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White House Finalizes 54.5 MPG Fuel Efficiency Standard 1184

Posted by Soulskill
from the couldn't-you-pick-an-integer dept.
The Obama Administration announced today it has finalized new fuel efficiency standards that will require new cars and light-duty trucks to have an average efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. This adds to the requirement that 2016's new cars must average 35.5 miles per gallon. "The final standards were developed by DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and EPA following extensive engagement with automakers, the United Auto Workers, consumer groups, environmental and energy experts, states, and the public. Last year, 13 major automakers, which together account for more than 90 percent of all vehicles sold in the United States, announced their support for the new standards." According to the administration, the standards will reduce dependence on foreign oil, save money at the pump, protect the environment, and everything else that sounds good in an election year.
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White House Finalizes 54.5 MPG Fuel Efficiency Standard

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  • Air resistance. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZorinLynx (31751) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:24PM (#41153061) Homepage

    At some point you just have to account for the laws of physics.

    Pushing a vehicle at 80MPH down the highway is going to be hard to do and get 54.5 MPG. No matter how "hybrid" the car is, no matter how good your regenerative breaking.. once you're at highway speeds, air resistance becomes insurmountable.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:27PM (#41153149)

      The laws of Physics do not apply to politicians.

      • by PortHaven (242123) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:38PM (#41153387) Homepage

        Au contraire....drop them from high enough and they still go *splat*...

        The issue is, we're not dropping enough of them...vote 'em out!

        Say "No" to Robomney

      • by Virtucon (127420)

        Yes they do [metacafe.com]. At least Gravity applies to them.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J394yXbZZEs [youtube.com]

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThQ4hgw3iI0 [youtube.com]

      • Nor does thermodynamics, how else could they spout so much hot air when they talk?

    • by Zemplar (764598) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:30PM (#41153215) Journal
      While I agree with the intent of your comment, air resistance is certainly not "insurmountable." If it were, cars wouldn't be able to move at all.
    • by msauve (701917)
      Gosh, it's a good thing there are very few places where you can legally drive 80 MPH then, isn't it?
    • Re:Air resistance. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Virtucon (127420) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:39PM (#41153407)

      So they'll just re-introduce the 55 MPH speed limit, which was done to save energy. [wikipedia.org]

      There's also the fact that once on the highway, you won't be taking advantage of regenerative braking or other aspects that make the car more efficient. Then again, you could daisy chain cars together ala NASCAR and save wind resistance, but that would introduce computer control. Oh wait, that's being tried now anyway [drivesteady.com], so by 2025, the Government will:

      1) Reintroduce the 55 NMSL.
      2) Put GPS Tracking in your car and charge you by the mile.
      3) Mandate Computer Controlled Driving in the name of safety and fuel efficiency.

      It's all being done for your protection and to save energy. The Government can't force public transit on you so they'll just regulate cars to make them behave more like public transit.

      Blah.. I don't think I'll want to drive in 2025 then.

      • by perpenso (1613749) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @04:25PM (#41155773)

        So they'll just re-introduce the 55 MPH speed limit, which was done to save energy.

        It depends entirely on the design of the car and engine. I get 4 additional miles per gallon (mpg) when cruising at 65 rather than 55. I was surprised and repeated the measurements several times. Verified the onboard computer's reported mpg against the odometer and actually gas consumed (top off at same fuel pump before and after).

        Perhaps 55 was some sort of average efficiency point for vehicles of the 1970s but I expect a higher efficiency point with today's designs.

        • by frosty_tsm (933163) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:56PM (#41158289)

          So they'll just re-introduce the 55 MPH speed limit, which was done to save energy.

          It depends entirely on the design of the car and engine. I get 4 additional miles per gallon (mpg) when cruising at 65 rather than 55. I was surprised and repeated the measurements several times. Verified the onboard computer's reported mpg against the odometer and actually gas consumed (top off at same fuel pump before and after). Perhaps 55 was some sort of average efficiency point for vehicles of the 1970s but I expect a higher efficiency point with today's designs.

          Cars used to have only 3 (for automatic) or 4 (for manual) gears. 55 was probably around the speed while in top gear that the engine was in it's most efficient range. Today, cars have 5 or 6 gears (with some luxury automatics having as many as 8). Those top-end overdrive gears allow for driving at higher speed while in the RPM sweet-spot for efficiency.

    • Re:Air resistance. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:39PM (#41153421)

      For fucks sake people. This is completely attainable and not an unrealistic goal. Fucking shill posters out in force early.

