• Apr 16th 2008 at 7:58AM
  • 76
The Big Predictions for the Future have begun. This is the numbers game where eye-popping numerical targets start being thrown around before we've come anywhere close to achieving the eyebrow raising targets that are still 14 years away. According to Margo Oge at the EPA, the CAFE standard will need to jump to 75-MPG by the 2030s to meet greenhouse targets.
There is, somewhere, a "widely backed scientific-community proposal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 80 percent by 2050 from 2000 levels." Based on current realities, the EPA has reckoned that the fleet average for fuel economy would need to more than double from the 2020 target of 35 mpg in about 15 or so years in order to achieve even the minimum standard.

The EPA is looking at a variety of alternative fuel options as a way to make the plan work. Yet we have no idea whether this is being looked at as a serious long term plan, or whether grand pronouncements are being made because it's the thing to do right now. While we freely admit that the world of cars could use some cleaning up, we do wonder... is any other industry going to be on the hook for reducing greenhouse gasses?

[Source: Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Guys - climate change is only one part of the problem. Even if you don't buy into it, there is another worry no one can deny.

      OIL is not forever. When it's gone, it's gone.

      As much as I love a tire smoking 7.0L V8 motor, it makes no power if there is no oil to put in it.

      Investment in oil refineries and tankers is almost non-existent by oil companies making record profits on $100/barrel oil - why?

      Could it be that oil companies are not building 100 years worth of capacity if there isn't 100 years of extractable oil in the ground?

      Whatever you believe, oil is finite and when it's gone we will need to develop something else.

        • 7 Years Ago
        Something else to consider: for those of you who care about "Funding Terror" (like hell - if you cared that much, you'd be in favor of stopping it with more than just talk) here's a helpful list detailing the percentages of which "Big Oil" companies were sourcing their oil from the Persian Gulf over the course of 2007. The list defines the Persian Gulf to include Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates among others in the Middle East. Obviously, not all OPEC nations are Middle East countries, but this is better than nothing:


        Assuming this list is all inclusive, it would appear that Sunoco and Shell are currently your best bets to avoid funding terror with your hybrid clown cars.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "oil of course is limited, the fact is that it is not going to run out in my lifetime or my children's"

        Translation: It doesn't affect me so why should I care?

        "The oil companies profits are record but their profit margins are dismal."

        Translation: The puny 10% profit margin ExxonMobil earns is a travesty. They should be earning far more than that.

        "Refineries are not being built because GOVERNMENT"

        The Truth: It's the oil companies that don't want to build more refineries: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=610062

        "the bulk of our imported oil comes from Canada and Mexico"

        Truth: Less than 10% comes from Mexico. Less than 20% from Canada. Almost half comes from OPEC nations such as Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

        "So many people don't want to actually think about anything, they just want to feel."

        Amen brutha.

        "Why does nothing I've written here get through to anyone?"

        See above.
        • 7 Years Ago
        FSM, oil of course is limited, the fact is that it is not going to run out in my lifetime or my children's. So take that horse puckey and go home.

        The oil companies profits are record but their profit margins are dismal. The real money margins are in ethanol which receives incredibly higher subsidies per gallon produced than anything the oil companies could hope for.

        Both of ya'll come off as the typical idiot reactionary, get your tinfoil hats, the US bombed the towers types. Oil companies are investing money but you don't want to see it because it runs counter to your narrow minded view. Vehicles today are cleaner than anything that have come before them, even those large SUVs are clean. Face it, autos, regardless of size, don't have a real sizable impact on pollution anymore because they have been cleaned up and keep getting cleaner. It ain't going to make a dent in the environment simply because, get this, the US isn't the pollution problem.

        So basically screw over big oil is a screw over for the average Joe because any cost they incur gets passed onto us. Raise their taxes and it raises mine and yours because no corporation - NONE - pay a dime in taxes, they merely collect them for the government from us in the form of higher costs
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ted, FSM,

        People are screaming about Al Gore because he's a huge hypocrite who doesn't deserve the credibility he has. All the same, focusing on one man like Gore as the source of our pain at the pump makes about as much sense as the "Blame Bush" crowd crowd saying the President plotted 9/11, so let's move on.

