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Old 07-06-2007, 12:49 PM   #1
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CAFE standards negate high FE vehicles

I heard something very interesting on the radio yesterday. I think it was NPR's Talk of the Nation. Anyway, this guy was explaining that for every Prius Toyota sells, the company can manufacture and sell one more vehicle with very poor fuel efficiency since the CAFE standards mandate only average fleet fuel economy. This means that anyone who buys a Prius essentially creates another slot for a gas guzzler.

Now obviously it's great to see an increasing demand for high efficiency vehicles and greater consciousness about petroleum dependence, climate change, etc., but according to this guy, higher CAFE standards are the only thing that will actually reduce overall carbon emissions.

Just curious to hear what you all think about this. . .
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:06 PM   #2
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Yes.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FormulaTwo
I think if i could get that type of FE i would have no problem driving a dildo shaped car.
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:14 PM   #3
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I agree with both of you.
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:07 PM   #4
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Wait, wait... I think I should clarify my statement. Because vehicles that exceed certain weight limits or are certain types don't need to comply with CAFE, even if CAFE is increased, and we have a 40mpg fleet average, if enough larger vehicles were sold that averaged 10mpg, we would still effectively average what we're at right now, ~18mpg or whatever it was. If we amend CAFE to include all vehicles used by a private individual as well as increase standards, then it would be effective.
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Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Light trucks that exceed 8,500 lbs gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) do not have to comply with CAFE standards; SUVs and passenger vans are exempt up to 10,000 lbs.
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Originally Posted by FormulaTwo
I think if i could get that type of FE i would have no problem driving a dildo shaped car.
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:48 PM   #5
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This is why GM classifies the HHR as a truck. It makes there truck MPG avg a lot higher then what it is.
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Old 07-06-2007, 03:24 PM   #6
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My gut feeling says that any attempt to raise any standard may be met by an equal or greater opposing force by some sort of industry lobbyist members/groups.

For an example, in my state, there seems to be higher and higher smog standards being established, but only for those registered in my state. That's because the smog standards are part of this state's laws which means they only apply to cars registered in this state. The problem that I see is literally right in front of my face on the highways, that is, those cars registered in the other 49 states who only need to meet the emissions standards, if any, of their home states. So while those cars of those other 49 states are increasing the pollution problem in my state, my car is now expected to meet higher and higher standards because state government's "doing something about the pollution problem" by passing laws only applies to cars registered in my state including my car, instead of applying the higher standard law to cars being operated in my state.

Then there's the bringing up of the "conspiracy theories" involving the petroleum industry with the auto makers to intentionally make fuel inefficient vehicles. The winners in this arrangement are: 1) auto makers by making sales 2) petroleum industry because their products are "required" by each car and don't forget 3) government, both federal and state due to taxes.

Based on omgwtfbyobbq's statement clarification, I think that we don't need to so much raise the standard but apply the standard to more vehicles as stated to vehicles like SUVs, passenger vans, and heavier light trucks. However, as I opened my reply with the "Newton's Third Law of Motion" applied to the legal process with lobbyists, I feel that this is definitely going to be somewhat of an uphill battle for us.
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:20 PM   #7
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Yes cafe a is balancing act. Better FE cars balance out the scales for the really bad ones. Years ago a stiff transmission drive chain was found to get better FE by only a small amount. At that time though most GM cars were FWD so the number was huge for cafe. It went in as a running change because of its cafe increase for the entire fleet of cars. Small gains can make huge differences for a real seller. So if it helps cafe and doesn't negate profits its in. USUALLY

Smog standards whole different can of worms! The push seems to be a world emmisions standard. This is suppose to be cost effective. As the whole world even Africa is getting out of leaded gas, finally. So it makes sense to be clean everywhere. If this does happen states like CA will have a real problem. Because of there unique problems, due to their cities locations and inland mountains.
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:24 PM   #8
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Still, better a FE/Guzzler ratio than Guzzler/Guzzler..

To my knowledge there is no smog restrictions what so ever in MD.
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:27 PM   #9
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I'm just wondering if buying a fuel efficient vehicle like the prius actually does any good on the macro level. If you buy a 50 mpg car and that allows one more 25 mpg car to be manufactured and sold, then you haven't achieved anything beyond if you had bought a 35 mpg car which then put another 35 mpg car on the road somewhere.

I guess the point is that the effect of the CAFE standards is to incentivize the auto makers to push the low FE cars harder if they can produce enough high FE cars to offset them. One step forward, one step back.
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Old 07-07-2007, 01:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northboundtrain View Post
I'm just wondering if buying a fuel efficient vehicle like the prius actually does any good on the macro level. If you buy a 50 mpg car and that allows one more 25 mpg car to be manufactured and sold, then you haven't achieved anything beyond if you had bought a 35 mpg car which then put another 35 mpg car on the road somewhere.

I guess the point is that the effect of the CAFE standards is to incentivize the auto makers to push the low FE cars harder if they can produce enough high FE cars to offset them. One step forward, one step back.
Except in an environmental mindset, you benefit in every other aspect...
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