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I'm Breaking Your Heart (35mpg goal impossible)
Forbes ^ | January 28, 2008 | Jerry Flint

Posted on 01/14/2008 11:38:25 AM PST by reaganaut1

Solving the energy problem is easy if you pay no attention to the laws of physics. That's the wonder of our Congress. To pass is easy; to achieve is something else. This is where I break your green heart. You know that Congress passed a law ordering all cars and trucks to average 35 miles to the gallon by 2020. It won't happen.

Another part of that law mandates the production of 36 billion gallons a year of biofuels by 2022. That won't happen either.

It's not that automakers [] are just mean and don't want to do it. They don't know how. Of course, they don't dare complain or criticize the law. We must all be green and happy about it.

But there's just no way anyone subject to the laws of physics and automobile engineering can get a 5,000-pound pickup, or any mass-produced, reasonably priced sport utility near that weight, up to 35mpg.

Today the 2008 Honda Accord (weighing 3,570 pounds) has poorer fuel economy than last year's model, and Honda is Mr. Green. That new hybrid system on the General Motors Chevy Tahoe SUV probably adds $10,000 to the cost (and 400 pounds) and gets it up to 20mpg. Yes, the fuel economy increase is terrific, near 50%--but we're up to only 20mpg on the four-wheeler, and that's nowhere near 35.

The best way to increase fuel economy (and reduce greenhouse gases, too) is to reduce the weight and engine size of the vehicles. Congress could pass a law ordering that no car weigh more than 1,750 pounds (a Toyota Camry is in the 3,200-pound range), no truck weigh more than 2,500 pounds and no engine run more than 75 horsepower. Most Americans couldn't fit in such cars, but they would average 35mpg.

(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: econuts
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1 posted on 01/14/2008 11:38:27 AM PST by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1

35 mpg on 10 or 20 percent ethanol blended gas... Wonder if anyone has considered the lower heat in alcohol ?


2 posted on 01/14/2008 11:44:02 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
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To: reaganaut1

OK.....so this means that when the time comes, Detroit will just stand there with their hands up and say “Now what?” I’ve often wondered what California will do when Detroit can’t meet their requirements. Will they not ship cars to California? And what will California do? I don’t think anyone knows.


3 posted on 01/14/2008 11:44:49 AM PST by RC2
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To: reaganaut1

Its not about the gas or mph, its about the American system in killing its success.


4 posted on 01/14/2008 11:45:59 AM PST by edcoil
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To: reaganaut1
"..reduce the weight and engine size of the vehicles.."

Congress has mandated the crash test standards, and the air bags in cars, too.

Making cars heavier and more complex.

5 posted on 01/14/2008 11:45:59 AM PST by Designer
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Indeed, the higher the % ethanol, the lower the mpg per gallon of fuel in a given vehicle.


6 posted on 01/14/2008 11:46:55 AM PST by NonValueAdded (Fred Dalton Thompson for President)
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To: RC2

They will pay the fines like Mercedes-Benz and BMW do annually.


7 posted on 01/14/2008 11:47:49 AM PST by BurbankKarl
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To: Designer
Probably they will end up making a car out of tin foil and air bags.

If a shopping cart rolls into the driver's side door 15 airbags will inflate and you will need a new door.

8 posted on 01/14/2008 11:49:37 AM PST by ikka
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To: NonValueAdded
Indeed, the higher the % ethanol, the lower the mpg per gallon of fuel in a given vehicle.

...all other things being equal, of course.

Which they certainly don't have to be.

9 posted on 01/14/2008 11:51:11 AM PST by Oberon (What does it take to make government shrink?)
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To: RC2
OK.....so this means that when the time comes, Detroit will just stand there with their hands up and say “Now what?”

35 mph? ... I thought you meant meters per gallon...

10 posted on 01/14/2008 11:52:08 AM PST by El Cid (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house...)
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To: reaganaut1

My wife’s VW TDI get’s 35MPG City and 40 HWY (rated 35 City 43 HWY but I have never gotten better than 40 HWY) using a 4 cylinder 100 HP turbo-charged diesel engine. It can carry 4 adults with luggage for a weekend trip with no problem.


11 posted on 01/14/2008 11:52:23 AM PST by BubbaBobTX (I wasn't born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could.)
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To: BubbaBobTX

My old VW Rabbit Diesel got 42 city and 57 highway.