        The notion that refineries are not being built because "Big Oil" is concerned there isn't the supply to justify them has no basis in reality or logic. Certainly it is possible that oil is running out in already established drilling sites, but if that's the case we're not hearing about it, and you can bet the farm that prices would be astronomically higher than they are now if that was even half-true; just look at the price reaction to Hurricane Katrina, and everyone knew at the time that there would be a TEMPORARY disruption to supply. Get real. There's still plenty of land left to explore.. Earth a lot bigger than you think. There's too much unexplored territory on the planet that hasn't been tapped yet, and you guys are saying there isn't enough oil left. You guys with no inside knowledge whatsoever are gonna tell us how it is. You don't KNOW what you're talking about, but you FEEL you do, so that's supposed to be good enough and the rest of us are supposed to just shut up and bow to your faux intellectual superiority. Whatever.

        Refineries are not being built because GOVERNMENT -- and YES, with no small amount of encouragement from hysterical environmental head cases -- are in the way, not the other way around. Oil profits may be at record highs, but so are oil company EXPENDITURES - introduce yourselves to the concept of PROFIT MARGIN and maybe you'll see that the people pulling out windfall profits from every gallon gasoline sold is not "Big Oil" but government at county, state, and federal levels. Government, which does nothing to produce oil we can use, makes more money off of it in taxes than the people who work to provide us with the standard of living we all take for granted.

        Oil companies would LOVE to build MORE refineries because it would INCREASE their overall PROFITS by REDUCING their EXPENSES over the long term. But "Big Oil" can't do that because it's not politically correct. Why is this basic reasoning such an anathema to so many people? Thank your friendly fat-cat senator for the pain at the pump, not MobileExxon, et al.

        Crude oil prices have gone up from $20 to over $100 a barrel over the span of roughly 6 years, and the price has gone up at the pump less than $2 a gallon. I'd say the oil companies are doing a bang up job considering the bad had they've been dealt, and yet they're vilified daily by ungrateful vultures.

        To the point of funding evil weird beards on the other side of the planet, here's a news flash: the bulk of our imported oil comes from Canada and Mexico. As oil is a global commodity, some of it is inevitably going to come from the middle east, but if some of you would stop acting like they're the only ones who do the drilling, maybe those of us with working brains could take you seriously for more than a few minutes.

        So many people don't want to actually think about anything, they just want to feel. So we're left with a bunch of questions (and no serious answers): Why does this issue have to be so black and white? Isn't there a way to be environmentally responsible and economically solvent at the same time? Politicians always talk about compromise and sacrifice, but where is it coming from them? Why is it always the rest of us that have to compromise and sacrifice while they fly around in jets, wagging fingers and telling us how to live and forcing it with oppressive taxes that take food off my table? Why is it such a bad thing that we not only solve today's problem and solve tomorrow's problem? Can't we expand drilling and refinery capacity while we also work at the same time to secure viable alternative fuels and energy production? Why does nothing I've written here get through to anyone?

        Screw it. I've gotta go fill my tank - capitol hill needs a new pair of shoes.
        • 7 Years Ago
        None of these guys seem to want to admit that oil is limited. Instead all we hear is "that damn Al Gore" and "those damn tree hugging hippies". Why can't people see any benefit to this. Cleaner environment, less oil dependance. Instead they seem to be more worried about not having drool worthy cars to hang on their bedroom wall.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Begging your pardon, professor, but your source specifically factors in "other products" IN ADDITION to crude oil. (Most of which are itemized in the drop-down selector.) Didn't you read the page? Or did you post the link because it looked good?

        He shoots, he misses. Again.

