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Aside from the Daimler-Tesla announcement earlier today, the big green car news for May 19 is the increase in CAFE standards that President Obama made just a short while ago, joined by Governors Jennifer Granholm (MI), Deval Patrick (MA) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA), members of Congress and Ron Gettelfinger (of the UAW), among others. Obama said the agreement was "an historic agreement to help American break its addiction to oil." Here are the details:
  • Currently, the DOT manages the fuel economy, the EPA deals with emissions, and CA can use the Clean Air Act to come up with even more stringent rules. This could create a situation where car makers have to deal with rules from three agencies. The new rule is a national standard that CA will support and the DOT and EPA will both adopt.
  • The CAFE standard will increase by five percent each year, building on the 2011 standard, until we get to 2016. This means an Industry standard of 35.5 mpg (for cars and trucks) by 2016, an average increase of eight mpg per vehicle.
  • Drivers will recoup the additional cost to buy one of these more-efficient vehicles in three years. Drivers will, over the life of the vehicle, save $2,800, on average, he said.
  • Obama said the new rule will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the next five years, and is the projected equivalent of taking 58 million vehicles off the road.
  • Despite previous disagreements between environmental and industry groups, the national policy has been agreed on and a series of "major lawsuits" will be dropped.
Yesterday, we heard that, much to the automaker's delight, the new CAFE standards create a national standard and incorporate California's strict emissions rules to raise the national fleet mpg average to 42 mpg for cars and 26 mpg for light trucks by 2016. The new standards go into effect in 2011. Currently, cars need to average 27.5 mpg and trucks must get 24 mpg.

[Source: Whitehouse.gov]


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  • 21 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Personally I like the rumble of the V8 and the fancy exotics.. however it's the 21st frikkin century.. time to trade up into something that's modern. The tesla and fisker cars are nice but I'd want something more practical or fun than those two. The tesla is too small/cramped and the fisker's styling isn't my cup of tea as the expression goes. And if the people can't take their heads out of their asses to see the world and not just "oo shiney and a V8.. sold!" they'd see that it's time to move forward. not backward. The Volt is an ol substitute for now sicne it's a better hybrid in reguards of how it utilizes the powertrains of gas and electric. If you scrimp and save to buy something.. buy something good. save your 'dream gas guzzler' for when you retire when it won't really matter what you got since it'll be in your showroom/garage for a sunday drive. You're just pissy because you're another backwards thinking individual that can't comprehend doing better .
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Watcher: Normally I don't respond to comments but I must say, yours really caught my eye. First off, I think you're the one who needs to pull your head out of your ass and realize that V8s and fancy exotics are just as modern as everything else in the 21st century. V8s are not what they used to be. Sure, they may still incorporate old tech such as pushrods but it's stuff that's tried and true. Chevy's Corvette and trucks get damn good gas mileage. Corvettes are exempt from the gas guzzler tax. That V8s that Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, BMW, etc. are anything but dated. Ferrari, Porsche, etc. all race in motorsports that are full of R&D and that trickles down into their production cars. I fail to see how exotics aren't modern. Even Formula One, the pinnacle of motorsports, uses V8s. Let me tell you, don't expect a six cylinder truck to do as much as a V8. You may like the rumble of V8s but you sure do come across as ignorant as those people who assume all of them are gas guzzlers. And don't assume I'm some old guy stuck in the muscle car era because I'm not. But guess what? Not everybody wants a lame little boring econobox to putter around in and not everyone falls for this fuel efficiency/go green nonsense. It's all a bunch of BS and I find it incredibly funny that many out there are falling for it. It's a hoax, designed to rape the consumers. When the U.S. was really in danger of overusing oil and depleting supplies, to the point where an actual disaster was at hand, the government enacted fuel rationing. Pull out your history book if you can't recall this. If this was all truly about overuse and sources that may run dry soon, we should be rationing fuel once again, should we not? But we aren't. Hmmm, I wonder why. THERE IS NO FUEL PROBLEM.They want you to think there is a problem, so they can charge more. I can go on and on about this but you get the point, or at least I hope you do. I'm just fed up of hearing all the politicians, tree huggers, and those only informed by the media spout on about this crap. Those of you who fall into hype, can continue driving your little Priuses on the road. I'll be just fine in my built LS1 that gets great gas mileage and doesn't take forever to reach 60.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is complete BS. The whole "green" scene is around solely to create jobs and stimulate the economy. If automakers want to produce vehicles that get 10 mpg, they should be allowed to, as they should be allowed to make 50 mpg cars as well. I don't mind new technology that allows cars to be equally powerful with better gas mileage or even more powerful, but I don't think the gas guzzling v8s should be eliminated. Like I previously stated, this "green" phenomenon is supported by automakers and politicians to make more jobs and create a new need for technology. I personally don't think that human impact on "global warming" is that significant, and I do not give a crap about polar bears. All I'm saying is I totally disagree with this, but we all saw it coming. Yeah it sucks, Obama sucks, but there's really nothing anybody can do, besides keep driving the v8's that we are graced with now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What happens if/when they don't?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Like everything else in America, the automakers will be taxed (pay a fine is more politically correct) just as they are now. They will pass the gas guzzler tax on to the buyer as it is done now.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sounds like a real winner... what is it? Still the old $55/mpg/car sold? So like, $550 even if your car gets 10 mpg under the standard, great. Raising that fine to around $1,000 or more might get some real attention.
      • 6 Years Ago
      From the article: "Obama said the new rule [...] is the projected equivalent of taking 58 million vehicles off the road."

