Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Consequences, Schmonsequences...

I'm sure this won't possibly have any consequences of the unintended variety, right?

54.5 mpg fuel economy rule finalized
The average gas mileage of new cars and trucks will have to nearly double by 2025 under regulations that were finalized Tuesday by the Obama administration.

The new rules will require the fleet of new cars and trucks to average 54.5 miles per gallon in 13 years, up from 28.6 mpg at the end of last year.
54.5 mpg - that's a fleet average. For every car that gets bad gas mileage - like, say, 40 mpg - there will need to be a vehicle that gets really great gas mileage - like 70 mpg. This is doomed, and they know it - there is, quite simply, no way this can be achieved in 13 years. The CAFE standards have been in the mid-20s since at least the 1980s, and after the past 10 years, the rise of the Prius and $4/gallon gasoline, any car maker that could put out a 70 mpg car wouldn't have been able to make enough of them.

No, this is a political weapon, plain and simple. Pass a law that cannot possibly have a snowball's chance in hell of being achieved, then demonize your opponent as wanting to poison the earth when they lower the standard to something remotely possible. Or in this case, something resembling a target that could be achieved without making cars so small that they are often blown away by leafblowers.

If you thought the GM/Chrysler bailout was bad for the auto industry, doubling the CAFE standards in a little more than a decade is going to make that look like a picnic...

That is all.

Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)


Alan said...

Did you learn nothing from the Obamacare waivers?

Companies that contribute to the right politicians will get waivers.

Bubblehead Les. said...

CAFE Standards is one of my Pet Rants, but I'll try to keep it Short. For the younger readers out there, in the early 80's, there were a lot of cars that went up to 40MPG. But they couldn't get out of their own way. But that wasn't good enough for the TreeHuggers. Then they had to add on more Pollution Controls, which sucked the Gas Milage down. So after much Engineering, mostly with Aerodynamics, we are now up to the point where we were back in 1983.

But the Fleet Average can't go up much higher, because all the Highway Yachts are gone.

Oh, and the "Evil Gas-Guzzling Earth F&^$ing SUV's" were an End Around Play by the Automotive Industry to get out of CAFE, because they are "Trucks," not Cars. But they were used to fill the Void when CAFE doomed Station Wagons and the Big Vans.

But since all the Treehuggers seem to think that a Family of Five needs a car that will only carry FOUR, those alternatives are now under Attack.

But according to the Treehuggers, we are only supposed to have Three members in the Family, because "Too Many Humans" are KILLING Mother Earth.

What these Idjits can't seem to Grasp is that the Laws of Physics are LAWS, not "Environmental Regulations."

notDilbert said...

As Porsche demonstrates with it's new 918 , it's certinlty possible to build AND sell a high performance / high mpg vehicle that can pass all the tests. But. It costs 850 K .......and they will sell every one of them. Just not enough to impact the CAFE calculation

Anonymous said...

By 2025 all women must be blonde and 6' tall.

Same chance of occuring as 54.5 MPH.


zeeke42 said...

Les, I think you'd make your points better if you followed the standard English capitalization rules.

libertyman said...

Why settle for 54.5MPG? I wish they said 76.9MPG! That's even better!
But since we are forced to add alcohol to gas, and alcohol has even less energy than gas, doesn't that make it a bit harder? And Jay, you know that you can only get so much energy out of a substance, so does that mean we will have nuclear cars by then?

Jay G said...

[a la Dr. Evil] One MEEEEEEEEEELLION miles per gallon!

Weer'd Beard said...

I can see the car lots of the future!

Limited supply and paying over-list for the traditional cars of today....and ACRES of 3-cyinder carbon-fiber Geo Metro-esque cars that only run on Premium (because you can squeeze a few more miles out of the spendy stuff) that cost more than a luxury sedan just baking in the sun like old airliners dumped in the desert.

Essentially the US Government is forcing auto makers to make cars the people don't want and won't buy. See also the Chevy Volt.

Cormac said...

Well, hell... if congress can just legislate scientific and engineering breakthroughs, why not lobby for some science fiction?
I want teleporters, and artificial gravity!
I want a working, life-sized model of Serenity, Dammit!!!

Jay G said...

I'd rather have a working holodeck programmed with Saffron...

Stretch said...

Some years ago when Detroit was pleading with state legislators in Lansing a Big Three engineer said, in reference to MPG, "We've pushed the laws of thermodynamics as far as we can."
A committee member took off his glasses (this shows grave concern and/or interest) and ask "What amendments to these laws do you need us to make?"
Stunned silence followed.

freddyboomboom said...

Yet it's interesting that the Fiat 500 that is "imported" into the US (from a Chrysler factory in Mexico) uses a Chrysler engine that has less mileage than the most efficient Italian engine...

Just an example of how it really can be done, but political wrangling in the US will never allow it to happen.

My opinion is based on a Wikipedia article found at this link.

According to that article, the 0.9 liter Twinair engine gets 51 mpg in the city and 78 mpg on the highway, while emitting 95 grams of CO2 per killometer, and the 1.4 liter Turbo Multiair North American engine gets 30 mpg city and 38 mpg highway (they don't list the CO2 emissions but the 1.4 liter Italian engine emits 149 grams of CO2 per kilometer).

Sure, it's a small, light car that I would probably be uncomfortable in, but if Congress was REALLY concerned with mileage and emissions, the Twinair engine definitely beats what they're putting in now.

We have people that have absolutely no clue about science and technology passing laws and writing requirements that have no basis in reality. Now this really pisses me off to no end!

Paul, Dammit! said...

I drove a diesel VW Gol around Brazil. Somewhere around 50mpg. When most folks drive 1.0 liter cars, being slow is less problematic.

Cormac said...

Stretch...I would really *REEEEEELY* love to laugh at that.

But I just need to confirm first that it's a joke...
It is, right? Please don't tell me that's true.

Sendarius said...

notDilbert said:
As Porsche demonstrates with it's new 918 , it's certinlty possible to build AND sell a high performance / high mpg vehicle that can pass all the tests. But. It costs 850 K .......and they will sell every one of them. Just not enough to impact the CAFE calculation

You do realise, don't you, that Porsche is really just gaming the tests?

The 918 has JUST enough battery capacity to ALMOST complete the standardised fuel consumption tests without starting the hydrocarbon-fueled engine.

The charge in the battery that the car starts the test with is not measured as consumption. The fuel used during the short time that the engine runs IS measured, but then averaged over the entire distance travelled.

Braden Lynch said...

Let's just say that somehow they make and sell cars that have this incredible fuel efficiency. Well, they will almost certainly have to be very light and small. Something has to take in account the physics.

We live and die by the formula:
p (momentum) = mass x velocity

If you are in an accident at 50 mph in such a tin foil car you will have about zero chance of surviving. Get hit by a real car that is not saddled with idiotic CAFE standards and you are dead.

Politicians and ignorant people should not pass laws, nor vote.

Ritchie said...

I think my Honda 50cc stepthrough got around 70 MPG. Not much of a heater though.