Skip to comments.I'm Breaking Your Heart (35mpg goal impossible)
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 ...
35 mpg on 10 or 20 percent ethanol blended gas... Wonder if anyone has considered the lower heat in alcohol ?
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.
Its not about the gas or mph, its about the American system in killing its success.
Congress has mandated the crash test standards, and the air bags in cars, too.
Making cars heavier and more complex.
Indeed, the higher the % ethanol, the lower the mpg per gallon of fuel in a given vehicle.
They will pay the fines like Mercedes-Benz and BMW do annually.
If a shopping cart rolls into the driver's side door 15 airbags will inflate and you will need a new door.
...all other things being equal, of course.
Which they certainly don't have to be.
35 mph? ... I thought you meant meters per gallon...
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.
My old VW Rabbit Diesel got 42 city and 57 highway.
I wish I still had that car for commuting.
Perhaps Mrs. Clinton can find that guy who developed the 100 miles/gallon carburator and free him from imprisonment by the big car companies?
Help conserve our dwindling ethanol supplies.....for DRINKING! LOL.
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.
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.
It is all about mass and energy. VW builds them light.
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.
That's the problem. Instead of letting the free market work, Congress tries to legislate stupidity.
But those cars don’t come with the small pen0r compensators that are standard on larger models. :p
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.
Congress suspends the laws of physics. /sarcasm
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.
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”
[Libs can’t logically discuss anything, it’s all emotion.]
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mind if I write you in as president in November?
“...tin foil and air bags.”
Seems to be the composition of several presidential campaigns already.
“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?
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.
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.
The EPA did restate the old tests, the Civic HF went from 49/55 to 41/50.
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.
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.
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.
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)
It’s not impossible. As long as the folks in Congress do it first.
If any Democrat gets elected this year, you can count on the return of the 55 mph national speed limit.
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.
We get 18 mpg in our new Honda Pilot. Great vehicle.
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?