The Obama Administration’s program for Automobile CO2 emissions and FE

Discussion in 'Legislation' started by xcel, May 19, 2009.


Why do you think the automakers are endorsing the new FE standards?

  1. They know they have no choice, so keep it positive

    5 vote(s)
  2. This is not a serious upgrade - Let the public think this is a green victory

    3 vote(s)
  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] Program set to enforce 42 mpgUS by 2016. The industry lacks the $’s and clout to fight off the inevitable... Anymore.

    [fimg=left][/fimg]Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - May 19, 2009

    Actions speak volumes... Toyota’s Sequoia (14 mpgUS on gas and 10 mpg on E85), GM’s Hummer H2 (so heavy it is not even rated) and Chrysler’s Durango (15 mpgUS on gas and 10 mpg on E85) are some of the lowest FE vehicles available in the world yet still litter US dealership showrooms.

    We have to first consider that 42 mpgUS per CAFÉ is actually 27 to 28 mpg per the 08 EPA. In other words, many compact and mid-sized vehicles have already easily surpassed the 2016 standards... Another point is there is wiggle room regarding the FE targets depending on the economic conditions of the target corporations fleet. Finally, 45 mpgUS ACTUAL removes us from our oil addiction so the 42 mpgUS CAFÉ target is far below what is actually needed. Although a move in the right direction, is it far enough given the “cooked books” that the CAFÉ standards are based off of?

    According to a release earlier this evening, Toyota, GM and Chrysler are all in support of what is good for the country and its citizenry vs. the fierce battles to eliminate any FE standards they have involved themselves with in the past.


    "We welcome the Administration’s leadership in developing a coordinated fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standard. This is something we have encouraged and sought for a very long time," says Jim Lentz, President, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.

    "The big winner is customers. A unified national program ensures American consumers will have the choice of vehicles they want and need, as well as the fuel efficiency and low emissions they expect, without the potential confusion of multiple standards."


    “GM Commends President Obama's leadership to establish a harmonized National Program to improve vehicle fuel economy and lower greenhouse gas emissions,” said current President and CEO, Fritz Henderson. “Energy security and climate change are national priorities that require federal leadership and the President's direction makes sense for the country and the industry. Harmonizing a variety of regulations will benefit consumers across America by getting cleaner, more efficient vehicles on the road quicker and more affordably. In turn, GM and the auto industry benefit by having more consistency and certainty to guide our product plans.”

    With its best foot forward, GM is saying publically that it is fully committed to this new approach yet behind the scenes, 20-years and hundreds of millions of lobbying dollars later; just imagine what is really being said?


    Chrysler in a similarly written statement said it welcomes the President’s announcement for a single national approach for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards.

    And then the non-sense laid on thick and juicy...
    When has Chrysler ever concerned itself with fuel economy or emissions of any type?

    Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

    Similarly, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers representing most of the major manufacturers (other than Honda) has also succumbed to will of the Obama Administration’s nationwide 42 mpg FE standard. In a statement including a video of their own design, “Automakers support the President.”

    “This is the first major program for climate change in the US and it sets a path for other industries to follow,” said Dave McCurdy, President and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. “This may come as a surprise to some but automakers are onboard and committed to reducing CO2. For the climate change issue, we car makers have become early adopters...”

    The pronouncements are so slick and full of crap it should make all of us wonder what the auto manufacturer’s lobbyists have inserted into the future bills final edition in terms of loopholes?

    As the President has previously stated, “All stakeholders must come together and act with a common purpose and sense of urgency to address the nation's energy and environmental priorities.”

    Given the past 20-years of actions from those who commented this evening, the promise to strengthen America's energy security, economy and competitiveness is at odds with their previous actions and appears to have been staged to make the companies and their leaders look good.