      Or, another way to look at it, this is the equivalent of 58 million people trading in their existing cars for an EV. = )

      I wish they had got rid of the arbitrary distinction between "cars" and "trucks" and simply made it one goal for everything: 35.5 MPG. But, seeing as how a gas tax hike (with an offsetting tax cut for working class folks) is not going to happen any time soon, this is still great news.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Automakers will focus more on Trucks(Minivans, S/CUVs, Trucks). Look at how Subaru relabeled the Legacy Wagon a Truck.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "See, it's about getting what you want. Because you worked hard for it and having it satisfies that "pursuit of happiness" part of the Constitution."

      That doesn't apply all the time "individually" when it interferes with the obligation to "promote the general welfare". Heck you could even argue that it "provides for the common defense" when you remember that oil money funds some countries that don't like us too much. There are other parts to the constitution...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I dont think there is a need to make CAFE to make another increase...It hasn't been very long since the last increase was made....and its not like automakers are doing better now, then they were then.

      People are buying more efficient cars.
      You mainly have 2 types of people buying efficient cars.
      1.the tree hugger crowd, and think "gas guzlers" are killing the planet.
      2.the "freedom" crowd, that is tired of US money being shipped to enemy countries for their oil.

      I was talking about EV's with my dad a few days back, and he heard about the 4-door Fisker Karma...which will be available in a couple years. He said he will probably buy one. him, and me, both fit into the #2 category. The bottom line for me is I dont want my money being sent to a enemy country, I buy American. I live in SD...and up here, ethanol is pretty big. I personally think ethanol (like hydrogen) is a joke. I think that the future of the automotive industry is electric.
      and I know a thing or 2 about both...I used to work at a body shop, but now I'm an electrician.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Speaking of the announcement, did anyone happen to see this clip from the press conference?

      http://www.autobloggreen.com/2009/05/20/ford-starts-ecoboost-production-in-cleveland/#continued

      Matt should absolutely love this...
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      what happends if you want like a 430? no way thats going to meet the stadards. is this going to take all supercars off the road. casue then ill have to move to europe
      • 6 Years Ago
      The automakers, Obama-nator and Governator have destroyed what’s left of automotive liberty in America.

      While all-aluminum and carbon fiber SUVs may still be available to the Range Rover class of buyers, regular folks who punch a clock for a paycheck will be priced out of the market. And with the idiotic giveaway known as “cash for clunkers,” the supply of used SUVs will be decimated.

      What’s worse, the aluminum and carbon fiber SUVs will drive many high performance cars off the road — Cars that would have been built in a free market.

      The 35.5 m.p.g. fleet average will force a 42 m.p.g. average for cars. There won’t be anything remotely like an M3 or a Shelby GT500 as we know it possible under that freedom-killing plan.

      The elite journalists parrot the line that the average cost of compliance to be passed along to consumers is $1,300.00 per vehicle. Which means that for low-volume sporting and high-performance vehicles, the cost of compliance will be $5,000.00-$10,000.00 or more. Moreover, volume limitations inherent in an “average” will mean that OEM and dealer gouging will be rampant for anything that remotely resembles a “performance” car.

      Thus, the liberty of regular wage-earners to purchase a large SUV or a high performance car is being regulated away.

