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Common sense
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Laws of physics trump the laws of man
Common sense   9/12/2012 10:24:08 AM
It seems hilarious, or more just plain scary, that anyone would think that just because some nimrod somewhere decides we should have 54.5 mpg, that this makes any sense.  Sure we can have a vehicle that gets this milage, but at what cost, and at what value/usefulness?  I see the beginning of a new business opportunity, the refurbishment of trucks, SUVs, and high performace vehicles.  I deal with government regulators everyday, and frankly most all are dumber than a door knob.  The government is never correct in any cost prediction, so we will just end up spending an extra $10k for a car we don't want, or an extra $20-30k for the cars we do want (but have to be rationed), and everybody will wonder how did we get here.  The laws of physics are not dictated by the whims of man, and your not going to be able to make my truck, which I use for hauling stuff, towing trailers, carrying 6 people (and this is not for work), ever get 54.5 mpg.  And if you have ever paid attention, outside Chicago and DC, a lot of people like driving trucks, and SUVs.  We can have faux gas milage, in the form of electronisity, but that energy has to come from somewhere, so now every municipality will be needing to build another power plant, and the EPA is not going to allow it to be coal, and everyone's electric rates will end up being double, and we will wonder how did we get here.  I'm sure all of those in favor of the mpg mandate will proudly state that we all exist because of the self governing rules of evolution, survival of the fittest, naturally adapting towards an ever more complex co-existance with our world.  But, for some reason when it comes to things involving money, or oil, then we need a designer, some higher power to dictate how we live our lives now that we have risen from the muck.  Makes no sense.

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wheely   9/12/2012 10:20:33 AM
 Sorry, I meant realengr not IRON.

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Re: Diesel and .....Bikes
wheely   9/12/2012 10:12:46 AM
 Ditto IRON. I have both a diesel & bicycle, oh & a motorcycle. The bicycle only takes pasta to run, haha.

 America is so far behind Europe, the bummer is it's only because we have cheap gas. Get those prices up to $5 or $6 a gallon & see what happens. We could've had 50-60 mpg cars now if detroit had forsight, but they don't.

Like IRON I don't have any sympathy for the car companies.


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Re: Lofty, but worthy goal: at what cost on other aspects?
Droid   9/12/2012 10:10:48 AM
Well said Amclaussen.   Never underestimate the inability of a government politician or bureaucrat to discern the complexity of consequenses from their idealistic rules and regulations.

After all, why stop at 54 mpg.  If you can simply mandate fuel efficiency with the stroke of a politician's pen, then why not go for 64 mpg, or how about 84 mpg, or 100 mpg.

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Re: Lofty, but worthy goal
Tweet   9/12/2012 10:08:25 AM
What if we let engineers build what the people want?  People on this board have pointed out a number of examples where mandates have warped the market to the point where good, desirable solutions are outlawed.  If you took off the chains and people flocked to buy gas guzzlers, well gas isn't that expensive, is it?  Maybe safety is worth the extra money to some people?

I've got a cheap government mandate solution for you all that will improve efficiency and save tankers of fuel a day:  GPS speed governors.  Try getting that one through Congress.

Isn't it ironic that the same greener-than-thou types who work tirelessly to get your Hummer legislated out of existence are the same ones bombing down the highway doing 80 in their Pry-Us--late for yoga class, again!

Larry M
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Re: Diesel
Larry M   9/12/2012 10:08:15 AM
Volkswagen turbo diesels? Look at their reliability before flaunting them as a solution! Consumers won't accept a car engine that only lasts 80,000 miles before requiring a rebuild that costs thousands of dollars. See, e.g., Consumer Reports for reliability records.

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Must ask ourselves why
Bellon   9/12/2012 10:06:29 AM
One of the questions we and the government regulators must ask ourselves, is why does a vehicle like the Smart car show a fuel economy number for Europe of 85.6mpg, but here in the US is 38mpg.

Once that question is answered, then I believe progress can truly be made on getting towards a 54.5mpg CAFE rule.

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Argument against this is flawed
JoeS   9/12/2012 9:59:09 AM
In the caption of the graph, it says: "But by going from 40mpg to 50mpg, the savings drop to only $375 annually..."    I just have to say, very few cars currently get 40mpg.  I have a one year old relatively efficient car, on an all-highway long trip if I'm really lucky I can actually get 35mpg.  But in regular driving with traffic lights and traffic jams, I often don't even get 25mpg.  The only cars that reliably get 40mpg in normal driving now are hybrids or range-extended electric vehicles.  So citing 40 to 50mpg change, when I will see 25 to 50mpg change, seems a bit disingenuous.

This requirement will put more hybrids and electric vehicles (possibly range extended) on the road, more than tiny unsafe gas powered cars.  If due to economies of scale it makes the price of a future Volt come down from $40K to under $30K, that would be great.

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Re: Diesel and .....Bikes
un4givun2   9/12/2012 9:59:06 AM


I've been asking this question since the 1st hybrids rolled off


the assembly line...........Why doesn't anyone make a hybrid diesel? Cummins already has one of the CLEANEST running diesels on the market. They even have been able to avoid the urea injection in vehicles line the Dodge Ram. They have a 4cyl version of their popular inline 6 cylinder. Their 6.7L could have a 4.5L sibling mated to a hybrid system that makes almost as much torque as the 6cyl and would get WAY over 30mpg on the highway in a FULL SIZE truck. A 3/4ton Ram could really play double duty as a daily commuter, a work truck, and a weekend warrior.

Then an even smaller version could be put in a half ton truck with highway mileage near 40mpg.


Then cars like the Diesel Jetta that already get 40mpg could be getting 50 to 60 mpg! Even better, the addition of a hybrid system to a diesel would get the performance of these diesels up there with the gas engines. It's a win win for everybody.


Like the article points out, this would probably add $8,000.00 to the price tag. A diesel jetta already cost $4,000 more than a 2.5L 5cyl gas version. A Hybrid Civic cost about $3000.00 more than the same non-hybrid. Mating the diesel to the hybrid should be a no brainer.



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Not so fast - big picture
kingg   9/12/2012 9:53:09 AM
When comparing U.S. mileage vs. Canada and the UK, you have to consider they use Imperial gallons, whch have more gas per gallon and will show a higher MPG.  Oil consumption is already down in this country, we're shipping oil overseas, and gas prices are still very high.  Will the consumer really see a reduction?  More oil will be sent to China and other developing countries that have air pollution issues.  Will air quality improve in those countries as we presumably make our air cleaner?  As fewer gallons are used in the U.S. gas taxes (revenue) per gallon will be reduced to the government.  They won't like this, so taxes will increase, or we will pay a road use tax based on miles driven annually.  This, added to the increased cost of vehicles, will probably mean that people will keep their 30mpg vehicles longer.  This will affect auto manufacturing and therefore jobs.  Increased unemployment.  Another government idea not thought through, or if it was, making a good sound bite and playing on our ignorance. 

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