I wish I still had that car for commuting.


12 posted on 01/14/2008 11:54:24 AM PST by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: reaganaut1

Perhaps Mrs. Clinton can find that guy who developed the 100 miles/gallon carburator and free him from imprisonment by the big car companies?


13 posted on 01/14/2008 11:56:27 AM PST by Voltage
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To: reaganaut1

Help conserve our dwindling ethanol supplies.....for DRINKING! LOL.


14 posted on 01/14/2008 11:58:27 AM PST by 2harddrive (...House a TOTAL Loss.....)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks; All
Wonder if anyone has considered the lower heat in alcohol ?

For those out there that don't know, less heat in the burn = less efficient.
Ya ca'na beat the laws of physics capt'n
15 posted on 01/14/2008 11:59:22 AM PST by TalonDJ
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To: cinives

I guess what I was trying to say is that there are cars on the market today that exceed the proposed standards that would be suitable for most Americans. People just need to say no to cars that don’t get at least 30 miles to the gallon and the manufactures will build them.


16 posted on 01/14/2008 12:02:27 PM PST by BubbaBobTX (I wasn't born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could.)
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To: Voltage
Perhaps Mrs. Clinton can find that guy who developed the 100 miles/gallon carburator and free him from imprisonment by the big car companies?

Hah! I have heard that one before. I even have met engineers (computer) that bought it. They believed some hearsay that their uncle told them over my explanation (mechanical engineer) that there is a maximum possible efficiency of thermal cycle and that current carburetors get pretty near that... and that I had done lab exercises that proved it for a class. But no, he trusted what his uncle said a guy told him who know a guy... etc.
17 posted on 01/14/2008 12:02:39 PM PST by TalonDJ
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To: reaganaut1

I had a 1988 Accord. Before I finally got rid of the thing, it had over 230,000 miles on it and was STILL getting between 35 and 40 miles per gallon. And I’ll save anyone the legwork ... original gas mileage estimates for that car came nowhere near what I was actually getting.


18 posted on 01/14/2008 12:03:14 PM PST by al_c (Avoid the consequences of erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity)
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To: BubbaBobTX

It is all about mass and energy. VW builds them light.


19 posted on 01/14/2008 12:04:29 PM PST by TalonDJ
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To: reaganaut1

Does anybody know what the federal fine for noncompliance will be? Would it be worth it to domestic car makers to push for that goal and, when the time comes, demonstrates that the goals are impossible, just pay the fines? I wonder if paying the fines would be worth the cost of selling vehicles people WANT to buy.


20 posted on 01/14/2008 12:04:46 PM PST by Kieri (Midwest Snark Claw & Feather Club Founder)
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To: BubbaBobTX
"People just need to say no to cars that don’t get at least 30 miles to the gallon and the manufactures will build them."

That's the problem. Instead of letting the free market work, Congress tries to legislate stupidity.

Carolyn

21 posted on 01/14/2008 12:06:13 PM PST by CDHart ("It's too late to work within the system and too early to shoot the b@#$%^&s."--Claire Wolfe)
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To: reaganaut1

22 posted on 01/14/2008 12:06:36 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: BubbaBobTX

But those cars don’t come with the small pen0r compensators that are standard on larger models. :p

*ASBESTOS ON!*


23 posted on 01/14/2008 12:06:56 PM PST by Constantine XIII
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To: reaganaut1
Today the 2008 Honda Accord (weighing 3,570 pounds) has poorer fuel economy than last year's model,

Be very careful about this comparison. The EPA changed the rules for measuring the gas mileage for 2008 models resulting in a drop in rated mileage for most cars.

24 posted on 01/14/2008 12:07:29 PM PST by KarlInOhio (Rattenschadenfreude: joy at a Democrat's pain, especially Hillary's pain caused by Obama.)
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To: reaganaut1

Congress suspends the laws of physics. /sarcasm


25 posted on 01/14/2008 12:07:34 PM PST by A. Morgan (CNN- the pantload Network. If you need a pantload, tune in and you'll GET a pantload!)
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To: BubbaBobTX
People just need to say no to cars that don’t get at least 30 miles to the gallon and the manufactures will build them.

Uh, OK, what if I don't want one? I work at home and drive less than 10K miles a year, and, frankly, can afford all the $3.20/gal gas I'll ever need.

I think I'm gonna go ahead and put a blower on my car, just for fun.

