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US To Require That New Cars Get 42 MPG By 2016

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the jevons-paradox dept.

Transportation 1186

Hugh Pickens writes "New cars and trucks will have to get 30 percent better mileage starting in 2016 under an Obama administration move to curb emissions tied to smog and global warming. While the 30 percent increase would be an average for both cars and light trucks, the percentage increase in cars would be much greater, rising from the current 27.5 mpg standard to 42 mpg. Environmentalists praised the move. Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, called it 'one of the most significant efforts undertaken by any president, ever, to end our addiction to oil and seriously slash our global warming emissions.' Obama's plan also would effectively end litigation between states and automakers that had opposed state-specific rules, arguing that having to meet several state standards would be much more expensive for them than just one federal rule. The Detroit News reported that automakers were on board with the new rule and had worked with the administration on creating a timeline for the transition." There's a case to be made that raising the CAFE won't save oil or reduce greenhouse gases.

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Amusing story (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006563)

So America is finally moving towards the milage requirements other countries have had for years already.

Re:Amusing story (5, Informative)

pmarini (989354) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006961)

Allow me to translate that:
US gallon = 3.78 liters
UK gallon = 4.54 litres
Therefore it would be 50 mpg in UK... good luck with that!

Re:Amusing story (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28007013)

Allow me to translate that: US gallon = 3.78 liters

And you can stop right there! Since 1 Jan 2000 the gallon is no longer a legal measure in the UK. Get with the program.

Automakers (4, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006577)

Of course automakers are "on board"! They're now pawns of the government, just like the banks. Do you think they could really go against anything the administration wants?

Basically now Obama can do whatever he wants. He's playing all the hands himself.

REFORGE THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006585)

For workers revolution to smash capitalist barbarism! For a world federation of soviet republics!

Re:Automakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006597)

You give the office of President way too much credit for what power its holder can individually wield....and btw, I hate blumpkins.

Re:Automakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006647)

I know a little about the 20 year plans that automakers create.

This is in line with the 2 I know details of. I wouldn't be surprised if the others are similar. They just want to make sure everyone else jumps in with them.

Collusion (5, Funny)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006663)

That's called "collusion", when the government isn't involved.

Re:Collusion (4, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006729)

Only if the goal is to set prices, not to improve quality. Is it collusion when computer manufacturers meet to make hardware standards, or software companies to standardize APIs and protocols?

Re:Collusion (4, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006823)

There's nothing to do with interoperability here.

And the goal here isn't to improve quality, it's to lower it. People don't want these cars. They only way they can get away with making them is if they're the only cars people can buy.

Re:Collusion (4, Insightful)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006901)

If people don't want fuel-efficient cars, why do I see so many Minis and Smart FourTwos on the road?

Re:Collusion (3, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006965)

Because the people where you live have too much money, and like showing off how virtuously eco-huggy they are.

Re:Collusion (2, Insightful)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007011)

Too much money? Smart FourTwo MSRP: $11,990 - $16,990 That's hardly a luxury car price.

Re:Automakers (-1, Offtopic)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006699)

You are QUITE mistaken. The government is STILL pawns of the banks and big business. It's just that the government is acting as executioner of the lowest bidders. So some get the axe while others get bailouts special deals.

And as for the mileage expectations?! Good god. That is far from unrealistic. All they are suggesting is that we get cars like they already use in Japan and Europe! Sure... fewer morbidly obese people on the road. Either get a medical excuse or start eating better damnit!!! I KNOW how hard it is to lose weight. It's fucking HARD. It has taken me nearly a year after gaining a size to lose it again and I am still not quite there but I can now wear many of the clothes that I outgrew last year. It's HARD. It takes work and determination. I could have done it much faster but I don't haven't done the work or maintained the determination that I could... but still. Lose the frikken weight you Jabba-the-hutt wannabes! It took me at least 6 months to outgrow my normal pants size. How long did it take you to go from a 32" to a 48" waist? Why didn't you stop when you got to 33"???? Are you stupid? (Wow... I really went off-topic didn't I?)

Anyway... we get smaller cars... better start losing weight America!

Re:Automakers (3, Interesting)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006771)

> They're now pawns of the government, just like the banks.