      I had a car in the 80s that exceeded the 2035 guidelines. A civic hatchback with an 80hp 4banger. It was cheap, useful, and lasted 20 years before I got rid of it.
      I'd buy one today.. BUT NOBODY MAKES THEM ANY MORE.

      Have you seen cars today? Gigantic, heavy, creature-comfort cocoons that cost an arm and a leg. And that's it. Nobody sells a value care in America.
      Initiatives like this force the industry to re-inject some sanity in to the market. Cheap credit has distorted the auto market. We all drive luxury vehicles.

      And don't give me that fucking bullshit narrative about mandatory safety features the culprit for added weight. Want proof? EVERY FUCKING CAR IN EUROPE SOLD TODAY.

  • Got this wrong.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 1s44c (552956) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:25PM (#41153093)

    This adds to the requirement that 2016's new cars must average 35.5 miles per gallon.

    I hope they mean AT LEAST 35.5 miles per gallon, or my 60 miles per gallon super-car is doomed..

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Shatrat (855151)

      Physics isn't going to change for the amount of energy in a gallon of gasoline.
      My 400 pound motorcycle gets about 50mpg. It could get more if it wasn't so much fun, but I don't see much hope of a 3,000 pound car getting much more than that without changing fuel sources.

      • by hawguy (1600213)

        Physics isn't going to change for the amount of energy in a gallon of gasoline.
        My 400 pound motorcycle gets about 50mpg. It could get more if it wasn't so much fun, but I don't see much hope of a 3,000 pound car getting much more than that without changing fuel sources.

        A 2500lb prius-C is rated at 46/53mpg. Granted, the 53mpg is during city driving, but that's where most people do most of their day-to-day driving.

      • That surprises me. Why is your bike's mileage so poor? We just drove a 4,000 (unloaded) minivan cross country and got 25MPG average, giving it 20x (!!!) better weight-to-mileage ratio. Your bike would need to get at least 250MPG to be half as fuel efficient as our giant sailboat-of-a-van with a cargo carrier on top and 4 screaming kids.

      • Re:Got this wrong.. (Score:5, Informative)

        by cpu6502 (1960974) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:49PM (#41153635)

        My insight's only 2000 pounds and gets very close to 90mpg (89.something). The 3000 pound Civic I testdrove using the same techniques scored over 60 mpg. That was the CVT version; the stick shift is probably better yet.
        (Actual EPA ratings are 65 and 47 respectively.)

         

      • Oh dear.
        Here we go again, "everyone will get 54 mpg"
        No, the automakers are behind this because it allows for MORE shenanigans, and they can say "look we're struggling cause we're having to be green"
        Remember, this is NOT based on MPG.
        It's carbon output. WITH "incentives"
        EPA is establishing standards that are projected to require, on an average industry fleet
        wide basis, 163 grams/mile of carbon dioxide (CO2) in model year 2025, which is equivalent to
        54.5 mpg if this level were achieved solely through improve

    • The idea is that Car Company Foo's average MPG - fleet-wide - should be at least 35.5MPG. Sales of your 60MPG car help offset their 25MPG pickups. It does not mean that every single new car must average exactly 35.5MPG.

  • by characterZer0 (138196) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:29PM (#41153185)

    We should just stop subsidizing the oil and car industries. Stop subsidizing refineries. Stop giving tax brakes to oil companies. Stop subsidizing road development out of regular taxes. Gas will hit $10/gal and the problem will take care of itself.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tnk1 (899206)

      That's right! And I would dearly love to see the laughter from the audience in the debate where that policy is expressed. That would be pure comedy gold.

      While we're at it, I also suggest that we stop using electricity and only eat food that we grow within 10 square miles of our local village. And all our clothes should be made out of hemp.

      Do I hear a convention speech coming on? I think I do.

    • by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:46PM (#41153559) Journal

      $10/gal for gas has really forced European manufacturers to produce 80 MPG cars and reduce the amount they drive. Oh wait....

    • by argStyopa (232550)

      Or, make it even simpler.

      The government only taxes people to pay its bills.

      The government stops giving people/companies money, tax breaks, subsidies, loan guarantees, etc. So no money needs flow out from government unless they are buying something.

      The sad thing is that this is an absolutely crazy, radical idea.

    • by fearlezz (594718)

      Gas will hit $10/gal and the problem will take care of itself.

      In The Netherlands we are paying € 1,871 per liter [brandstofprijzen.info] = € 7.08 = $ 8.89 with the current exchange rates. Nevertheless, the number of cars on the roads has only increased in the past few decades.