        Where was your address of my source as invalid? You just post another link (albeit taken from the same source, so at least that's done correctly) but then you tailored it to liking so you can get the numbers you want. How can two seemingly contradictory sets of data from the exact same source both be right? Answer: they're not contradictory as you imply but never directly point out, they're more like apples and oranges. I think you knew this but decided to withhold it just to make yourself look more polished. Or, you simply didn't know what you were posting, but felt you did. Either way, check your ego dude.

        If you're talking about more than crude oil, the raw materials that are refined to produce gasoline among other things, then fine. But I wasn't talking about anything other than crude oil imports. Keep up.

        The demonstrable fact that your persist with selective quoting is enough for me to make this my final word on the subject. That's strike two; I'm not sticking around for strike three. You being ignorant is one thing, but if you insist on being intellectually dishonest just to feel better about an internet post, then have it. There are plethy of other stories on Autoblog for me to read.

        " 'Why does nothing I've written here get through to anyone?' Now are you beginning to see why?"

        Very much so. I can alleviate your ignorance of the data, but once you know what it is, I can't fix your refusal to accept it. There's too many people who are adamantly resolute to being this way; I can't fix stupid.

        "So what's your idea? Nukes? More preemptive invasions of foreign countries? Take over the world? Just curious since you don't elaborate and the last time I checked that Iraq quagmire hasn't exactly been working out too well."

        Typical liberal BS. Far be it from me to label you one way or the other, but you sure are adept at singing their song. On top of that, you're asking a question that has already been answered. Newsflash: I did elaborate on what can be done. Your underdeveloped reading comprehension is not a free pass to miss what is plainly there for you to see. I already wrote about a happy medium between solving today's issue and tomorrow's as an ideal first step. Oil is finite, but there's still plenty of it left. And there's no VIABLE replacement that provide sufficient energy YET. That's the reality RIGHT NOW. So, until (and while) we execute the many steps required to change that, we should be drilling and refining what we can. There's a way to use what we have while we develop for the future. Is that not possible in your world? Must it be either/or -- alternative fuels or oil? Why can't we employ and develop both strategies at the same time?

        We should be focusing on what CAN be done with the abundance of that which is available to us right here and now. Using resources does not automatically equal that they were wasted.

        Please, continue with your enlightenment - we're all breathless with dire anticipation to read what kind of "solutions" you might propose. I'm almost ready to call it now and say they are of the progressive (a.k.a. liberal) persuasion; all of which involve MORE GOVERNMENT. Government, which screws up damn near everything it touches, is the liberal solution for everything. Liberals always complain about how much government sucks, but their solution is always to add even more. Each time this happens, it's under the promise of "fixing" what was broken. This makes no logical sense whatsoever, but it sure feels good doesn't it.

        I'm done. Feel free to take it away, it's all yours. I know you need to have the last word or else you won't feel good.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Source: http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_impcus_a2_nus_ep00_im0_mbbl_m.htm.

        Total oil imports (in k barrels): 418,274
        OPEC: 198,818
        Canada: 80,160
        Mexico: 40,526

        That's using January 2008 data butd it can fluctuate. I'll let you do the math. Less than 10% comes from Mexico. Less than 20% from Canada. Almost half comes from OPEC nations such as Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

        "Why does nothing I've written here get through to anyone?" Now are you beginning to see why?

        "for those of you who care about "Funding Terror" (like hell - if you cared that much, you'd be in favor of stopping it with more than just talk)"

        So what's your idea? Nukes? More preemptive invasions of foreign countries? Take over the world? Just curious since you don't elaborate and the last time I checked that Iraq quagmire hasn't exactly been working out too well.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "Truth: Less than 10% comes from Mexico. Less than 20% from Canada. Almost half comes from OPEC nations such as Libya, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela." - Mallory

        That's cute. But where's your source? Yea, your source...? Oh, that's right: you'd rather selectively quote the New York Times on an entirely different angle about the refineries that is, at best, debatable and speculative. This doesn't even cut it as a nice try.

        Now pay attention. I'm about to expose you to facts, and it might be a shock to your system since you're clearly not familiar with them.