    At its worst, expect more of the same so hold on as the devil is in the details and we can just imagine what those details now entail :ccry:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2009
  2. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    I think the statements by the manufacturers are at least a little bit sincere. They are all (with the exception of Honda) guilty of making FSP models that are too big and too powerful for their intended mission. I remember reading that even Honda, eyeing sales volumes of the big pickups and SUVs, had a larger truck and a V8 engine on their drawing boards, but corporate philosophy kept them from getting past the concept stage.

    In the auto business, if you're not growing, you're dying. And if all the others have a 7 seat 400hp 4x4, and they're selling them as fast as they can build them, your product planners are naturally going to reach for that easy sales volume. They didn't see beyond the short term profits to grasp the reality of how they were marketing the wrong vehicle to the public. Once the new 2.5 ton monsters are ready for sale, the marketing departments create demand for the product by convincing people that they need 5500 pounds of truck to move 550 pounds of human beings and assorted cargo. And in daily usage, the majority of them are only hauling a 200 pound driver. Sad.

    With the new standards, the playing field is now more level, because the rules are established and the automakers are free to develop their new designs within this framework. The Asians (Toyota, Honda, Hyundai/Kia, Nissan, Subaru, etc) are already "almost there" and do not need a complete overhaul of their products other than to scrap any slow-selling low-FE models and install smaller engines in the ones they keep.

    Ford already has the FEH and FFH and will soon have the Fiesta and new Focus. The gas-only 2010 Fusion is at the top of the fuel economy ratings for midsize sedans. They could drop an Ecoboost 4-banger in the Taurus and Flex, and offer a new "Explorer" on an enlarged Escape or shrunken Taurus chassis with the same Ecoboost engine to create a complete lineup ready for the new standard.

    GM has the Chevy Volt, Spark, Orlando and Cruze on the way. And if they can build enough of the 1.4L turbo DI engines, dropping it into the Malibu/Lacrosse and Equinox/Terrain would place these mainstream models right in the heart of the new CAFE requirements. There is no reason to suspect that the 1.4L turbo with a 6AT wouldn't deliver the same FE as the current 2.4L BAS powertrain (26/29/34) while maintaining acceptable performance. And the 1.4's lower manufacturing and warranty costs would be the icing on the cake. Then the new smaller cars would offset the larger Lambda 7 seaters (which would work just fine with the 3.0L V6 instead of the current overpowered 3.6L) and Buick/Cadillac luxo-boats. With that strategy, they can hit their intended target.

    Chrysler will have to sell mostly Fiats to have any hope of meeting the new CAFE standard. They have nothing on today's showroom floor that can hit the new 2016 requirement.

    But they're all in big trouble if truck sales start increasing. Their only hope is a strategy where the work trucks (rubber flooring, vinyl seating, AM/FM radio) are cheap so that contractors and local governments can purchase them, but the family-truckster versions (leather/DVD/nav/heated mirrors) should be available as hybrid or diesel only. There will always be a need for trucks and large 8/9 passenger vehicles, but the current pricing makes the three ton trucks "only a few dollars more", and people buy them because "they need the room". For large families that do need a 9-seater, the diesel or hybrid powertrain would reduce fuel costs, and the lower sales volume would boost the resale value of each vehicle.

    Wayne asks, " it far enough given the 'cooked books' that the CAFE standards are based off of?"
    The new standard certainly doesn't go far enough to break the addiction to foreign oil, especially in light of the fact that the typical selfish driver spends so much time with their right foot mashed to the floor while driving 25% or more over the limit. But it is better to have these regulations in place today than to have Congress do nothing but spend the next five years fighting with the lobbyists to push for a higher CAFE requirement.
  3. Indigo

    Indigo Witch with wry sense of humor

    I think a more honest press release from GM and Chrysler would have read something like:

    "We at GM and Chrysler are committed to honoring the Obama Administration's 42 MPG fuel economy standard in the most minimal and grudging ways possible. We will use the taxpayer bailout money to work behind the scenes to lobby Congress for additional loopholes so we can continue to sell the 6,000-pound, 9-MPG, 450 HP, 4x4 'commuter' vehicles that America depends on for driving 15 miles to work or for those 500' jaunts to the convienence store.

