• Feb 27th 2008 at 11:58AM
  • 27
While the federal government massages the details of the 35-by-2020 CAFE standard into existence and the
EPA and California (along with other states) are in court over state-based CO2 emissions laws, regulators in California are moving ahead with proposals to force automakers to sell vehicles with a fleet average of over 40 mpg by 2020 in that state based on greenhouse gas emissions. Since at least 15 other states have signed on to California's auto laws, the California rules could mean that almost a third of the states in the U.S. (those that make up about half the U.S. new-vehicle market) would have laws much stricter than the federal CAFE standard. The auto industry - surprise - is vehemently against this proposal but the three remaining major presidential candidates, according to Automotive News, are in favor of allowing states to enforce their own greenhouse gas rules.

[Source: Automotive News]


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  • 27 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      California has the high quality gasoline that is required for efficient engines?
      Nearly sulfur free 98RON fuel.

      Didn't think so.

      Stupid people in Sacramento.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think Poster #1 hit the nail on the head. The intent of this bill is not to force a technological increase in MPG across all models until a 40MPG average is reached--the people behind it know that's impossible (I hope). Rather it's an attempt to force automakers to stop selling bigger, more powerful cars in California.

      Unfortunately I think this will just cause the people who want and can afford such cars to simply go across the border into Arizona and Nevada to buy them.

      But maybe the people behind this bill know that too. They're positioning themselves as crusaders for the public interest, safe in the knowledge that by the time their policies fail, they'll be out of office and their failure can be blamed on someone else.

      Or, as Mark Twain put it, "If the bubble Reputation could be obtained only in the cannon's mouth, I was willing to go there for it, provided the cannon was unloaded."
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mike Z:

      Indeed. CA's emissions standards meant that Aptera couldn't find a suitable small diesel *anywhere* and had to go with a gasoline engine instead for the Typ-1h. If California's standards had been rational and been based on emissions per mile instead of emissions per gallon, it'd be a whole different story.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sorry my previous post should have read "The EPA is using a cycle that's similar to the old (pre-2008) CAFE testing, so it wouldn't be as difficult to achieve."
      • 7 Years Ago
      Diesels in CA? With even most T2B5 Diesels not able to meet CA emissions, forget diesel in CA.
      • 7 Years Ago
      @rob.

      BMW 118d and 120d. Small, agile and rear-drive.

      There's also a quite a number of fairly fun front-drivers (the Mazda3 comes to mind) that can ge equipped with a diesel.

      Or were you expected a two-tonne dragstrip queen like the Challenger? Sure, I can see how going a few hundred feet in a straight line and then stopping is fun. Not.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Meeting different fleet CO2 emissions targets requires adjusting the model mix sold into the various markets. It's just that CA, NY and most of the other states tripping over themselves to enact stricter targets are also home to many affluent consumers. Unsurprisingly, car makers want to sell them models with higher profit margins, which tend to guzzle more fuel. It's much harder to get people to open their wallets for fuel efficiency than it is to sell them a bigger engine or comfier seats.

      Even though the legal cover for CA's ambitions regarding CO2 is the Clean Air Act, the situation cannot be compared to differential emissions regs. Those lead either to two sets of equipment per model or else to overfulfillment of the EPA norms in states not subject to California emissions.

      @ MikeZ -

      EPA T2B5 is identical to CA LEV II, that is why meeting it means you have a 50-state solution.

      Note that California has already permitted Mercedes to lease its current 320 Bluetec for up to two years - it meets LEV II when new but the state is not yet convinced the LNT has adequate longevity. Even with ULSD, the device infrequently has to be purged of accumulated sulfur compounds because they inhibit NOx adsorption. LNTs currently in production still require temperatures in excess of 700 degC for several minutes during desulfurization. With improved catalyst technology from e.g. Umicore, the next generation of LNTs will make do with 100 degC less, which has a marked impact on life expectancy / expensive overengineering.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's a damn shame that all 44 mpg cars are tiny, squinchy, slow FWD penalty boxes like, say, the AWD Audi TT-D. I'd hate to have to drive one of those.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Oh, and I'd add that the small luxury hatchback - e.g. Mini Cooper - has had stagnant sales since it was introduced (despite this being the leading mileage vehicle for BMW Group). That car's sales are still dwarfed by the more profligate 3-series.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Re: diesel cars ...

      Just this morning I was reading a web post about some real-world driving test of diesel cars. Both were quite peppy and "fun" to drive.

      Check out this post on Jalopnik.
      • 7 Years Ago
      @1. Please check your 2007/2008 EPA mileage guides. Toyota/Lexus sells four SUVs that get worse mileage than Hummer. I guess Toyota should stop selling those in CA as well.
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