No way man! Their CEOs will fight back to keep the company viable! Oh wait... to quote Pete Hoekstra:

The Obama administration fired (GM CEO) Wagoner. Is (new CEO) Henderson going to resist? I don't think so.

Some numbers and more analysis are on Planet Gore [nationalreview.com] .

Re:Automakers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006783)

oh no they are forcing the auto companies to produce cars that dont kill us. is this bad? only way it would be bad is if the government starts requiring citizens to buy cars even if they dont want to. and he still has to face reelection in just under four years and not everything can be done in four years so he cant do what ever he wants.

Re:Automakers (-1, Troll)

maharb (1534501) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006835)

I can't wait to drive some POS car made out of plastic and tin foil with a go cart engine. Losing our free will one one mile at a time.

First post!!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006581)

First post?...woot!, as an Anonymous coward nonetheless.....I would think that 42 MPG is on the low side, It would make it better at 50 mpg, heck, some Diesels are making 65 mpg in Yurp!

Re:First post!!!!! (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006617)

Diesel lovers have known this for ages. Hell my '86 got this. As does my '98.

Of course this is going to be full of 'loopholes'. Just like SUVs are 'trucks' and exempt from laws for cars.

Re:First post!!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006689)

SUVs are the niggers of automobiles: they are big and loud and obnoxious but they never do any real work. It's only fitting that they would be involved with gaming the system.

Re:First post!!!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006721)

hate to say it but my motorcycle doesn't get much better millage. motorcycles in general don't, little concern for aerodynamics on cruisers at least and no room for emission control but the most detrimental element to my millage is my throttle hand its so light and accelerates so easily that i just can hold back that and the baffles are out i need a new ecu to take into account lower back pressure.

Mostly just for cars (3, Interesting)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006595)

The average for light trucks would rise from 24 mpg to 26.2 mpg.

It appears SUVs will continue to have pretty horrible gas mileage.

Re:Mostly just for cars (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006639)

It appears SUVs will continue to have pretty horrible gas mileage.

It's all relative. If manufacturers can get a 3/4 ton pickup or similar to get 26 mpg, I'd be impressed. I get 12.... Physics sucks sometimes. Not everything on the road can be made of recycled beer cans and plastic packaging.

Re:Mostly just for cars (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006671)

If manufacturers can get a 3/4 ton pickup or similar to get 26 mpg, I'd be impressed.

Did you really mean 3 or 4 tons rather than three quarters of a ton?

Re:Mostly just for cars (4, Informative)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006779)

If manufacturers can get a 3/4 ton pickup or similar to get 26 mpg, I'd be impressed.

Did you really mean 3 or 4 tons rather than three quarters of a ton?

No. "3/4-ton pickup" used to signify a pickup that could haul 1500 lbs without too much strain. Same goes for half-ton and full-ton... 1000lbs and 2000lbs, respectively. I say "used to", though, because trucks can typically haul much more than that, though they still use those same phrases as an easy way to compare the capacity of different trucks.

Re:Mostly just for cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006805)

Score:-1, StupidQuestion

Re:Mostly just for cars (1)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006829)

3/4 ton refers to towing capacity, just as "1 ton pickup" does. Not vehicle weight.

Re:Mostly just for cars (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006673)

My MY1992, 155" wheelbase, super-cab 4WD 3/4 ton truck gets 20 mpg. Turbo Diesel FTW!

Re:Mostly just for cars (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006811)

Exactly! My 97 Ford Ranger with a 4 cylinder and automatic transmission only gets between 19-23 MPG. My Saturn car with the same size engine gets 28-34. They all suck as far as I am concerned... Lots of room for improvement!

Re:Mostly just for cars (1)

mordred99 (895063) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006717)

Horrible? I wish my SUV got 24 MPG much less 26.2 MPG. I mean real mileage, not the modified crap formula the EPA uses now. That is not real in terms of what people get in their cars now on real city or real highway driving.

Before you say "well drive a car", well if I could find a car for someone my size I would easily drive a car. I cannot find a car that fits someone of my height and girth, thus I HAVE to drive an SUV. I have test driven every major car on the road and cannot fit in anything. Not even a Cadillac. They all have that stupid center console which cuts off any leg room for someone over 6 feet tall.