    "We at GM and Chrysler are also working hard to funnel taxpayer bailout money into the 2010 and 2012 election campaigns of anti-green, pro-dependence candidates who understand how important it is that environmental concerns take a back seat to quarterly shareholder dividend checks and annual executive bonuses.

    "Finally, for the benefit of all Americans, we at GM and Chrysler promise to never let any secretly developed fuel-saving technology ever see the light of day. We buried the EV1 for the good of America because you all deserve to drive leather-clad Durangos. And, like the EV1, we promise to never put a 100 MPG clean-burning 2-stroke engine in any vehicle (we buried that patent in the 1990s too), or any diesel/electric hybrid.

    "God bless America. Now go buy our crappy cars so we can get our bonuses!"
  4. chibougamoo

    chibougamoo Well-Known Member

    Meet the 2016 intent, without a lot of R & D? That's simple!

    Put the trailer hitch on the FRONT of the Durango/Sierra/Lead-sled, so the bio-friendly sled-dogs can pretend to pull it, and get the micro-engravers to add a tiny "YMMV" to the big shiny chrome badge.

    Umn, and maybe a "Powered by Mutt" bumper sticker.
  5. chilimac02

    chilimac02 Bible Professor & Minister

    You mentioned the idea of a 'new' explorer. It's about time for one anyway. I've had one of each of the designs, and it shouldn't be hard to improve upon the current model, which only gets 20mpg highway. 1) it doesn't need a 210+ HP engine. 2) if they had a hyrbid model which had an ecoboost smaller v6 plus a hybrid electric powertrain like in the FEH, then it should be able to get more like 28mpg highway.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2009
  6. Nevyn

    Nevyn Well-Known Member

    They are working on it. They have plans for a new Explorer based on the Taurus chassis and EcoBoosted, good for 30 MPG.
  7. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    Wow, you really hate the domestic auto industry.:(
  8. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    While Indigo is really, really hard on them, I think it's easy to make a long list of what GM has done over the past 30 years to stand in the way of better fuel economy.

    I've got ambivalent feelings. It makes me very sad to see tens of thousands of workers and dealers have to change careers, but deeply resent the way GM pushed guzzlers until it was obvious it was a failed strategy. Seeing the Big Three's share go from 90% in the 60's to 45% or less today saddens me. The Big Three was and still should be a large part of the US economy, yet greed, stupidity, and hubris will poor the US economy. I admit to choosing articles recently to point out this hubris.
  9. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    I'll try to be factual as I'm being tough on GM.

    A good case could be made the recent GM management has lost as many or more jobs than Microsoft has created.

    I don't know how in a pragmatic sense, but if GM could be totally and radically reorganized into an elite automaker, I'd be behind it and buy their cars.
  10. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    It saddens me too. It also saddens me that some of my fellow American citizens seem to be rooting for the demise of the American automobile industry. While i have never been a big fan of GM(i always said the initials stood for Generic Mediocrity), I am rooting for them to survive, recover, and hopefully manufacture competitive products. Competition benefits us all. Some here seem to think that we should all be driving Hondas or Toyotas. They have no use for any other manufacturer. Well, not me. I picked on Indigo, because nearly every thread i read that is critical of the domestic auto companies has a caustic thread by Indigo. But Indigo is certainly not the only one who seems to be "really really hard" on the home team. Now, of course, everyone is entitled to their opinions. But it really saddens me to see this type of vitriol. Maybe it's because i am in my 50's and have been a car enthusiast all my life, and have owned so many different cars, that i see the value in a competitive auto market.

    The domestic manufacturers made a lot of mistakes(mostly due to not having people who KNOW CARS in charge). But i would hate to see the plug pulled.
    As to the SUV craze, blame Ford, they started this crap with their damn Exploder.