        Here are the actual figures, provided by the Energy Information Administration -- there's a government agency for everything -- using statistics from the US Government. Redundant, I know. And, as a matter of fairness, the Middle East does indeed provide a large chunk of oil imports. These are mostly sourced from Saudi Arabia and to a lesser extent, Iraq (ranked number 6 on the list). That being the case, the reality is your figures are outright fictitious crap -- no doubt pulled from the same part of your ass that has you putting words in my mouth and that of other posters -- Canada and Mexico are radically bigger players than you think. You didn't know what you're talking about, but I'll bet dollars to donuts you sure felt like you did. Both nations supply huge amounts of oil to the USA, along with Nigeria:


        Among the top 5 oil importers (6, if you wanna push it) 2 are from nations not particularly friendly to the United States, which would seem to back up my original contention that the bulk of our oil is being imported from nations that are friendly to the United States. This not by accident. Granted, I said the bulk was coming from Canada and Mexico and didn't bother include Nigeria, but general idea is the same. I'm only too happy to admit not being exact gave you an opening to attack with undue smugness, but it's all good - you're still embarrassingly wrong all the same. And on top of that, we're supposed to take you seriously. Thanks for highlighting a textbook example of precisely why it's impossible to do so.

        I never contended that the Middle East was in the minority of oil imports to the USA in the first place, but you're not only implying that I did, you're also taking that argument and applying it in reverse to Canada and Mexico. Ignore the irony here.. just work on that reading comprehension instead; it'll help you make friends around here. Or don't. Free free to look as stupid as you want when discussing any topic of intellectual significance - it won't prove you correct, but at least you'll feel really good.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "While we freely admit that the world of cars could use some cleaning up, we do wonder... is any other industry going to be on the hook for reducing greenhouse gasses?" - JR

      Good point - my wife is an Interior Designer for an architectural firm and I can tell you that reducing energy consumption is definitely a priority in commercial construction. What really irks me is that no one is jumping up and down and shouting at the homebuilders and to reduce the amount of energy required to heat and cool our homes. I'd much rather live in an energy efficient home than drive an energy efficient car :)
        • 7 Years Ago
        "no one is jumping up and down and shouting at the homebuilders and to reduce the amount of energy required to heat and cool our homes."

        Energy conserving homes are a huge business and efficiency is a big selling point for consumers these days. On top of that, depending on your location there are tons of energy efficiency and emissions requirements that are part of code and must be followed. They've been around for years. The only difference is you don't generally hear people crying about having to use double pane insulated glass or R-13 insulation.
      • 7 Years Ago
      2030? That's when my mid-life crisis occurs! Does the EPA expect me to drive a Kia then? Hell no! I want my 911.
        • 7 Years Ago
        KIA will probably be making a car that kills the Corvette by then the way things are headed, which would be great except you won't be able to afford it :)
      • 7 Years Ago
      I would just like to know what an "average" house uses in electric according to Al. My house uses an average of $120/mo, and that includes my Mig welder and shop equipment in my garage. As I recall, his monthly bill is in the thousands?

      ..and BTW - Carbon Credits are a bunch of BS...you are BUYING the RIGHT to POLLUTE, rather than actually living better. No different than paying off the cop to get out of a speeding ticket.

      75mpg is crap...I don't see it happening...just another gov't agency trying to stay relavent. I agree with getting better fuel economy, being better to the enviroment., blah blah blah. I bought a smaller, more fuel efficient truck (necessity vehicle), recycle everything possible, upgraded my house to lower my electric bills, and am looking into solar hot water heaters and power panels.

      We still would be better off getting the REST of the world on the program...and forcing industry to clean up, rather than focusing on car pollution.