Oh well. Maybe they will hit the mark, maybe they wont. I hope they do, as I like having to purchase less fuel. If only I did not sell my Pontiac Aztek and just rebuilt the engine 3 years ago ... :)

Re:Mostly just for cars (4, Interesting)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006791)

Honestly? I'm slightly over 6 ft and drive a standard Toyota Camry. With the drivers seat in the furthest back position, I find the leg room adequate? Admittedly I'm not American but I'm pretty sure the Camry is sold in the US market and I doubt the size is any different?

I'm not doubting you, but I'm just a bit confused since I always thought American cars were huge (bigger than anything you can buy in my country).

Of course, if you are ~substantially~ over 6 ft, and not just slightly over, like me, then yeah, I can understand the problem ;)

Re:Mostly just for cars (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006803)

Er ... that third sentence (ending in 'adequate') is not supposed to be a question. Why do I never see these things when I hit Preview, but always spot them immediately after I submit...

Re:Mostly just for cars (4, Funny)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006915)

The new Slashcode includes a feature that randomly changes punctuation marks on clicking Submit.

OK, maybe not, but with all the other weird things happening around here lately, can you really rule it out?

Re:Mostly just for cars (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006865)

The annoying thing about the Camry is that the roof is too low and/or the seats are too high on the more recent models. I have to put the seat back further than normal or my head rubs on the ceiling (I'm a little over 6 ft) as either driver or passenger. I have no such problem with my Corolla, though.

The problem for the OP, though might be girth rather than height.

Re:Mostly just for cars (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006911)

It's not just "car" and "SUV", either. Have you looked at the likes of Kia Rondo [wikipedia.org] , for example?

Re:Mostly just for cars (1)

arcsimm (1084173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006993)

6'2" here. I fit in a Honda CRX [sicivic.com] , with room to spare. While wearing a helmet, to boot!

Drive a car. :P

Incidentally, I'm not sure what you mean about EPA mileage. I have never driven a car that couldn't beat it's EPA estimated mileage by a fair margin, even with a lead-foot like me at the wheel. If anything, the tests are overly conservative.

Where are the oil receptors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006605)

Is it a dopamine thing?

On Board or Else (1, Insightful)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006619)

[i]The Detroit News reported that automakers were on board with the new rule and had worked with the administration on creating a timeline for the transition[/i]

Of course, if Obama didn't like what they said, he'd just fire them all.

Wish in one hand, crap in the other... (-1, Troll)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006621)

Obambi won't be around if this passes, and it will never happen.

To require this will result in extremely UNSAFE cars that no one wants to buy.

Re:Wish in one hand, crap in the other... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006737)

UNSAFE in what sense? Smaller cars are generally better at avoiding crashes and rollovers. Of course, when you actually get into a typical front-end collision, there's only so much protection that you can get from a given mass of material, but still you can survive a collision if the dynamics (speed, etc.) are low enough. It should be noted that if you can see a potential collision ahead of time, you'll usually stop faster with a smaller car (F=ma so more acceleration) thus reducing the collision intensity. If you don't see it coming at highway speed, all bets are off and even forces inside a large truck can be fatal.

Re:Wish in one hand, crap in the other... (4, Informative)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006933)

It's a bit of a chicken and egg problem. Smaller, lighter cars are fine in a crash with other smaller, lighter cars. But in the US the average vehicle is so heavy that the minority of people in the small cars would get squished like a pancake. Plus US drivers seem to spend proportionately more time going at higher (highway) speeds (commutes in most other countries generally involve less highway).

In Europe and Japan and other places where smaller cars are the norm, I don't think they are perceived as unsafe at all. Particularly when they are generally used for city driving at speeds = 60 km/h anyway, you simply aren't likely to have any massively high energy impacts. As the parent said, they are also a lot more agile on the road and stop a lot quicker so can avoid accidents in more cases.

A lot of families I know have two cars. A city car (e.g. a Mazda 121 or other ultra-small vehicle), and a normal sedan. The city car gets used every day. The larger car is used for the weekend roadtrip (since it's undeniable that large vehicles are nicer for long trips, and larger engines are better for highway cruising ... and not that bad efficiency-wise if you put the cruise control on 110 km/h and leave it there).