    I will take exception to the following statement form the article
    The K car was the most fuel efficient 6 passenger car sold in the USA in the early 80's. The T115 (original Chrysler minivan) was the most fuel efficient 7 and 8 passenger vehicle sold in the US for a decade. The Omni/Horizon twins were the most fuel efficient 5 passenger cars sold in the US when they came out in 1978.
    Chrysler offered high efficiency versions of these already fuel efficient cars. The Omni had a 31/39 rating, and the K car had a 25/35 rating.
    While other manufacturers were building V8's, Chrysler was offering turbo 4's for greater economy and power. They even offered a turbo 4 in their long wheelbase minivan, as an alternative to the V6.
    This wasn't all that long ago. It's unfortunate that Chrysler seemed to forget what brought it back form the brink in the early 80's. I blame the Germans for that.
  11. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger


    I wish Indigo had not gone so far on his last remark....he essentially told Detroit to go to Hell.

    Problem is lot's of innocents are going down with those responsible for this disaster.

    Agreed - the K car was good not only in itself, but also that it helped save Chrysler.

    I'd describe my extreme frustration at GM as to many Yankee's fans - trade the team, fire the manager, but I'm not going to start routing for the Red Sox. By 2006, GM should have had their housecleaning and had their turnaround CEO butting heads with the UAW, stockholders and dealers. Then maybe they could be in a position like Ford is now. If GM had 1000 on their payroll, I would not lose sleep about them liquidating, but they still have 250,000 worldwide, plus the livelihoods of dealers, parts suppliers, neighborhood businesses near their plants.
  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Blackbelt:

    ___Maybe you missed the articles contents... Toyota is just as involved in the FSP shell game as GM and Chrysler. Ford and Nissan as well but not one of them released statements regarding the Obama administration. At least not yet??? I am heading to the Ford Media site now since I last checked about three hours ago...

    ___Honda released their supportive statement today and if I were any of these manufactures, I would simply not say a word.

    Statement by American Honda Motor Co., Inc. on Proposed Establishment of a Single National Standard for Vehicle GHG Emissions and Fuel Economy
    ___Good Luck

  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    ___Ford added their own as well...

    Ford on one national standard for fuel economy

    Washington D.C. --The following is a statement from Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally regarding President Barack Obama's announcement of one national standard for fuel economy:
    ___Good Luck

  14. Indigo

    Indigo Witch with wry sense of humor

    Re: The Obama Administration’s program for Automobile CO2 emissions and FE

    I wasn't implying that I want people to lose their jobs. I was simply pointing out that the domestic automakers have traditionally preferred to spend money on lobbiests and lawsuits instead of modernizing their technology. I also think that GM and Chrysler are going to find ways to misuse the bailout money. They've misused government money before. I distrust GM in particular because they have been making fuel-efficient cars for European consumption for years and have absolutely refused to rebadge these vehicles for American consumption. And I do resent the fact that the last three cars I bought HAD to be Japanese because there were no quality American cars of a similar price and efficiency. There should have been, but there wasn't.
  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    ___BMW following suit...

    BMW Group supports Obama Administration's Proposal on Future National Fuel and Green House Gas Regulations

    Munich, Germany -- The BMW Group is in agreement with the direction outlined today by President Obama and his Administration to have the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) work together toward one national standard for regulating future greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy.

    "The announcement today by President Obama is a major step in the right direction for automotive manufacturers in the United States such as the BMW Group," said Friedrich Eichiner, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG. "Consistency of legislation and planning certainty are not only crucial for synchronizing product development and regulatory requirements but also for enabling companies to remain viable, profitable and sustainable."

    With a view to the challenging new targets in the US the BMW Group can build upon its extensive technological expertise and innovative know-how in developing environmentally friendly technologies that have already enabled the company to reduce its carbon output and increase fuel efficiency over the past several years.

    In the US, the recent report entitled “Automakers’ Corporate Carbon Burdens” published by the Environmental Defense Fund found that the BMW Group had reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in the US more than any other automotive company between 1990 and 2005.