26 posted on 01/14/2008 12:08:35 PM PST by Trailerpark Badass (Don't taze me, bro!!)
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To: Designer

My wife described the conversation at her last hair appt.

Bunch of libs yakking -
“I’m going to invest in that car that runs on water!”
[Water is the product of combustion, not combustIBLE]

“Bush is keeping the gas price high to make him and his buddies rich.” [Complete lack of understanding of economics, anyone?]

“Hear about that new car in India that costs $2,500? We’re getting screwed here.”
My wife spoke up at this point about “all of the safety regulations that we have make our cars more expensive”
Them: “...”
[Libs can’t logically discuss anything, it’s all emotion.]


27 posted on 01/14/2008 12:09:23 PM PST by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: reaganaut1
This problem can easily be solved with today's technology.

Build a ton of Nuke plants... Enough to supply more than 120% of the current US needs.

Here is a short list of the results that are likely to follow

In short, we have a pretty good source of cheaper, almost inexhaustible energy. The only thing in our way is regulation.
28 posted on 01/14/2008 12:10:51 PM PST by Poser (Willing to fight for oil)
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To: BubbaBobTX

My 2000 Cavalier has a 2.2liter 4 cylinder engine and gets 27MPG on average and it has over 50,000 miles and no work has every been done on it.


29 posted on 01/14/2008 12:11:27 PM PST by LukeL
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To: BurbankKarl

No more cars will go to kalifornia.

It will be like cuba. Kali’s will be forced to keep their cars for 40 years milking them for all the miles they can get.

Kali is be coming a 3rd world nation.


30 posted on 01/14/2008 12:11:31 PM PST by kennyboy509 (Ha! I kill me!)
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To: al_c

Congratulations on 230 K. I had a ‘62 Volvo 122 sedan that passed 400,000 miles (one valve job, two new fenders) before a certain Mrs. Friedman smashed her Toyota into the back of me. The engine and 4 speed tranny were lifted out and put into a Model T street rod project, which is still running, last I heard.


31 posted on 01/14/2008 12:13:17 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
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To: BurbankKarl
They will pay the fines like Mercedes-Benz and BMW do annually.

Setting an impossible goal and imposing fines for not meeting it is just another way of raising taxes on automobiles. However, it also makes hybrids more cost effective since they will pay less fines on those since they are closer to the requirement.

32 posted on 01/14/2008 12:13:48 PM PST by untrained skeptic
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To: Poser
This problem can easily be solved with today's technology. Build a ton of Nuke plants... Enough to supply more than 120% of the current US needs. Here is a short list of the results that are likely to follow The price of electricity will drop Consumers will switch from oil heat to electric Consumers will buy more hybrid/plug rechargeable vehicles Demand for oil will plummet The price of gas will drop Arabs won't be able to blackmail the free world Need for ethanol will drop making corn available for food production Food will be cheaper to produce Lower transportation and energy costs will make US manufacturing more attractive to corporations In short, we have a pretty good source of cheaper, almost inexhaustible energy. The only thing in our way is regulation.

Mind if I write you in as president in November?

33 posted on 01/14/2008 12:19:11 PM PST by Intimidator
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To: MrB
Haha, I believe it's called the Tata. These libs just don't know anything except what's on the surface. They hear $2500 car and think America is screwing them over. What they don't hear is that that car is the most UN-green car around. All the engineers did was build a cheap little piece of $#&@ so that they could 'reasonably' market it for $2500 to get the poorer people of Indian to buy them. So now, your going to have tons of these little pollution spewers tooling around India.
34 posted on 01/14/2008 12:20:21 PM PST by LoneStarGI
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To: ikka

“...tin foil and air bags.”

Seems to be the composition of several presidential campaigns already.


35 posted on 01/14/2008 12:23:30 PM PST by swain_forkbeard (Rationality may not be sufficient, but it is necessary.)
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To: Intimidator

“Mind if I write you in as president in November?”

It is beyond me why at least one of the Republican candidates isn’t shouting this stuff to the high heavens. Fred keeps saying “more nukes” but he never says why.

One of the results of lowering oil imports is that the Arabs will be broke and won’t have the money to cause as much trouble. And Venezuela?


36 posted on 01/14/2008 12:26:44 PM PST by Poser (Willing to fight for oil)
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To: KarlInOhio

The EPA has changed their methodology several times. It would be interesting to figure out what a car like the old Civic HF (49 city 55 hwy) would get on the current test.