Re:Wish in one hand, crap in the other... (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006953)

I drive a small car... I hear the whole 'squished like a pancake' thing all the time, but despite hearing it and seeing lots of even major car accidents on the Los Angeles freeways, I see a lot of people take hits in small cars and not only survive, but their cars are still working well enough to drive them away from the scene. American car safety standards are among the most rigorous in the world. Even small cars are pretty safe here.

Re:Wish in one hand, crap in the other... (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006945)

To require this will result in extremely UNSAFE cars that no one wants to buy.

That's simply not true. Cars can be built better and smarter. Now they're just big and dumb. True, you may not be able to buy a Ford Exploder anymore, but most people didn't need those things, anyway. What makes driving unsafe is all of those crappy built, multi-ton monstrosities, and those will go the way of tailfins, anyway.

No one was supposed to read them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006625)

I don't think they understand how academia works. Just because we publish papers and do battle to get tenure, does not mean our research is actually valid.

i have a chill... (5, Funny)

saiha (665337) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006633)

42 you say?

Re:i have a chill... (2, Funny)

WSOGMM (1460481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006939)

After some complex math in our local bistro.

Well played, Mr. President (2, Funny)

adf92343414 (1332481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006635)

As a Prius owner, I look forward to the day when I look at the cars on the road around me and say, "man, I wish I was driving one of those - they get serious mileage."

Re:Well played, Mr. President (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006701)

As a fellow inhabitant of the planet, I wish you had bought a Golf TDI, which has practically the same dimensions and performance, gets superior mileage in average driving, and which doesn't have all those batteries in it. They also have better visibility.

Re:Well played, Mr. President (1)

Saba (308071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006831)

Wish I could mod you up.

Re:Well played, Mr. President (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006847)

As a fellow inhabitant of the planet I'd like your carbon statistics on cars vs. the entire carbon output of the planet please.

Thanks.

Equilibrium dynamics (5, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006645)

There's a case to be made that raising the CAFE won't save oil or reduce greenhouse gases.

The link is really light on the math. In most systems that obey similar behavior, demand does increase, but the increase in demand does not completely erase the benefit of the increase in efficiency. In this case it can't completely erase the benefit, because if it did the end result would be a net increase in the price - and that was the original basis for the argument, that the drop in price would spur consumption. So the increase in demand has to fall short of that point.

So in the end, demand will be somewhere higher than it is now, and the price somewhat lower, all else being equal. Where on the supply/demand curve things ultimately lie will depend on the relative elasticity of supply vs. elasticity of demand.

Re:Equilibrium dynamics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006739)

The link is a complete herring, as one of the comments on the Boston Globe piece explains: if you keep increasing efficiency and the Globe article is true, then people will drive farther and longer because they can afford to. In reality, the amount of driving people do is limited by more than just the price of gas -- at the very least, it's also limited by time.

Look at it like this: If you increase the efficiency until you can drive for 24 hours (at the same speed) using the same amount of gas you use in your commute today, will you drive 24 hours to work? No.

Re:Equilibrium dynamics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006747)

It won't depend on anything, when it reaches equilibrium it will be at the point where supply and demand intersect. Also for the time being, the demand for gas is highly inelastic, since there are NO SUBSTITUTES for gasoline, at least for now.

Re:Equilibrium dynamics (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006777)

Besides, the historical data they're looking at was from an era of cheap gas. They world has changed. Now we need increased efficiency just to maintain the mileage we're all driving already - that is, just to occupy the suburbs we already built. Yeah, I know, gas is only $2.25 at the moment - but that's in the middle of a deep global recession! As the global economy recovers, you can bet your butt gas prices will soar again.

Mod for existing vehicles (2, Funny)

kkrajewski (1459331) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006651)

Place a brick underneath the gas pedal.

Why always so far into the future? (3, Insightful)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006653)

Why do administrations always set timetables beyond their terms? Remember Bush's "man on Mars"?

Re:Why always so far into the future? (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006817)

"Why do administrations always set timetables beyond their terms?"

Is this a trick question?

By setting timetables beyond their terms they get the brownie points for passing some retarded law, but they know they won't be around for the shit-storm of public backlash when the law actually goes into practice.

