A year ago, the White House led the effort to get automakers' Corporate Average Fuel Economy to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. Although the number was eventually pegged at 34.1 mpg, it will actually be slightly lower because of other non-automotive credits that will be applied. One might have thought automakers would still be grousing the work that needs to be done, but in fact they encouraged the federal government to go further, and so it has: the White House began working this week on setting
Affordability as the watchword Tuesday as automotive engineers at the SAE World Congress discussed how to meet the new 2016 corporate average fuel economy standards. Automakers will have to get their fleets to an average of 34.1 miles per gallon (35.5 equivalent with other factors for the EPA CO2 limits). Most automakers are already well on their way to this level with their next-generation designs. However, to do it they will have to make improvements to virtually every model in the entire flee
Now that the federal government has at last firmed up the fleet average fuel economy and CO2 standards for the next five years, you might wonder how much vehicle models will have to improve to meet those mandates. In a surprising number of cases, it might not be as much as you think.
We knew it was coming. Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency jointly released new Federal CAFE fuel mileage and greenhouse gas emissions requirements that will cover the 2012 through 2016 model years. The estimated fleet-wide fuel economy standard has been set at 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016, though improvements in air conditioning systems will bring that number up to around 35 mpg. That equals a standard of roughly 250 grams of carbon
In the wake of last week's announcement by President Obama that the proposed California greenhouse gas emissions rules would be adopted on a national level, Keith Crain, the publisher of Automotive News has published an editorial calling CAFE a failure. The imposition of fuel economy rules certainly played a part in the tremendous technical innovation that has occurred over the last three decades. Cars today are significantly more fuel efficient than they were back in early 1970s while emitting
All too often, government policies are set by politicians and bureaucrats based solely on ideology rather than facts. With this week's announcement that the Obama administration will impose the equivalent of the California greenhouse gas emissions rules on a national level, it's good to hear that officials at least consulted with some technical experts. In this case, experts from Ricardo worked with officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to analyze comments on last yea
After fighting fuel economy and emissions rules at both the federal and state levels for many years, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is finally coming out in favor of the new regulatory framework that will be announced by President Obama tomorrow. The biggest sticking point in recent years has been the move to try and block California and other states from effectively setting their own fuel economy standards by regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
While Congress passed the first increase in corporate average fleet fuel economy (CAFE) in 32 years way back in 2007, there was a lot left undeclared in that bill. Two years ago, the agreement was made that CAFE would rise to 35 mpg by 2020, but just how and when that would happen was not set in stone. This past January, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that the Obama Administration and the Department of Transportation "are poised to move quickly on new fuel economy standards for passeng
Darryl Siry has never been shy about expressing his opinions. Since departing from his post as chief talking head and salesman at Tesla Motors, Siry has been freed up to share his thoughts even more vociferously and with greater frequency on his personal blog and his latest post is sure to anger many people. With gas prices down to $1.86 in Siry's San Francisco neighborhood (and even lower here in Michigan where I saw one station today at $1.49) he tackles two of the most controversial topics am
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released its 1,000-page environmental impact study on new fuel economy rules and the final form of those rules could be in place by the middle of next month. When NHTSA announced a draft of the new CAFE regulations last spring, it drew criticism from all sides. The rules went beyond what was mandated by Congress last December, but also contained some very controversial elements. The requirements would be based on the vehicle's footprint (the
I fully agree that we need more fuel efficient vehicles. But I also firmly believe that the vast majority of American drivers (and others around the world) will always buy the biggest, most powerful vehicle they think they can afford to operate. When gas was cheap in this country, they bought big SUVs and trucks because they could afford them, even though there were plenty of small, efficient vehicles offered. Sure, some people bought compacts for a variety of reasons but most people went big. W
After the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced its proposed new Corporate Average Fuel Economy rules last spring there was a public comment period to be followed by revisions before finalizing the regulations. There were certainly some negative comments related to the footprint-based standards but the other aspect that came in for criticism was the cost benefit analysis. In a seemingly surprising move, even the Environmental Protection Agency filed a comment opposing the draf
We just spoke to GM's Greg Martin, Director, Policy and Washington Communications, about the fuel economy regulations that are being proposed by NHTSA today. Martin reiterated that although the new CAFE rules are tough, it is the company's position that they will meet them just as they said they would back in December when the Energy bill was passed by Congress. At an Earth Day event today in Washington, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters will announce the actual regulations that carmakers wil
Although the mileage of most individual models on sale in the US hasn't changed significantly in many years, the average of the entire fleet sold in the 2007 model year is likely to reach a new record level. The average of 26.4 mpg for this past year is 1 mpg better than last year and tops the previous record of 26.2 in 1987. The preliminary figures have been released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
In a recent column in USA Today, writer Alan Webber lambasted the Detroit automakers for their opposition to increased fuel economy standards. At the top of the article Weber openly challenges readers to pen a 900-word rebuttal defending the policies of auto executives. The only problem is he didn't really mean it.