• Feb 27, 2008
The recently passed federal regulations adjust the average vehicle fuel economy standards to 35 mpg by 2020. Long before the Federal Government passed the new standards, the State of California had their mind set on enforcing their own rules. In order to individualize the regulations, California and the 15 other states following on its heels, needed a waiver from the EPA. The Golden State had never been previously denied a request, but the EPA lagged in issuing an approval. After all that waiting the waiver never came. Shortly after President Bush signed the new federal standards into law, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson shot down the request.
Now as politicians battle over the right to gain state control on vehicle carbon dioxide emissions, California legislators arelooking to expand upon their intended greenhouse gas controls. The original plan outlined adjustments from 2009 through 2016, but the revised outlook will shift focus up to the year 2020, which lines with the target date of the federal regulations. The major difference is that the California Air Resources Board believes cars and trucks should average close to 44 mpg by 2020. That breaks down to a 50.8 mpg car and small truck average and a 33.5 mpg average for vehicles tipping the scales. Considering variations across the country it's estimated to be an average of about 40 mpg for the whole of the United States. It also makes for an enormous 62-percent improvement upon today's vehicles.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 59 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      @Richard:
      Yes, if you have the money, you can drive in Europe very efficient cars. But on the other hand, at first:
      All carmakers sugarcoat their fuel numbers, many people still want to drive their V12 Merc or Turbo 6.
      I don't think that the average mpg standard is above 35mpg.
      • 6 Years Ago
      that earthquake dropping CA into the ocean cant come soon enough!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Stole the words right out of my mouth. Thank god for the san andres fault.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, that *would* improve the position of Diesel in North America.

        --chuck


      • 6 Years Ago
      Moonshot.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "California regulators shooting for 40 mpg by 2020"

      I would suggest that the State of California "lead by example" and switch over their entire fleet to vehicles that meet this requirement. Biggest problem? They can't do it and will ask for "exceptions or waivers from their own rules." You heard it here first!
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is why they didn't want to let California make up its own rules. No matter what we do, they have to go one step better. 35MPG is a huge ask as it is, so chill out. Soon enough there'll probably be some silly congestion charge.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I say let CA and other states set whatever MPG laws they want. Then, let mfr's only sell whatever tiny 3-cylinder cars they have that will meet the req's in those states, while other states get to choose from a plethora of vehicles that meet more reasonable standards. I bet you'd see those states rescind those laws pretty darn quick when their residents start complaining about only having tiny little cars to choose from.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Anyone find it ironic that the state with the most large cities that have some of the worst traffic in the world has the cojones to want to mandate higher mpg?

      Maybe if the crybabies in CA and their 15 worshipping states would work on their infrastructure and public transporation, they wouldn't need machines that get better economy, it would come naturally since the vehicles would be operated more efficiently. I'd be willing to bet the average Los Angelite would get 50% better economy if they weren't stuck in gridlock every day for hours.

      If I were an OEM, I'd pull out of CA all together. Between their ridiculous lemon law and all the crap they want to pull to trump the federal government on regulation, let the pompus ass politicians explain why their voters aren't allowed to buy a car in their state anymore.
      • 6 Years Ago
      All that salt air must have rusted their brain. Relax and have another self congratulating awards show.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If we're going to start mandating items to save energy and stop global warming, then why stop at 35 or 40mpg over the next 12 years?

      We should also mandate that each American can only buy X number of square feet of home per family member. We should also require no single-family homes as they are less efficient than multi-unit dwellings. We should outlaw cutting grass. We should also set a limit on population boundaries so that nobody can move outside that area to keep commuting to a minimum. We should limit families to two children per couple. Everyone is limited to 5 airplane flights per year.

      Yeah, they're extreme, and stupid, and I'm not saying the CAFE numbers are well-intentioned and may/may not save fuel. But what I am saying is attacking a national energy issue by focusing almost entirely on vehicles is straight up dumb. As long as we have big houses, big families, commute long distances, fly places, buy stuff, etc, we're going to use energy. Add to it expected population increases and it looks even worse. If we really want to change things, we're going to have to come up with a comprehensive energy plan that covers every aspect of American lives. Not just pick automobiles to be the whipping boy. We gotta tell the automakers to build this and that while Joe Blow gets to commute 100 miles per day and live in his giant, energy wasting home? Should we be heavily taxing the guy who drives his F350 5 miles each way to and from work everyday while Bob and Jane get to skip the taxes because they bought a hybrid, despite them driving 100 miles a day and sitting in parking-lot traffic getting 0mpg while doing it? I got no problem with the free will and freedom to do such things. But if we get those freedoms, we should get the freedom to buy vehicles based on the same free markets as those who buy anything else get to enjoy. Same reason I don't blast oil companies like others enjoy doing. Its a business. Its based on a free market. The system works. Yeah it can sometimes suck short term (or be great short term like housing industry or current oil profits), but in the long run, everything balances out. If they charge me $4/gallon to fill up, eventually I'm going to change my habits and they'll get less of it. Which will result in lower prices, or smaller profits. I don't care. Just be smart with your money, leave some breathing room for life's ups and downs, and everything works out in the end.

      BTW, lived in CA for 8 years. Nice state weather wise. Other than that, I wasn't too happy there. They really are detached from the world. The idea about selling only small cars in CA while others get the good stuff is a good idea. Problem is CA buys so many freakin cars its too much of a money factory to ignore. First car company to crack it would make zillions. If we were talking Idaho, then maybe it would work. And should CA really have room to be critical? This is the car mecca. Everyone drives in CA. And a huge proportion of them drive big, expensive, guzzling cars. Now they want to be the ones to say we're going to get 40 mpg? They got a huge shock coming to their comfort levels if they think they're gonna get 40mpg and keep driving the cars they buy today.

      Long post. Sorry.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Politicians are not attempting to rewrite mileage rules, they're trying to rewrite the laws of physics.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Correction. Europe has existed as a society without cars for hundreds of years before the car was invented. Because most of their cities were designed with pedestrians in mind it will be easier for them than Americans, whose cities were designed with the idea that cheap oil would be available forever.

        I think it is illogical to compare the automotive needs of the two continents for a number of reasons. There is a difference in driving habits but the bottom line is Europe is just more crowded and cramped than America is.

        And whoever it was that mentioned the 1.6L diesel that gets 60 mpg should try driving one. I would be surprised if it even got up to American highway speed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      There seem to be 2 things that are being misinterpreted in my opinion. First, the gas mileage is an overall average of the cars the manufacturer wants to offer, not the minimum each car has to have as i understand it. there will still be less efficient cars around, manufacturers just need to sell more efficient cars to balance that. There's already a market for small cars already, so i fail to see how this is going to hurt them. Second, the increase in gas mileage seems to be geared more towards a reduced dependence on oil rather than decreased air pollution. Oil will run out regardless, but the less we are dependent on it, foreign or not, the easier the transition will be. I also disagree on the ethanol credits, its not even sold in my state, but as long as there are rules there will be loopholes to be abused.
      bill
      • 6 Years Ago
      wonderful!- it will be so fun to watch families take their kids on a ski vacation in the future- I think that Gm and ford should figure out ways to cheaply, totally rehab the big suvs and pickups on the road, bec. people wont be taking them out of service for the next 25 years.
      It is so great to submit to the authority of these genius planners who know better than all of us naive babies.
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