Consider Kyoto, for example, which allowed the governments who ratified it to make a lot of fuss about how wonderfully 'green' they were, even though there was little to no possibility of most of them ever meeting the quota requirements which would be imposed many years later; by that time they'd probably be fat and happy on the lecture circuit while other politicos would be responsible for destroying their economy for no good reason to meet those quotas or the bad press if they failed to do so.

Re:Why always so far into the future? (1)

japhering (564929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006897)

Why do administrations always set timetables beyond their terms? Remember Bush's "man on Mars"?

Because the Automakers claim that it takes that long to develop the "new" technology needed to meet the target criteria.

Smaller cars (2, Insightful)

Fleeced (585092) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006657)

More well-intentioned, but IMO, misguided interference. It will have minimal effect on total emissions, but will probably mean smaller cars as a result.

If people wanted smaller cars they'd be buying them... depriving them of this liberty under the guise of helping the environment (which this won't do) is a mistake.

For the record, I am somewhat skeptical about the climate change hype - which I think is over-exaggerated. But even if I accept CO2 as a negative externality (which I don't), then the correct response is a carbon tax. Cost the stuff appropriately and let the market decide - don't legislate inefficient results. Don't let the government "pick winners" and definitely not a cap and trade, which is too open to corruption.

States rights (0, Troll)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006665)

So could someone please explain to me why states' rights are defended so vigorously in so many cases where it doesn't make sense? (For example: gay marriage, abortion rights, fuel MPG). I don't see the sense of arguing that MPG should be regulated on a state-by-state basis (and neither does Obama, I suppose).

I have little in common with someone on the opposite side of my state. No more than someone on the opposite side of the country.

Possibly inept analogy: one of the prime directives of programming is to centralize and avoid re-using code. This helps usability, maintenance, and generally keeps things clean efficient. Now why, oh why, does the legal system strive to do the exact opposite? (And in some cases, proponents of state rights too--that means rewriting the same piece of legislation with possible variations at least 50 times!).

Also, slavery.

Re:States rights (5, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006715)

Because the states created the federal government to handle particular tasks.

The goal of our federalist system is not efficiency, it is freedom. A country where the government's primary goal is to ensure the efficiency of its subjects is certainly NOT one where I'd like to live.

Re:States rights (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006855)

Oh yeah, ask southern blacks all about the wondrous freedoms of states' rights.

Re:States rights (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006969)

Ask the gays about the freedom of states' rights as they gain the right to marry one state at a time, even though the federal government refuses to recognize them.

Most of the problems of racism have constitutional solutions that supersede states' rights claims. Gays are catching up now, and it's the ability for states to experiment that is allowing it.

Re:States rights (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006725)

"I don't see the sense of arguing that MPG should be regulated on a state-by-state basis (and neither does Obama, I suppose)."

In that case, maybe you could point out where exactly in the Constitution the Feds are given the power to prohibit auto manufacturers from building cars which don't meet some arbitrary MPG figure?

The Constitution deliberately put most of the law-making powers in the hands of the states with minimal powers for the Feds: that's why America took a civil war and a century of 'progressive' destruction of constitutional protections to get where it is today.

"I have little in common with someone on the opposite side of my state. No more than someone on the opposite side of the country."

And yet you believe that people on the other side of the country who have little in common with you should tell you what kind of car you can buy? Have you even considered how inconsistent your position is?

Re:States rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006913)

Where in the Constitution does it say that the Fed cannot prohibit auto manufacturers from building cars which don't meet some arbitrary MPG figure?

I understand your point, but it is a fairly weak one. Also, couldn't the Fed pull out the interstate commerce clause for any car maker that makes cars to be sold in more than one state?

Re:States rights (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006991)

"Where in the Constitution does it say that the Fed cannot prohibit auto manufacturers from building cars which don't meet some arbitrary MPG figure?"

Have you actually read the Constitution? Because you clearly don't seem to understand it.

"I understand your point, but it is a fairly weak one."

The fact that the law is blatantly unconstitutional is a 'a fairly weak point'? You must be a 'progressive'.

"Also, couldn't the Fed pull out the interstate commerce clause for any car maker that makes cars to be sold in more than one state?"

No. I see you don't understand the interstate commerce clause either.

Seriously, you might want to actually read the Constitution -- and, better yet, what the people who wrote it said about it -- before posting.

