Government abandons 54.5-mpg CAFE standard: US buying more trucks, crossovers - Page 2 - Fuelly Forums
Go Back   Fuelly Forums > News and Articles > Automotive News, Articles and Products
Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-14-2016, 07:11 AM   #11
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 77
Country: Canada
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draigflag View Post
The thing is, buying an "economical" or "low emission" vehicle no longer requires compromises like space, safety, performance anymore, people just need to be aware that BIG and economical cars exist, and then educate them how to drive them properly.
I have to agree! Even the Americans are making some noteworthy cars, but they shy away from diesels (I believe because of the dismal sales numbers of US-made diesel passenger cars in the 1970, whose engines were terrible).

Today's diesel engines are virtually indistinguishable from gasoline (petrol) engines... except you get much better fuel economy and surprising torque. My 3.0L Q5 diesel is a mid-size SUV, and it just got 4.84 L/100 km (= 48.6 MPG US = 58.4 MPG UK) going from Canada to Florida! And that's with the A/C on all the way. Or I can do 0-60 MPH in 6.5 seconds if I floor it. Even the sound is close to a gasoline engine's (no diesel clatter).

By comparison, a woman I'm seeing drives a smaller Honda SUV with a 2.2L gasoline engine, and she gets much worse fuel economy... brisk starts, 15mph above posted limits, foot on throttle until the last second then foot on brake... pretty much anti-fuelly driving technique. Driving technique is HUGE for fuel economy, but you have to want to get great economy to "play the game" all the time. I do. She doesn't.
__________________

__________________

2015 Audi Q5 "Progressiv" + S-Line + Scuba Blue, 3.0L V6 TDI
(Highest fuel economy for all Audi Q5s on Fuelly!)

SteveMak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2016, 12:46 PM   #12
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: N.E. Illinois
Posts: 45
Country: United States
I came across this interesting article on Jalopnik this morning and will post it in this thread since it's also related to US fuel economy regulations, particularly of heavy-duty pickup trucks:

It's Time To Call Bull**** On The Biggest Cover-Up In All Of Pickup Trucks

Quote:
It's Time To Call Bull**** On The Biggest Cover-Up In All Of Pickup Trucks



This year Ford is launching the first major revamp of its Super Duty pickup line since 1999. The company is very proud of the trucks’ massive cargo capacity, and an objectively cool new cupholder design it’s patenting. It’s a shame Ford will never share data that’s more relevant to customers, like fuel economy figures. They don’t release those figures and neither do any competing automakers—and that’s because the government doesn’t make them.

(Full disclosure: Ford flew me to Colorado and provided lodging and food for about 36 hours so I’d have the opportunity to test their product.)

I recently spent half a day with the 2017 Ford F-250, F-350 and F-450 pickup trucks playing and pulling at altitude outside Denver, Colorado. The short story is that they feel powerful, well built and the driver-aid technology on the options list is truly impressive. And my God, did Ford tout those cupholders!

I’ll tell you what I would have loved to share—the Super Duty’s fuel economy ratings. I didn’t get them though, despite my pleading and stamping and eventual throwing of the shrimp table.

The answer to “how much fuel does the truck use” ranged from the flat “we don’t have that information for you guys” to the slicker but extremely disingenuous “it’d hardly be relevant since all our customers’ usage and needs are unique.”

But fuel economy for heavy-duty trucks is relevant. And it’s the one metric Ford and other automakers refuse to provide to consumers.

Why They Get Away With It

Why not? Because trucks the size of the F-250 and up (and Chevy Silverado 2500 and up, Ram 2500 and up, and now also the Nissan Titan XD) are classified in a different bracket than trucks like the half-ton F-150, Silverado 1500, Ram 1500, Tundra and Titan.

This is based on the maximum weight the trucks are “rated” to carry. Those ratings, according to some engineers we talked to, come from the automakers. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about what that means for now, but if you want a little more detail on which trucks are rated in what class, check out our in-depth guide.

On any truck with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 8,500 pounds—meaning the manufacturer certifies the total weight of the truck and its cargo can be up to 8,500 pounds—said manufacturer does not have to submit fuel economy estimates to the EPA or even put them on a window sticker. Automakers don’t publish fuel economy ratings for three-quarter ton and larger pickup trucks because they don’t have to. And though they certainly could if they wanted to, I’ve yet to see a company advertise so much as an optimistic MPG estimate on a heavy-duty pickup.