    In Europe, the BMW Group also achieved fuel consumption levels that were the best among any premium auto manufacturer between 1995 and 2008, exceeding the voluntary commitment made by the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers to reduce average CO2-emissions by 25 per cent from 1995 to 2008. Such achievements have enabled the BMW Group to be ranked as the most sustainable automotive company in the world for the past four consecutive years.

    Innovative fuel and emission reduction solutions are part of the Efficient Dynamics program of the BMW Group, which is integrated throughout the company´s fleet. Since the spring of 2007 well over one million vehicles incorporating Efficient Dynamics measures have reached customers around the world. The launch of BMW Advanced Diesel this year will deliver further potential for fuel consumption reduction in the US. Later this year, the company will also introduce innovative hybrid systems.

    In addition to these efforts, the BMW Group is testing more than 600 electric MINI E vehicles both on the East and West coast of the US as well as in Germany and possibly soon in the UK to gain valuable insight and experience for a series version of an electric vehicle, which is expected to be launched by 2015. This demonstrates the BMW Group´s drive towards sustainable mobility and will help the US Government in its commitment towards a cleaner environment.

    ___When we begin to see the 2.0L I4 based turbo-diesel in the 1 and 3-Series, than you will know there are serious actions being taken with regards to fuel efficiency improvements in America at BMW. The European’s are receiving the benefits Efficient Dynamics and although the 335d is a giant leap ahead of the rest of the 3-Series, we need a lot more where that came from ;)

    ___Good Luck

  16. Arnold

    Arnold Active Member

    I believe very strongly that there should be one standard and California was always very clear about that. But because of the leadership lacking in Washington for so many years, and not just the previous administration, but the one before that, I think it goes decades back there was no leadership and there was no one really saying here is the direction we are going to go. This is what the new standard is and we are going to stick to it and not change it.
  17. jdhog

    jdhog Hyper Smiler

    I look forward to an extra cab 4x4 truck that can get some decent mpg! great read!
  18. hobbit

    hobbit He who posts articles

    I've been doing some seat of the pants power math recently and
    it really seems like if there were an imposed manufacturing limit
    of one kilowatt per 100 pounds of gross weight [or suitable all-MKS
    equivalent], we'd be so much better off. That's still a lot of
    power on tap. In my 3000 pound Prius [car plus me plus maybe 20
    pounds of random cruft] it's a very rare day when I ask as much as
    30 kilowatts from that system; usually on the order of 10 - 15 and
    maybe bursts of 25 for climbing hills. But it is capable of more
    than twice that, and yet the people who routinely ask for everything
    that car can give pooh-pooh it as "anemic". WTF.

    Fullsize long-haul semis have less than that ratio, and still get
    where they're going. Over the Rockies.

    And non-heavy-duty vehicles for the vast majority of around-the-city
    driving [taxis, small delivery, etc] should be limited to 10 except
    maybe in special cases where the city has more demanding terrain.
    10 kilowatts will still get you up Lombard Street, you just have
    to select the appropriate gearing. Suitable exceptions would likely
    need to be made for special purpose and emergency response, but even
    those uses could probably do just fine with a lot less.

  19. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Click and Clack made a very similar comment - a ratio of horsepower per pound.
  20. voodoo22

    voodoo22 Cheaper than the bus

    I think it's a combination of no choice and not much change for this answer.

    Raising the bar to this standard will not cause much pain to anyone who's driving a normal car. Worthwhile change very rarely comes with substantial sacrifice. I'm very disappointed in Obama's and Canada's role on this topic.

    The Canadian government is going to take this simple matter of increasing cars efficiencies and unnecessarily complicate it even more by measuring cars based on co2 emissions rather than fuel efficiency. Just another example of us Canadians trying to appear different than the US. I personally don't care how they do it, but it can't get to the point fast enough where people who drive full throttle from light to light and use FSPs for their single person commute, cannot afford to do so and are forced to change.

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