      The only effect it that i absolutely hate to drive my fscking car that takes up to a minute to get from 0 to 100kmh/62mph, and that I have less money to spend on things I actually like. But I'm definitely not driving any less, because if I don't go to work, I don't get paid.

  • by istartedi (132515) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:37PM (#41153361) Journal

    He's got the wrong target. The most efficient vehicles are the ones that aren't on the road at all. Further proof that "if you can measure it, you can mismanage it".

    The most efficient "car" I ever drove was a condo in the city. I even went without a car for a while. Driving was OPTIONAL there.

    I have a car now, but still live close to commuter rail and within walking distance of many shops.

    Policy makers should focus on making development more walkable. It wouldn't be bad for the economy either. You would get construction stimulus from building residences in commercial areas, and commercial buildings in areas such as the vast residential tract that I grew up in. With these spaces encouraging people to walk, ride bicycles, and drive less there would be knock-on benefits in health.

    • That's may be a workable solution for you, but not everyone in the country lives in your neighborhood.

      We got over 130 inches of snowfall in my home town last year. Although the muni plows streets, it doesn't plow sidewalks or bike paths until it gets around to it (read that: "maybe some time next week" after any significant snowfall). I hiked six miles home after work when my old motorcycle wouldn't start a couple of years ago; I've even roller bladed to work just for the lulz, so I'm in reas
      • by Trepidity (597)

        It's certainly possible to plow sidewalks and bike paths expeditiously. In Denmark, bike paths are plowed nearly instantly, before streets are.

    • Except "The American Dream" would have to change first.

      The goal of most people is the big house in the 'burbs (cause that's the cheapest) with a big lawn and 2 cars and multiple "toys". Anything less is seen as being "poor" and "unsuccessful".

      Never mind that once out there, you have no choice but to drive everywhere. Never mind that your choices for food are limited to the processed crap in a frozen box (due to the cost of that big home and all those vehicles and your shrinking wages). Never mind the s

  • by mcwop (31034) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:37PM (#41153365) Homepage
    I wonder what new ones will be introduced. This is a political game. O makes nice sounding announcement for meaningless rules. You want better mileage, crank up the gas tax and make drivers pay for their environmental externalities. http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/fuel-economy/6-ways-detroit-gamed-the-cafe-standards-flex-fuel-loophole#slide-1 [popularmechanics.com]

    I got rid of my car about 1 year ago, and have never looked back.

  • by romanval (556418) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:43PM (#41153499)
    by 2025. Hybrids are a hot commodity now, and gas extended electrics are just beginning. Soon there will be a point where a gas engine will cost a lot more to build then electric... (In an engineering standpoint, the drivetrain of a petrol car is way more complex then electric. We're just waiting for battery packaging/recharge/swap technology to catch up, and once that's done they'll be no turning back to petrol except for edge cases.
  • Motorcycles? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bigbutt (65939) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:44PM (#41153519) Homepage Journal

    Just got back from a trip to GenCon on my motorcycle (Hayabusa). According to the bike (likely off by a little due to the stupid bike things), I averaged at least 50mpg for the entire 2,500 mile trip. Since the mpg indicator doesn't go higher than 50mpg, it could be even higher.

    My wife had a smaller 250cc bike (Ninja) and was getting upwards of 100mpg and 75ish on her 650cc bike (Ninja).

    I'd love to see more folks on bikes. Have motorcycle only lanes just like there are bike only lanes; split a current full sized lane into two dedicated motorcycle lanes :)

    [John]

  • by ilikenwf (1139495) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:46PM (#41153575)
    This is just an effort to get the greenies to reelect the big O. It's also an unconstitutional mandate of private individuals in what they can purchase, and businesses in what they can produce.

    We're nothing but peasants and serfs, here to serve the government, who apparently can take care of us better than we can ourselves.
  • by amoeba1911 (978485) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @04:05PM (#41155343) Homepage

    What really needs to be done is to cut the tax breaks and subsidies for energy production in this country. The government gives massive handouts to the oil industry making the gas at the pump unrealistically cheap. What you pay is incredibly low because the companies are getting government handouts (in form of subsidies and tax breaks). If we paid the true price of gas at the pump, driving a giant SUV would show its true impact on our wallets. With the government handouts, the true price of fuel is shared among all Americans, so even if you're driving a Chevy volt and you're not spending any money at the pump, you are paying through the nose for the gas that your neighbor puts into his Chevy Suburban. The subsidies and tax breaks are in the billions, and we're all sharing in that burden. If people want to drive giant cars, let them drive giant cars, just don't make me pay for their damn fuel.

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