. Americans buy the big, inefficient vehicles (SUVs and pick-ups) when gas is cheap. Then they are stuck with those vehicles when gas gets expensive. At the same time, we all bemoan all the wars and other problems we have in the oil producing regions. I think that this makes it a legitimate concern of the Federal government (which I tend to like to see limited). Considering Detroits recent financial performance, I think we would be silly to listen to them on these matters. What do you think?
Personally, I feel that the overall goal is weak, I'm sure it involved compromise on the numbers, which could even be higher. I am glad that Obama had the foresight to have a substantial part of the goal happen within his next Presidency. If he is in office, that will ensure that the automobile industry steps up and makes it happen (at least the 2016 goal), instead of throwing (wasting) millions of dollars to fight the law (I'm sure they will anyway). It's akin to the billionaires that are throwing countless millions into Romneys campaign to fight for tax breaks they obviously don't need. If these companies and billionaires would, instead of wasting money tricking the public, just hired more people and gave raises to the people that deserve it, the economy would fix itself. It is this greed that will continue to plague this country, and the same greed that will fight this 54.5mpg standard. You will, through the day see many come to this blog and give a thousand reasons why we can't make this goal. My word to them is, stop making excuses, and spend that time and energy in your office figuring out how to make it happen, instead of spending the next decade fighting about how it is not possible. We are humans, and engineers, and Americans. Let the politicians do what they do, and lets stop making excuses and design some stuff.
2025 is thirteen years away -- or, in other words, seven Congresses and four Presidential elections away. A lot can happen in that time (politically, technologically, and otherwise), so this announcement doesn't necessarily mean very much.
I'd pay a lot more attention to the 35.5 mpg standard that takes effect in 2016; that's just four years away.
When I bought my Chevy Cobalt in 2006, it was supposed to be a big deal because it got more than 30 mpg. (It actually gets about 35 mpg this time of year). Now many new cars in the same class get more than 40 mpg.
Of course, not everyone likes the same kind of cars I like. I learned how to drive in a 1990 Ford Festiva. Compared to that, the Cobalt feels roomy.
I agree Tim - I loved my 2005 Ford Sport Trac (also a truck) which matched your Ford F-150 for gas mileage, but at around 25 MPG for my Chevy Lumina - it is my drive of choice today. I miss my truck but am driven by practicality...and the cost of feeding two teenage boys! Maybe we should be looking at how to feed teenagers more cheaply instead? That would really help middle-class families!
This will be interesting to see play out. I would guess that this regulation is only for cars. I love my F150 truck. I would love it more if it got 55 MPG instead of 15, but I am pretty sure that it is not really fesible. Also, would government vehicles be exempt? I would imagine that the armor laden presidential and other head of state limousines get no more than 12 MPG.
I think the goals are admirable but how realistic is it for this type of consumer technology to be driven by a government mandate? From what I can tell, this is no simple task, with much to be considered in the development process besides the MPG...is their a structure in place to address the multitude issues that are sure to arise?
Yes, the 54.5 will be an average, Rob. But figuring out a company's Corporate Average Fuel Econmy (CAFE) rating is complicated because it's not only a matter of knowing how many models a company has and what their MPG ratings are. The final CAFE is weighted by sales, so an automaker is tasked not only with building them, but also finding a way to make consumers buy them.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will the 54.5 MPG be the average an automaker needs to meet. Will they be able to produce a slew of tiny cars that get 65 MPG while continuing to make cars that get significantly less than 54.5 MPG? Also, I wonder what will be excluded. I know that trucks were excluded in the past, so everything started getting called a truck.
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