37 posted on 01/14/2008 12:27:47 PM PST by MediaMole
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To: reaganaut1
So far the examples of cars meeting the standard are virtually all compacts or subcompacts.

So if you have more than 4 people in your family, six foot plus teenagers, or want to tow even a tent camper, let alone a hard-sided trailer or fifth wheel, you will be up a creek. All of this will work to kill the RV industry.

I think I will be driving my 10 year old three quarter ton for a long time.

38 posted on 01/14/2008 12:30:08 PM PST by verklaring (Pyrite is not gold)
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To: MediaMole

The EPA did restate the old tests, the Civic HF went from 49/55 to 41/50.


39 posted on 01/14/2008 12:31:50 PM PST by MediaMole
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To: Poser

I’ve always said that was the best way to fight terrorism is get off the middle eastern oil tit. If they’re broke, then no funds for terrorists.


40 posted on 01/14/2008 12:31:53 PM PST by Intimidator
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To: TalonDJ
VW builds them light.

Not any more they don't, at least for the US market. You can't buy a VW here anymore that weighs less than 3000 lbs.

41 posted on 01/14/2008 12:33:42 PM PST by Fresh Wind (Scrape the bottom, vote for Rodham!)
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To: Trailerpark Badass

You are free to waste all the money you want on $3+ per gallon gas. Hey my second car is a Jaguar not exactly the most fuel efficient car know to man. I was just trying to say the free market will sort it out if gas prices stay high and the technology already exists to meet the standards set by Congress.


42 posted on 01/14/2008 12:33:59 PM PST by BubbaBobTX (I wasn't born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could.)
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To: reaganaut1; All

Harley-Davidson is a Green vehicle?

Bikers are environmentally friendly and will beat the poop out of anyone who says otherwise. (in an environmentally friendly beat the snot out of them way)


43 posted on 01/14/2008 12:36:01 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: reaganaut1

It’s not impossible. As long as the folks in Congress do it first.


44 posted on 01/14/2008 12:37:11 PM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: reaganaut1

If any Democrat gets elected this year, you can count on the return of the 55 mph national speed limit.


45 posted on 01/14/2008 12:38:18 PM PST by Fresh Wind (Scrape the bottom, vote for Rodham!)
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To: TalonDJ
For those out there that don't know, less heat in the burn = less efficient.

Ya ca'na beat the laws of physics capt'n

I think what you mean is that there's less thermal energy stored in ethanol per unit volume, as compared to gasoline or heavier petroleum-sourced fuels. That is true.

However, ethanol's lack of BTUs in the juice is at least partly offset by its behavior in an internal combustion engine, in which it acts like a high-octane gasoline. This enables engine designers to build engines with higher compression ratios and increased spark advance, and so scavenge more energy from the fuel.

There's more than one "law of physics" at work in the Otto Cycle engine, after all.

46 posted on 01/14/2008 12:39:11 PM PST by Oberon (What does it take to make government shrink?)
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To: BubbaBobTX

We get 18 mpg in our new Honda Pilot. Great vehicle.


47 posted on 01/14/2008 12:40:51 PM PST by Donald Rumsfeld Fan ("Sincerity is everything. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made." Groucho Marx)
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan
200 MPG big oil conspiracy!!!

48 posted on 01/14/2008 12:41:41 PM PST by evets (beer)
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To: reaganaut1
But there's just no way anyone subject to the laws of physics and automobile engineering can get a 5,000-pound pickup, or any mass-produced, reasonably priced sport utility near that weight, up to 35mpg.

Mr. Flint has been doing automotive reporting for 50 years, and thus his opinion carries some weight. He's got plenty of background. And he may well be right, that 35 mpg is unattainable.

The problem is, though -- what does the statistic even mean? 35 mpg of what? And is it really impossible to attain? Or is it more a question of rethinking the technology to attain fuel efficiency by different means?

I don't know the answers to any of those ... and I have to wonder whether Mr. Flint does, either. Could he be falling behind in the technological advances in modern engine design?

49 posted on 01/14/2008 12:44:13 PM PST by r9etb
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
I hear Hilary Clinton would design these fuel-efficient cars tomorrow...if she could!
50 posted on 01/14/2008 12:44:46 PM PST by Lou L
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