      SOME OF US DO NOT WANT A “FOUR” OR A “SIX.” For those who have dreamed the American dream, played by the rules, struggled and saved up for a chance at the torque, power, rumble, and aural symphony of a V8 (or even an exotic v10 or V12), that future is being destroyed by the Obamaniacs. A “sealed-for-your-protection” EcoBoost six or four simply won’t cut it.

      Those who want a private jet, or a light aircraft, or a yacht, or energy-intensive vacations on cruise ships, or even a classic V-twin motorcycle instead of an affordable V8 muscle car will still be able to pursue their carbon-emitting dreams with abandon. But Socialist Obama and RINO Schwarzenegger have singled hot rodders, grassroots racers, V8 enthusiasts and the automotive culture to bear the lions-share of the quasi-religious “jihad” against the “anthropogenic climate change” bogeyman.

      Sadly, elite journalists (and some autobloggers) simply don’t understand all of that. Or if they do, they simply don’t care.

      Under the quick Obama-nator time-frame, V8 muscle cars are most certainly going to be slaughtered in the headlong rush to build soulless, happy, smiley FWD Obamamobiles that are acceptable the appliance motorist greeniacs and their steroid-addled RINO lap-dog, California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger.

      Detroit, humiliated, humbled and beholden to corporate welfare will meekly comply, mostly out of the horror that could have arisen had the 9th Circuit and the soon-to-be Obama-ized Supreme Court had permitted the Peoples’ Republic of California and thirteen other freedom-hating fellow-traveler police states to set their own fuel economy standards.

      Thus, the long, gloomy nightmare that will be a redux of the 1970s, albeit about ten times more expensive and repressive this time, has now been assured.

      For some of us, the environmentalists will get our “antique” V8s only as they pry the pistol-grip shifters out of our cold-dead hands. We are too old to wait out this long, dark, repressive nightmare. They may crush our collector cars and our bank accounts, but the power-mad looter vermin in charge will never crush our spirit and our resourcefullness.

      Others, someday, may anticipate a new birth of vehicular freedom. Whether it occurs is up to a number daunting factors, such as advancements in alternative fuel technology, geopolitics and whether a sufficient number of courageous, freedom-loving voters can overthrow this approaching midnight of our discontent.

      While the smokey, back-room Obama-Schwartzenegger-Enviornmentalisti power grab will dissuade millions of casual automobile enthusiasts from any defiance (mostly because pre-packaged muscle and sports cars will soon become neutered, sanitized, homogenized, and priced out-of-reach), a defiant core of resourceful believers in vehicular freedom and self-determination will reject the compromised, store-bought motoring appliances and hack together “freedom machines” that send but one unmistakable message to those who would attempt to crush our liberty and our dreams.

      While the goin
        • 6 Years Ago
        What a pile of tripe! The sky is falling the sky is falling. So you want the "freedom" to fill the lungs of my children with your smoke, go shove it! What next, bring back smoking on planes? You are clearly the definition of inefficiency.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Who said anything about re-sale value?"
        Ah.. me. If wealth management isn't something you think about, that's fine, just don't expect my tax dollars to bail out your mortgage.

        "And why does the government get to choose for us what kind of car we should drive?"
        They don't. Please revisit how averages work. The average IS something the government can dictate, because there are real costs to society of petroleum imports that affect us all (and 'us all' is the government's jurisdiction).

        "By your own admission, you drive an eBox provided by the university."
        I wasn't admitting, I was bragging (and trying to give credibility to the data I was providing). And since you're interested, it's not my personal car, it's a development platform for the V2G technology we're working on. My personal car is a 98 Civic that cost about $13,000 and has averaged ~38mpg over its 11 years of life, including the time spent towing the flatbed trailer.

        "Is it what you would drive if you had to pay for it? Probably not."
        No, not at prototype prices. When a no-compromises EV gets to mass production, I'll be there.

        "We make a lot of decisions with our money that appear "stupid" to others."
        It's a fair point, and no indeed I am not immune. Of course we make a lot of decisions with money that appear "stupid" to ourselves the next day too. I would think this applies especially to purchases that we think will make us feel big, powerful or important, when we realize that really it's just another thing, and we are still the same people we were without it. I would submit that having a car just a little bit bigger/louder/faster than the neighbor's car might fit into this category.
        • 6 Years Ago
        OK, really now. You do understand how an AVERAGE works, right? If GM can sell a couple "sealed for your protection Obamobiles" [yes please], that get more than the required average, then they can sell 1 I'M A MAN vehicle that gets significantly less than the required average.