I hypothesize this is because Class 3 trucks like the Super Duty have generally been intended for vocational use. (A request for clarification from the EPA wasn’t returned as of publication time.) Business-to-business regulations tend to be less protective than business-to-consumer, and that attitude prevailed when the decision was made as to whether or not these trucks would need an MPG figure on the window sticker.

A Real World Test, Sort Of

Unable to learn the “official” fuel economy ratings for the new Super Duty, I decided to figure it out for myself.

Unfortunately my “real-world” results on the trucks’ MPG gauges weren’t much more helpful. A handful of 15-mile laps is not enough of a sample to draw an accurate conclusion. With that caveat in mind, I will say the best figure I saw on a dashboard was about 14 MPG after 20 miles in an F-250 single cab 4WD diesel.

So far the only real hint we have about the 2017 Ford Super Duty’s rate of consumption is the new optional 48-gallon fuel tank. Forty-eight gallons. That’s like, 350 pounds of diesel.

Now on the same PowerPoint slide where we learned the Super Duty could be optioned with a fuel tank big enough to breed orcas in, we were shown a map graphic with a line tracing the route between Denver, Colorado to Chicago, Illinois.

We were left to infer that was the range the truck could travel without refueling. So let’s break it down: Google Maps calls it 1,003 miles. Divide that by 48 gallons, it translates to 20.895; we’ll call it 21 MPG.

That sounds really impressive, right? Especially since we’re talking about a 6.7-liter V8 engine in a three-quarter ton work truck, and I barely squeezed 23.5 MPG out of the 2.7-liter V6 in a 2015 F-150 half-ton.

Of course, we don’t have any other figures to compare it to in the heavy-duty segment because no automakers publish fuel economy estimates for trucks this size.

Why This Is Frustrating

The Ford Trucks marketing tagline is “We own work.” And what Ford says about the 2017 Super Duty is that it’s the “toughest, smartest, most capable” truck ever. These are the attributes vocational truck buyers value most in their equipment, Ford’s comms people insist. But they left out a big one: “operational cost.”

You can talk about reliability saving hypothetical downtime (“time is money” and all that) and resale value easing cost of ownership over a vehicle’s lifetime, but the cost of ownership that everybody with one of these trucks is going to see and feel every single week is how much they’re paying at the pump.

Mulch isn’t getting heavier. Horses aren’t getting fatter. The extreme maximum-capacity tow and payload ratings Ford’s waving as “Best In Class” nebulously apply to a very specific configuration of the vehicle that very few customers will actually buy. My point is, those specs don’t matter.

Time For New Regulations?

The ultra-luxurious $80,000 F-450 I saw at Ford’s event wasn’t made for the blue-collar construction worker, it’s made to be a “luxury car with a pickup box.” Actually, somebody with a Ford badge fed me that exact phrase.

These trucks are being marketed as regular, multipurpose vehicles. We should be forcing them to report the same ownership-cost estimates every other regular car is obligated to present. At least then we’d have a useful metric to pull out of the ad copy.
Here's a comment that I thought was insightful:

Quote:
Andrew,

I take your point that comparative information on these trucks would be useful. In practical terms however, it’s not so simple. Despite the posers who own some of these trucks, most of these vehicles are in fact used in a utilitarian capacity. When towing or hauling, the fuel economy is massively —and negatively — influenced. Heavy-duty trucks are also highly fuel consumption sensitive to speed and acceleration (the speed thing really counts when towing a trailer), and the manner in which they are driven. Add to that the number of gear ratios available, and suddenly you have a complex situation that is difficult to analyze, let alone one that correlates strongly to real world use. All of which makes it nearly impossible to devise a standardized series of tests. Cover-up? Not so much, although the truck maker would certainly rather not have a vehicle on the lot with 12 MPG in bold lettering on the window sticker.

Bottom line: unloaded fuel economy is not that interesting for these vehicles, especially for the fleet operators who by them in bulk. Fuel economy when loaded or towing? A bit beyond the government’s bandwidth right now, and buyers are more interested in capacity and capability. Considering also that F, GM, and FCA can barely agree on tow ratings, I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to establish mutually acceptable fuel economy standards.
__________________

__________________

cuts_off_prius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2016, 07:38 AM   #13
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: N.E. Illinois
Posts: 45
Country: United States
Next morning, yet another article I found cited on Jalopnik regarding our terrible US fuel economy standards, taking issue with CAFE:

http://www.autonews.com/article/2016...ng-cars-bigger

Quote:
Is CAFE making cars bigger?
Size-based mpg targets create strange incentive for automakers


The 2017 Buick LaCrosse, 2016 Honda Civic and 2017 Mercedes-Benz E class are among vehicles that are being redesigned with bigger footprints.