No one will buy them (-1, Troll)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006679)

Until they have no choice. You can bet even "grandfathered" vehicles will get knocked out. They will make new "user fees", taxes (umm...sorry I mean contributions) to make it where you can't afford to drive an older model car. Eventually the marxist will get their way. Everyone will drive a crappy car that has no air conditioning and the only radio station will be one controlled by the state playing "inspirational" messages from "our leader". RIP capitalism, freedom....it's gone!

Re:No one will buy them (0, Troll)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006757)

"Eventually the marxist will get their way. Everyone will drive a crappy car"

Uh, no. The Marxists want centralization of the means of transport in the hands of the state... if they get what they want, then the 'important people' will have Zil Limos while the rest of us will be stuck on the bus, where they can control us more easily.

Re:No one will buy them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006995)

Wow, how's the Kool aid? It's the end of freedom because car manufacturers have to make more efficient cars, with the goal being to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and improve the environment? Don't confuse lack of regulation in a market economy for freedom.

Never mind that by 2016... (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006683)

... that meteorological ship will have already sailed....

The Ultimate Plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006685)

The plan to give Rush Limbaugh an aneurysm continues on schedule. Throw in a government probe on Fox News, maybe bow to some more Arab royals, and Obama's job should be done.

Saving the planet one Hummer at a time. (4, Informative)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006687)

There's a case to be made that raising the CAFE won't save oil or reduce greenhouse gases.

<sarcasm>
I think it was established as a well known fact that driving a Hummer is many times more environmentally friendly than a little Prius. If Obama was truly interested in saving the planet he would mandate that every commuter drives a Hummer and we scrap these pointless high MPG cars.
</sarcasm>

Re:Saving the planet one Hummer at a time. (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006789)

Actually, what that study showed is that if you get 200,000 miles out of a Prius and a Hummer, they'll have similar energy costs. How likely is a Prius to run more than 200,000 miles? It has a teensy tiny little high-performance (for what it is) engine in it. Granted, only Diesel Hummers are likely to make more than 200k, and they are in the minority. Either way, if you're buying a new car to save the planet you're a dipshit :D

Re:Saving the planet one Hummer at a time. (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006875)

There's a radio show where I live that hosts call-ins, and one of the regular guests repairs appliances for a living. He frequently fields the "I'm replacing my old fridge to save the planet, which one should I get" question to which he inevitably points out that throwing out the old fridge prematurely and/or causing the new one to be manufactured (by increasing demand) does more harm to the environment than using the old, less efficient model until its really dead.

Re:Saving the planet one Hummer at a time. (2, Insightful)

winwar (114053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006957)

This of course doesn't really apply to cars. Most energy use occurs due to driving the car, not its manufacture.

It may not apply to large energy sucking appliances either....

Re:Saving the planet one Hummer at a time. (3, Insightful)

winwar (114053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006941)

"Actually, what that study showed is that if you get 200,000 miles out of a Prius and a Hummer, they'll have similar energy costs."

Huh? Considering that the Prius gets over twice the mileage of a Hummer, I find that hard to believe. Having said that I certainly wouldn't trade my used car for a Prius-doesn't make enconomic sense.

And the Prius will certainly use LESS energy. Most of the energy associated with vehicles comes from driving.

"Either way, if you're buying a new car to save the planet you're a dipshit :D"

True. About as useful as calling a large house in the suburbs "green". :)

Re:Saving the planet one Hummer at a time. (1)

ender06 (913978) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006887)

I think it was established as a well known fact that driving a Hummer is many times more environmentally friendly than a little Prius. If Obama was truly interested in saving the planet he would mandate that every commuter drives a Hummer and we scrap these pointless high MPG cars. </sarcasm>

Depends on what Hummer you're driving. See below: "Hybrid Hummer Promises 100 Miles per Gallon"

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/04/behold-americas/

Personally, I think parallel hybrids are incredibly stupid, ex. Prius. Series hybrids, where the combustion engine runs at its most efficient and charges the main drive battery, just make sense. A vehicle's MPG can be greatly increased simply by leveraging efficiencies. Electric motors are almost always more efficient than comparable ICEs, so why not run the ICE at its most efficient? There's nothing saying you can't have a smaller battery pack and run the ICE more, just run the ICE at its most efficient.