        Also ... "For those who have dreamed the American dream, played by the rules, struggled and saved up for a chance at the torque, power, rumble, and aural symphony of a V8"
        Really? It's worth that much to you? I would propose as an alternative that you put the money you've "struggled and saved" for into something that won't lose 25% of its value as you roll off the dealer's lot. No, it's not that I think you shouldn't be allowed to make that choice, I just think it's a stupid choice, particularly if getting the money for the downpayment together was such a struggle.
        • 6 Years Ago
        There will be plenty of used SUVs and V8-powered vehicles available, if you care to pay the much higher federal fuel taxes that are coming.
        • 6 Years Ago
        re: "No, it's not that I think you shouldn't be allowed to make that choice, I just think it's a stupid choice, particularly if getting the money for the downpayment together was such a struggle."

        Who said anything about re-sale value? And why does the government get to choose for us what kind of car we should drive? Oh, I know. It's because the Government is so much smarter than us.

        As a consumer, I can spend my money any way I choose with regards to an automobile. By your own admission, you drive an eBox provided by the university. and that's fine for you. That's not an option for most of us, and it isn't desired either. Is it what you would drive if you had to pay for it? Probably not.

        We make a lot of decisions with our money that appear "stupid" to others -- or are you the one person who never saved up for an Ipod, new computer, or a brand new guitar? All of them depreciate in value the minute you leave the store with them.

        See, it's about getting what you want. Because you worked hard for it and having it satisfies that "pursuit of happiness" part of the Constitution.
      • 6 Years Ago
      @ Anomaly... and others

      "Not everybody wants a lame little boring econobox to putter around in and not everyone falls for this fuel efficiency/go green nonsense. "

      So polluting less, having cleaner air and not having to send our troops over seas to die is a bad philosphy?


      "If this was all truly about overuse and sources that may run dry soon, we should be rationing fuel once again, should we not? But we aren't. Hmmm, I wonder why. "

      Perhaps because this time around people have early enough recognized the FINITE resource that oil is and are trying to take steps now to prevent rationing and such at a later time??? Again, making a small effort to not waste resources is a bad thing?


      "I'll be just fine in my built LS1 that gets great gas mileage and doesn't take forever to reach 60."

      And I'll be just fine in my MINI Cooper that, when driven responsibly, tops 40+ MPGs... oh and did I mention that after sitting in a whole bunch of cars at the Chicago Autoshow the MINI actually had more leg room and was one of only two cars in which my knees did not hit the steering wheel? Oh yeah... the 0-60 time is under 7 seconds too. Not bad for a small little box with only 4 cylinders.

      Perhaps it takes an effort to be open minded about other options. I've gone the SUV route. I've gone the truck route. I've gone the V8 route. And I was not even considering a MINI for my next purchase... yet I was willing to be open minded and at least sit in it. Had I been close minded I'm sure I would have found something else to drive along the same lines of what I had purchased before and in th process missed out on something that I now find to be a nearly ideal car for me. Obviously each person gets to decide for themselves what they want but you should approach it from an open minded perspective.

      I noticed some comments also bashed Obama yet oil corporation lover Bush gave us the highest prices ever for gas while the oil corporations made record profits.

      And finally, a bunch of comments in favor of V8 and Muscle and such are along the lines of "I want... and don't take my choices away." Hmmm... until quite recently it was just the opposite. Those who wanted high mileage and such had limited to no choices while giant SUVs dominated the market. Not so nice now that the pendulum is swinging the other way... is it? Besides, when did "I Want" make one freak'n bit of difference? There's a whole bunch of stuff I want but short of winning the lotto those wants ain't never gonna happen. And a few of them still won't happen even if I did win it.

      Even with this economy "I want" seems to still be the American mantra. When you've been out of work for an extended period and don't know how you're going to put food on the table or pay the mortgage those "wants" suddenly seem pretty darn petty. And yes, I speak from experience here.


      • 6 Years Ago
      I applaud Obama's new higher MPG benchmarks. This will stand for smaller more efficient cars...which stand for energy savings and independence, cleaner air, less waste of energy sources, less waste of material resoures(smaller cars= less materials) and more $ in our pockets in the long run. It's now up to innovation to make those cars fun and exciting!!!
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