WASHINGTON -- The tough fuel-economy standards that took effect in 2012 are getting tougher every year. So why are cars getting bigger?

The average new vehicle's "footprint" -- the rectangle formed by its wheelbase and track width -- hit a record 49.9 square feet in the 2015 model year, according to the EPA, up by about 1 square foot, or 2 percent, since the agency been tracking the measure in 2008.

The EPA says that growth mostly reflects shifting sales toward trucks and SUVs. And to be sure, cars and trucks have been growing for decades to reflect the visual tastes of designers, the safety concerns of engineers and consumer desire for more interior space.

But these days, analysts say, automakers have an added incentive to make their cars a little bit larger: more forgiving fuel economy targets.

The Obama administration's so-called National Program assigns mpg and CO2 emission targets to vehicles based on their footprint, and requires annual improvements for every footprint size. They're also set on curves, one for cars and another for light trucks, in which smaller vehicles face more stringent targets than larger ones.

For manufacturers, that means adding just a few inches to a vehicle's wheelbase during a redesign can result in a lower mpg target -- sometimes 1 to 2 mpg lower -- than if the vehicle had stayed the same size. The redesigned vehicles must still get better fuel economy than their predecessors, but don't need to stretch as far to meet their targets.

"Cars are changing their dimensions in order to take advantage of this, but I don't think it's anything new," said Dave Sullivan, an analyst at AutoPacific Inc. "We've been using every available credit or loophole that the system allows for years now."

Why bigger is better for automakers
Expanding a car's footprint the wheelbase multiplied by the track width gives it a lower fuel-economy target to meet under the CAFE standards negotiated by automakers and regulators. Over the long term, the difference can be more than 2 mpg in a given model year.
To illustrate this relationship, here are the prospective targets for 3 recently redesigned models the Honda Civic, Buick LaCrosse and Mercedes-Benz E-class sedan based on their footprint, and what the targets would have been if they had stayed the same size in future model years.
Cafe targets (mpg) for model years
Footprint 2015 2016 2017 2021 2025
2015 Civic 43.4 sq. feet 37.4 39 41.4 48.2 57.9
2016 Civic 45.2 sq. feet 36.1 37.7 39.9 46.5 55.8


2016 LaCrosse 48.0 sq. feet 34.3 35.7 37.7 43.9 52.7
2017 LaCrosse 50.1 sq. feet 33 34.3 36.3 42.2 50.7


2016 E class 49.2 sq. feet 33.5 34.9 36.8 42.9 51.5
2017 E class 50.8 sq. feet 32.6 33.9 35.8 41.7 50
NOTE: Prospective CAFE targets calculated by the Union of Concerned Scientists on behalf of Automotive News

One of many incentives

To see how the targets work, take the Buick LaCrosse. The new model is 2.7 inches longer between the wheels, and about 1.2 inches wider. That roughly 2.1-square-foot size difference, says GM spokesman Nick Richards, helps the full-size sedan meet the tastes of U.S. and Chinese customers.

It also boosts the footprint to 50.1 square feet, yielding a 2017 model-year target of 36.3 mpg under the government's corporate average fuel economy rules. That's up from the previous model's 35.7 mpg CAFE target, but 1.4 mpg less than the 37.7 mpg it would have faced had GM carried the smaller 2016 LaCrosse into the 2017 model year, according to calculations provided by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

There are many more like the LaCrosse. An Automotive News review of 25 vehicles redesigned since the footprint-based standards took effect in 2012 found that 21 models got bigger -- from cars to pickups, large and small, from luxury and mainstream brands alike.

Analysts broadly agree that compliance is just one of many incentives automakers have to make vehicles larger. But some of them are concerned that the trend could undermine the environmental goals of the government's mpg and CO2 standards if left unchecked. And that concern could have big implications as the industry, government and other stakeholders embark on a long and intensive review to determine whether the standards need to be strengthened or loosened.

"We know it's having a negative impact on the benefits of the program -- bigger footprint means less-stringent standards, and it's a bigger footprint at the redesign process essentially at no cost, meaning you get a less stringent standard for free," says Roland Hwang, transportation director at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "Based on the evidence you have, it requires the regulators to look at this issue more closely."

EPA officials say they are watching the issue closely, but for now, they doubt that manufacturers are seeking to exploit the footprint-based standards, which they say were designed to apply the same degree of difficulty to different vehicle sizes. In fact, the agency argues, making vehicles larger makes it more difficult, not less, to realize fuel-economy improvements because of the weight of the added sheet metal.