      The good news is that several power companies have gotten permits for Nuke plants in the last year. MUCH better than coal.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Hey CAFE of 75 miles per gallon is not attainable with current production engines. Yes a smart car can get it but you would have to use twice as many of them to get the whole family somwhere. So what have you changed.
        Wholesale changes in the way we do business and live is the only way to reduce pollution and fuel consumtion.
        A 747 burns 60,000 gallons of fuel to fly you to your vacation in australia, you see where i am going.
        And yes carbon credits or what ever you want to call them are a a way to buy your right to pollute. I dare anyone to prove any different. You can not buy carbon credits from me so you don't have to change, and then say you doing something posative for the enviroment. It is another example of digging one hole to fill another.
      • 7 Years Ago
      it is funny my 1987 accord could get 40mpg doing 70mph going from oregon to california with a used crap engine and some other problems, our 1998 chevy astro awd with fresh tune up,yada yada yada will get about 12-13 in city and i have pushed 22 on the highway going 65-70 with chevron premium. my mothers 2008 subaru legacy 2.5l boxer 4 with all fresh fluids at 65 CAN get 35-40 mpg with the right fuel you can also get from experience 27-28 mpg believe it or not at 80-90mpg on all flat ground also getting held up on freeway. and if people wanted to get a pzev vehicle the parts for our 2008 legacy cost subaru $300 extra and we paid $350 for the "pzev/sulev" emisions now an extra $300-500 is not much for an auto maker to pass on to the consumer. but if you wanted it or not "the exaust is cleaner that some hybrids" and is in some cases the exaust cleaner than the air you breath example, california, in los angeles the smog is so thich you sometimes cannot see the hollywood sign, plus the traffic is horrible, but if you don't believe something is going on in oregon we are getting this is this weekend we are getting rain/snow/hail and people this is mid april, the snow on mt. hood/the whole north western us has had a really strange winter this year, vancouver wa. had a tornado an F-1 in january, whe mid west got an earthquake if people dont believe anything is going on look at the weather patterns of the past 20 years. more and more drought in the mid-west, south and people dont see a problem with this, well when you run out of water because of "climate change" don't come on here bitching that there is no climate change. yes i am a liberal but and i do drive a big heavy truck, but ither is belivers and non-believers, someone posted on her it is like a relegion, you believe or not. and i personally chose to find a more fuel effecient vehicle, and to people who say "everyone needs to take mass transit" well some people need to drive if 1. you live in a small town and commute and or there is no local buses/mass transit. 2. sometimes like someone said before mass transit is not always the best, in portland oregon the public trans says they have one of the best public transit system, oh yeah that is why in the winter when is snows and gets icy that is why the busses (saying scartasticly) the busses stay on the roads and dont get stuck, that is just bull crap to go 20 miles on bus and light rail it would take me almost 4 hours on a good day and there is always the chance your bus is late or you miss the bus, in a car and in light to moderate traffic it would take a maximum of 45 minutes, is you want to conserve or not you dont necesarly have to slow down just easy accelarating and easy on the braking, i can improve in my astro in i slow down a little and dont try to beat everyone to the front i can save a few mpg, but when gas is at $3.50 a gallon or more that really can add up. still if you want to conserve (i call bs when they say to adjust you temp up and down, i think it would make more sense leaving it at one setting in your house), unplug what ever you are not using, that toaster or curling iron is still using power pluged in even if you are not using it. maybe if you make $250,000 a year or more and get the bush tax cuts and don't have to really nickel and dime everything it doesn't matter to you because you make so much, but to the single parients, people trying to live on their on for the first time with no help or people after college then you are more likely to nickel and dime everything but if not fine with me but don't come on here when gas/diesel is so expensive you cannot afford it and bitch that everything is so expensive that you cannot afford anything that is your own damn fault.

      also if you deciede to believe everything the government says or does look at the wonderful job they have done before and after katrina, the government built leavys the modular homes with toxic mold all of the money that when missing after the american public donaited i cry foul.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's obvious that it's easy and fun to whip on the auto industry. The majority of power is used by homes and businesses, we have mobile homes that collapse like a deck of cards in a slight wind and we'll have terrible mercury pollution due to knee jerk reaction to light bulbs. Make realistic energy decisions that we can live with. There are NO mass transit vehicles available in the rural parts of the U.S. so that isn't viable.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You know, one side says it's all Bush's fault. The other; Al Gore's. The solution is obvious.