I'm not asking for a revolution, just intelligent engineering.

Good luck! (2, Interesting)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006703)

Vehicles have simply gotten too heavy of late for this to be feasible without a big change in the way vehicles are powered... if we could join the efficiency of modern engines with the weight of vehicles from the early to mid 1980's, we would could meet this goal using existing technology.

This will be the death knell for trucks and SUVs based upon them... the laws of physics mean there just not going to reach these goals cheaply (or perhaps at all), and they will die for all non-necessary purposes.

Good riddance... maybe I'll be able to see traffic lights again without being buried amongst an oversized mob of excessively tall vehicles, or blinded by headlights that are at the same elevation at the roof of my car.

I will miss multi-cylinder engines, though... every manufacturer is focusing on smaller engines now, implying the death knell for the V8. Americans seems to think that a V8 has to have at least 4 liters capacity... why not just decrease the engine volume? Sure, it's got more internal friction, but the sound and smoothness more than make up for that.

It's an uncertain time for car enthusiasts.

Re:Good luck! (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006825)

Using a 4500 lb. box to carry a 180 lb. person was always a stupid idea. Like you said, good riddance.

Re:Good luck! (4, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006989)

Because of the cube square ratio small cylinders lose too much heat into the engine block. You are better off reducing the number of cylinders.

2016? (4, Insightful)

Jethro (14165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006705)

My car gets 42mpg average right now. That's the EPA estimate and is actually what I seem to be getting in the real world.

Honda Civic Hybrid. I love it. But frankly I'd like them to be WELL up into 100 seven years from now.

reduce the weight! (2, Informative)

ProfBooty (172603) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006959)

On the otherhand a early 1980's civic got 41mpg city and mid 50's highway, but it weighed roughly 1000lbs less.

I am curious how the fuel economy would be if we put a modern powertrain into an older much lighter body.

Illegal Hummers coming? (1)

Mishotaki (957104) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006723)

So the Hummer will soon be illegal to have in the states?

Re:Illegal Hummers coming? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006807)

Only if you can get one to run for at least 42 miles.

Re:Illegal Hummers coming? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006917)

It will only illegal to make them. You will still be able to own one. Plus it sounds like these standards are just for light duty trucks like SUVs

A Hummer is not light duty except for the H3.

As per usual, they are not touching large trucks. They are still needed to make deliveries no matter how much they pollute.

So now we will all be driving our tin cans around while giant semis roll right over us.

Re:Illegal Hummers coming? (3, Funny)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006943)

Are you nuts? That would require a 100 gallon gas tank!

ending addiction? (1)

guppysap13 (1225926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006733)

This might be a bit off-topic, but how do these efficiency increases actually *end* our addiction to oil/gas. We're still using cars powered by gasoline, after all (even hybrids have a gas engine that runs at higer speeds). It seems that to end our addiction we need another way to power our cars entirely.

why not just tax gas? (5, Insightful)

panthroman (1415081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006745)

If we want people to use less gas, why not just raise the darn price?

There are times and places for government regulation, but requiring a minimum fuel efficiency? If the goal is to reduce greenhouse gases, then fuel efficiency is just a half-assed proxy for fuel consumption.

42 mpg x 20 mile commute each day is a lot more fuel consumptive than 20 mpg x occasional grocery trip.

And what qualifies as a "car" and what as a "light truck" and "SUV," all of which have their separate regulations? What a mess.

People respond to their pocketbooks. In this case, it's easy to align people's incentives with the goals we want to achieve: Make gas expensive.

Re:why not just tax gas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28006869)

Unfortunately, the stupidity of the general public means that the right thing to do isn't always the popular thing. If the government raised gas prices significantly, that party would be out of power for decades afterward.

Re:why not just tax gas? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006889)

If we want people to use less gas, why not just raise the darn price?

Oil is a natural resource, why should wealthy people get to burn it all?

Re:why not just tax gas? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28007015)

Because gas is used to move products and everything else, YOU STUPID, DUMB FUCK! What is wrong with fuckheads like you? You have no fucking grasp of dynamic economies. FUCKING KILL YOURSELF!!!

42 mpg? (1)

Rungi (1098221) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006759)

are they going to run on fish or tea? Improbable I tell you...