"Other things being equal, larger vehicles will emit more [greenhouse gas] emissions and achieve lower fuel economy than smaller vehicles," Christopher Grundler, director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, said in a statement to Automotive News. "One should not assume that it is easier for a larger vehicle to meet a less stringent numerical standard."

'Straightforward'

Steve Skerlos, an engineering professor and researcher at the University of Michigan, predicted the move toward larger cars in a 2011 paper modeling the engineering changes automakers would make in response to the CAFE and greenhouse gas regulations.

Increasing a car's footprint, he told Automotive News, is a "straightforward and reasonably inexpensive way" to deal with the annual targets, along with engine technology and weight reduction. (The 2017 LaCrosse, for example, weighs 300 pounds less than its smaller predecessor.)

"Having this option gives consumers what they want while lowering their targets, which means lower expenditures on the other fuel-saving approaches," he said.

Even so, said Dave Cooke, auto analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists, the bigger footprint has limited impact because such a change can be made only every five to six years in a redesign and only reduces standards by 1 or 2 mpg.

A bigger motivator, he figures, is ever-tougher crash tests -- namely the small-overlap crash from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Among other things, the larger footprint expands the area of protection around the passengers.

"I would say that certainly part of this increase is safety-related," Cooke said. "The real question is: Are we seeing this unfortunately as a compliance strategy?"
__________________

cuts_off_prius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2016, 11:26 AM   #14
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,176
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Mid Wales
I wonder how many of those big, heavy, clumsy inefficient trucks would pass "real World" emissions tests for C02/N0X and all the other crud that gets pumped out those huge exhausts? Still, easier to fine a multibillion dollar firm like VW for cheating than actually testing the biggest suspects of pollution out there. I found it very difficult to find any emission data for trucks due to their commercial nature when I did some research, passenger cars you can find every pollutant, emission and chemical to the nearest gram going, but trucks, it's near impossible.
__________________

Please check out and 'like' my Facebook photography page
Draigflag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2016, 11:07 PM   #15
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 462
Country: United Kingdom
Location: East Yorkshire
At the other end of the scale, it always bugged me that quadricycles and 3 wheelers don't need to publish figures. Reliants and Aixams (especially the 2 cyl diesel!) could have some of the best fuel economy stats, but you just have to hope someone on Fuelly has one. True, our published figures are a joke - but a comparative joke! The manufacturers don't seem to provide any.
Re: big polluting trucks, there's no surprise the old "one rule for them, one rule for everybody else" is in effect.
__________________
benlovesgoddess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2016, 08:40 AM   #16
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,305
Country: United States
Location: north east PA
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveMak View Post
I have to agree! Even the Americans are making some noteworthy cars, but they shy away from diesels (I believe because of the dismal sales numbers of US-made diesel passenger cars in the 1970, whose engines were terrible).

Today's diesel engines are virtually indistinguishable from gasoline (petrol) engines... except you get much better fuel economy and surprising torque. My 3.0L Q5 diesel is a mid-size SUV, and it just got 4.84 L/100 km (= 48.6 MPG US = 58.4 MPG UK) going from Canada to Florida! And that's with the A/C on all the way. Or I can do 0-60 MPH in 6.5 seconds if I floor it. Even the sound is close to a gasoline engine's (no diesel clatter).

By comparison, a woman I'm seeing drives a smaller Honda SUV with a 2.2L gasoline engine, and she gets much worse fuel economy... brisk starts, 15mph above posted limits, foot on throttle until the last second then foot on brake... pretty much anti-fuelly driving technique. Driving technique is HUGE for fuel economy, but you have to want to get great economy to "play the game" all the time. I do. She doesn't.
With VW bowing out of the economical diesel segment for the time being, GM is poised to take that small segment with the 1.6L diesel in the 2017 Cruze. Like the 2L offered in the previous model generation, it is an European import.

Mazda and Honda could compete if they got over their unwillingness to use SCR to meet emissions. Though Mazda might be waiting to fix the diesel in the crankcase issue first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draigflag View Post
I wonder how many of those big, heavy, clumsy inefficient trucks would pass "real World" emissions tests for C02/N0X and all the other crud that gets pumped out those huge exhausts? Still, easier to fine a multibillion dollar firm like VW for cheating than actually testing the biggest suspects of pollution out there. I found it very difficult to find any emission data for trucks due to their commercial nature when I did some research, passenger cars you can find every pollutant, emission and chemical to the nearest gram going, but trucks, it's near impossible.
The data can be found here:
https://www3.epa.gov/otaq/crttst.htm
I don't think anyone has shown an interest in parsing out the heavy light duty truck data from those spread sheets for an easier read yet.