      HELL IN THE CELL MATCH AT WRESTLEMANIA! Gore vs Bush! For the WWE title and absolution of blame!

      *pictures Bush and Gore in skin-tight spandex*
      *throws up cookies*
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Global Warming" or the new catch phrase "Climate Change" is like Creationism. There is no way to disprove it. I have never known any one that has ever stated a set of scientific conditions for which it can be falsiable. Much like Creationism, it has legions of scientists and believers to stand in front of podiums, but at the end, it is still only about faith and personal belief.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You know, it has all the hallmarks of a religion:

        The belief that at one time the world was perfect and without sin (the 'natural' state - never mind those pollution spewing volcanos). Then man 'fell from grace' (he became technologically advanced and started to pollute). And finally man was 'enlightened' (realized pollution was a bad thing), and true believers started to 'convert' others to the 'true way' (bio diesel, ethnaol, solar, wind, etc.).
          • 7 Years Ago
          You're right. These environmentalists treat the earth like their god.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It is just another religion based on the fear of the apocalypse and the intimidation of nonbelievers. There are already armed and terror based fundamentalists ready and willing to deliver violence.

        It's the new religion of the technological era, and I'm totally cool with personal choice. The majority are fearful and guilt-ridden creatures, but it is up to the miniority of rational thinkers to maintain our society.

        There is no reason to argue about another person's religion. There is no way to prove them wrong. That's what faith is. There is no way to prove global warming/climate change doesn't exist. There is no way to say that it is fixed if we take action to deal with their concerns. It is an endless self-flagellation to punish humans for our sins.
        • 7 Years Ago
        ^ @ frank

        They also have their own version of papal indulgences (sin all you want and pay for your forgiveness). With carbon credits, one can "sin" as much as they want as long as they give money to a company, owned by guess who? Thats right Al F-ing Gore. So its no wonder St. Al is trying his hardest to get people to believe in man-made Global warming- HE PROFITS DIRECTLY FROM IT.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Here's and 'inconvenient truth':


      quote from the article:

      "While the potential Brazil find could add significant supplies to a global oil market many see as tight, it would likely take the better part of a decade before any of oil finds its way to market. The site will need to be studied further, and drilling platforms must be designed, built and transported before it can start producing oil.

      However, it does cast new doubt on peak oil theory, which postulates that world oil demand will soon outpace supply.

      It is impossible to say whether or not more 33-billion-barrel oil fields exist under the sea, Evans said.

      “Nobody really has data on what’s out there in the middle of the ocean,” Evans said."

      And we know there are major deposits in Alaska and off the coasts of CA and FL. Not to mention shale and tar sands.

      There is plenty of oil, if the politicians would get out of the way.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Woot! that's much better.... but make it sooner.

      Die gasoline! Let DC motors rules the world!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is oil running out?
      Is oil Abiotic?
      Pick your belief and argue it.
      Does anybody really know?
      If someone could figure out how to harness stupidity for energy.......
      Personally I believe cold fusion is the next energy source.
      Want the price of oil to go down? Use less.Dump the SUV,4WD,big cars,pickups,walk to a store.Why is bigger better? If bigger is better why are so many people trying to lose weight? The world is supposed to end in 2012, why worry if we run out of oil!Party!!!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Cold fusion, no. Hot fusion, probably. But hot fusion's funding is being screwed with by the Democratic Congress, pushing back its target date every day...