Gas tax (4, Insightful)

Charles Dodgeson (248492) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006775)

Milage standards haven't worked before and they will continue to fail. Forcing car companies to make vehicles that people don't want to buy isn't going to do anybody any good.

Pretty much every economist knows that the way to achieve the stated goals is to dramatically increase gasoline taxes. After that, the market will work its magic. People will buy more efficient cars, or seek alternative transportation. When looking at where to live, the cost of commuting will play a bigger role in families' decisions. And we get to make a little dent in the whopping federal deficit.

Of course no politician will even hint at endorsing what is clearly the economically rational thing to do. So instead, we'll spend money on subsidizing bio-fuels and other not-all-that-bright ideas.

Hopefully, it is modified (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006813)

Instead of seeing it jump directly to it, I would rather that the fleet be required to increase to that on a straight line yearly. IOW, it is better to require that the fleet average increases ~2mpg each year. If we wait until 2016 to increase it, then the incoming admin will destroy it as being bad for the economy. In addition, over the next 8 years, America will buy the OLD standard cars and they will remain for 10-20 years.

Hopefully, the dems will grow a pair and do what is right.

My 1994 Honda Civic gets 45mpg mixed city/hwy (1)

nido (102070) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006851)

Here's my fuel log [google.com] .

The 1992-1995 Civic VX has a special 5-wire oxygen sensor. When conditions are right, it goes into a 'lean burn' mode, where it operates sort of like a diesel.

Lean Burn is somewhat dirty, and the car emits more nitrous oxides than other Hondas. The 5spd Honda Insight had lean burn, whereas the CVT version did not. Honda developed a catalyst for the nitrous oxides, so the Civic hybrids (2001 or so?) are able to use lean-burn too.

Kinda sad that my 15 year old Honda w/ 171,000 miles gets fuel economy equivalent to today's best hybrids...

I'm hoping that the MYT engine [angellabsllc.com] lives up to its promise as a retrofit engine - I'll probably need a replacement powertrain in the next 50-100,000 miles. (Watch the videos on YouTube, include a January 2009 prototype demonstration [with compressed air] at SJSU. Even if it doesn't take off as an engine, the MYT design would still save megawatt-hours of energy as a air/liquid pump.)

About damned time. (3, Insightful)

rnturn (11092) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006883)

It'd be interesting to see what the average and top mileage cars have been getting over the past 20-30 years or so. Up until 1990, I had a car with a small displacement 6-cylinder (instead of a 4-cyl, cuz I wanted air conditioning), manual 5-speed transmission, and cruise control that routinely got me above 40 mpg on the highway. If the weather cooperated and I wasn't driving into a headwind the entire way, more often than not I was able to make a trip from S. Ohio home to Chicago on a single tank of gas. Then, for some reason, it was almost impossible to find a car that got better than the low 30s. Once SUVs became popular, availability of high mileage cars dropped even further. If one were to plot mileage over the years, I'd bet that we'll finally be getting back to what should have been commonplace in the mid/late '90s. Fifteen years or more of progress totally wasted. Pity. And the managers of American auto makers wonder why their companies are in the toilet.

COOL (1)

Sam36 (1065410) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006973)

Now I can drive farther for the same price. This will really save resources.

paying for roads (1)

hydromike2 (1457879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28006983)

it just came to mind that should the US ever make it to entirely electric based cars, where will the funding come from to pay for maintaining the roads--> gasoline taxes are what pay for it now, no gasoline no tax?

2016? Why not 2010? (2, Insightful)

incognito84 (903401) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007001)

I'm not an expert, but haven't cars that get better than 42MPG been on the road for years? I'd like to see a law prohibiting the use of gasoline powered cars by 2016. The industry will adjust.

25 years behind (1)

jobst (955157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007009)

My 1980 Golf GTI and 1981 Scirocco GTI could do that doing +180 clicks on the Autobahn, my 2008 Mazda 3 diesel can do 47 MPG. I used to go to Uni in Germany and we did car pooling and we drove Golfs and one Fiesta. All of those cars got below the 8.5L/100KM with 4 adults in the car in the early 80's. I now live in Australia where we have a speed limit of 100Km/h on the freeways. I cannot understand why people still buy cars that are V6, V8 or SVU or use more petrol than 8L/100km.

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