US vehicle emissions are like the CAFE for fuel economy. A manufacturer has to have a fleet average of bin 5 under tier 2 rules. For each dirtier HLDT sold, they have to sell a car that is cleaner than T2B5, or pay fines for that model year.
https://www.dieselnet.com/standards/us/ld_t2.php

We will be moving to Tier 3 rules with the lower sulfur gasoline becoming available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuts_off_prius View Post
Next morning, yet another article I found cited on Jalopnik regarding our terrible US fuel economy standards, taking issue with CAFE:
Model bloat was happening before these rules came into play, but they are responsible for the demise of the compact pick up.
trollbait is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2016, 03:31 AM   #17
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 27
Country: United States
Location: Rickman, TN
We're going through 1980s all over again. The goal then was 27 mpg by "so and so date". Manufacturers began producing and marketing trucks to the masses instead of just the contractor and tradesman. These pickups averaged around 14-15; they were gradually making them more efficient, but they applied the efficiency gains to horsepower, weight and duty (1/2-ton suddenly didn't mean 1/2-ton), off-road capability that few really use or need; and they're still doing it today. A 400 horsepower capable pickup today can get 18 mpg. In 1985, a 150 horsepower pickup could get 18 mpg, so it's not that technology was not and is not moving. It's just that those gains are misapplied.

Also, as a means to topple the CAFE standard at that time, the manufacturers expanded on a new type of vehicle that added a huge cargo and passenger space to a fully-capable-half-ton truck to make big vehicles appealing to more consumers. Those with larger families, etc. We already had the full-size van that could do everything this new vehicle could do and more, but it was stale and lacked appeal to the masses; so they upsized and luxurized the, then called RVs to a full-size platform for mass appeal and called it an SUV. Previous to the SUV, we had Broncos, Suburbans, and a Dodge Ram with a full body, but those were little more than toppers added to a pickup truck with some extra seats. The new SUVs were more purpose engineered from the platform beginning design to serve as pickups and SUVs.

For some reason, we suddenly had to have these huge vehicles for minimum space, comfort, luxury, and capability, but it was probably more about status symbols as it always is in autos. We also started to grow in to them--literally! Soon these new vehicles were the status symbols of success in America: Explorer, Cherokee, Suburban, Tahoe, Expedition. We even had to make SUVs out of HD trucks: Excursion and Suburban HDs. By the 90s, Cadillac, Toyota, and Nissan joined in with their own versions of these monster trucks and SUVs born out of 1/2-ton duty. Power wars ensued. Gas prices raised it's ugly head in the next millennium and we start all over again. People can't figure out why fuel economy hasn't improved over all this time. Technology has done its part. Consumers though like to stop and put lots of gas in their vehicles during periods of low gas prices. That way there is a bigger chance more people will see them with their vehicle due to the time it takes to pump in 30 U.S. gallons. Wonder if fledgling gas prices have anything to do with the threat of lower fuel use in America via CAFE standards and the gas price drop has anything to do with the market response to such a proposition? I wouldn't think so, but it's happened twice this way...During a period of CAFE mandates, gas price fall outs have come in to ruin the chances of success. Maybe just a coincidence.
gregsfc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2016, 06:28 AM   #18
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,305
Country: United States
Location: north east PA
Once they had to meet tighter fuel economy and emission standards, the full size station wagon started to full out of favor. During the transitional period of improved emission technology, they lost the power output people were use too, but they could still get it from a SUV or minivan. There is also perception factor, but SUVs allowed the manufacturer to sell people what they wanted.

Saudi Arabia is flooding the market with oil for several reasons. It hurts Iran and ISIS. It hurts non-tradition petroleum developement, like the tar sands and slate oil. And it hurts alternate fuels, for whatever use.

It also hurts them to a degree. So they will cut back on supply, and prices will rise again in the not so distant future.
trollbait is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2016, 08:36 AM   #19
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 77
Country: Canada
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Does anyone recall US President George Bush Jr. giving subsidies to stimulate SUV sales, and at the same time CAFE was attempting to legislate better fuel economy?

When gasoline (petrol) is cheap in the USA, hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicle sales plummet, and Americans turn to the big, gas-guzzling SUVs, pickup trucks, and full-sized cars. When pump prices go up, the same people cry to the government to "fix" their problem.
__________________

__________________

2015 Audi Q5 "Progressiv" + S-Line + Scuba Blue, 3.0L V6 TDI
(Highest fuel economy for all Audi Q5s on Fuelly!)

SteveMak is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:10 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.