          • 7 Years Ago
          Fusion research? If anything, a pro-science Democratic congress will fund that, as opposed to the religious extremist infested Republican ranks, whom see science as dangerous.
        • 7 Years Ago
        This is the big myth, that less oil usage will drive the price down. That is simply not true. The price of oil has gone up 500% in a timeframe where consumption has gone up less than 20% and production has never failed to meet demand. Shoot all the oil futures traders and you'll see the "real" price of oil show itself pretty quickly.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The price of oil isn't going up, the USD $ is going down (like all fiat currencies do)
        Having a total obligation of over 100% of the net worth of the people will do that.
        (a little old, but still $40 trillion household net worth & a $60 trillion obligation)

        The backing of the USD use to be oil, look up that little clause in the OPEC accord that stipulates that oil transactions be settled in $. It was just good timing that Operation Desert Storm happened when Saddam started to accept other currencies that USD. That created a demand for USD, which has allowed the US to print money like it is going out of style for at least the last three decades.

        Even if deep oil is true (it probably is, look at that one moon of Jupiter) do we have the technology to drill down to a depth of 7.5 or 10 miles? Look at the Kola super-deep. The rock underwent plastic deformation after the drill was removed, so you are limited by mother nature to about 7.5 miles, and have the oil companies already drilled down to about 6 miles.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't deny that you might be getting 50mpg with your Prius, I'm just telling you what the computer on my friends' Priuses (Prii?) tell them.

      As for the EPA website, there is an issue there with self-reported information. People tend to inflate their mpg numbers, whether consciously or not. Ie: they get say, 35mpg once during an interstate trip, and then from that point on they report their highway mileage as "35mpg," even though in reality their usual "highway mileage" is something lower, say 30mpg.

      I think you misunderstood my point on the plug-in hybrid mileage. The energy off the grid is undoubtedly cleaner than using a tiny internal combustion engine, but it still needs to be accounted for if you're going to use it for calculating fleet-averaged emissions standards. This isn't hard, all of the power companies already have to provide where their energy comes from in annual reports. So to calculate the equivalent MPG, you take how many kWhr you sucked out of the wall, convert it into gallons of gasoline equivalent based on your regional energy supply, and you have your new number.

      Ignoring the contribution to a plug-in hybrid from the electrical grid would introduce an inefficiency into the market, by giving the manufacturers of plug-in hybrids "free" mileage credits under the CAFE system, when they are not actually saving oil. If you're going to regulate, do it accurately.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree that self-reporting can be flawed. It is just as likely that someone on an EPA site will underestimate their mileage as over-estimate it. It's not so much about agenda there as information. Information can be faulty, but to assume that the fault is all in one direction would be jumping to an unsupported conclusion. It's not like here on the blogs, where we get wild claims of, "well I got 38mpg in my Malibu regularly." And the self-reporting on the EPA site is no likely to be more or less accurate than mine or your friends'.

        So putting that aside, the point is, you don't believe that Toyota can make a leap to the 60s mpg on the next gen. Well, time will tell. All I'm saying is that it may not be as big a leap as you would seem to believe. You seem to think it will need a 33% improvement (based on 40-60), and I think 17% improvement (50-60). The current gen's mpg improved by 11% over gen1 (using EPA 2008 estimates), and this was despite increasing in size and power. The next model will be no bigger, likely similar in power output, so Toyota can certainly improve on 11% mpg gains, without Li-Ion or plug-ins.

        Again though, I must disagree with you on the grid issue. It is simply not related to mpg. If the EPA gets into calculating how much energy is consumed by pluggin in vehicles then it will be harder to get to 75 across the board. But the EPA does not add energy grid consumption in its equation. And they are not likely to start doing so, because depeding on location, grid usage, time of day, source of power, your energy usage could vary drastically. Quantifying it would be too arduous, and not all that useful. What if you have solar panels, what if you only charge at night?

        I mean, this is the same EPA that gives CAFE credits for E-85 vehicles, the vast majority of which never use E-85. And those that do arguably are using more energy than gasoline powered vehicles (depending on which study of the week you reference).

        So while on a practical, sustainable level, grid use is an important factor, it will have no bearing on claculating mpg, even if it should.

        Therefore, I return to my orignial contention. Averaging 75mpg by the 2030s should be a breeze.
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