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Old 04-02-2018, 04:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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EPA to reject Obama fuel efficiency standards early next week

https://www.autoblog.com/2018/03/31/...ncy-standards/

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[T]he Obama rules included a review by April 2018 as to whether the final years were feasible or not. By declaring the Obama rules "not appropriate," the Trump administration can reopen the process of setting vehicle targets agreed to by automakers in 2011.
California will fight this, but they can set their own standards.

Quote:
An EPA spokeswoman said last week "a final determination will be signed by April 1."
Quote:
EPA officials suggested a detailed proposal could come in late May or June, while the Transportation Department is pushing for a speedier proposal
Quote:
While automakers want relief from the Obama rules, they are pressing the administration to avoid a battle with California and maintain a single, nationwide set of fuel efficiency requirements. In New York, Toyota North America Chief Executive Jim Lentz said at an Reuters event on Thursday that automakers would face higher costs if they had to manage fuel economy by each individual state.
Lentz said that there may come a point each year where they could not sell SUVs because they needed to make MPG quotas.

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Quote:
  1. The 2025 CAFE target of 54.5 mpg is equal to 36 mpg combined on the EPA window sticker.
  2. The CAFE regulations are based on vehicle type and the size of the vehicle. The larger the vehicle the lower the target.
  3. Each automaker has their own CARB target based on the mix of vehicles they sell. If they sell more trucks and SUV then their required CARB target is lower. The targets are sell adjusting for changing customer preferences.
  4. Automakers are ahead of schedule and are exceeding today's CARB targets.
  5. To meet the current 2025 CAFE target a Ford F150 will need to get 23 mpg combined on the window sticker. That is 1 mpg better than today.

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Old 04-02-2018, 05:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It surprised me that EPA took so long to do that move. When it comes to California, it's a whole different situation, and honestly it wouldn't surprise me to see at least a handful of automakers limiting its California offering to hybrids just to avoid the PITA of CARB compliance for non-hybrids.
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Old 04-02-2018, 06:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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CARB compliance is not the problem.

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Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
It surprised me that EPA took so long to do that move. When it comes to California, it's a whole different situation, and honestly it wouldn't surprise me to see at least a handful of automakers limiting its California offering to hybrids just to avoid the PITA of CARB compliance for non-hybrids.
Most manufacturers can meet CARB and AQMD requirements in pollutants. It's the addition of CO2 as a pollutant ( and thus an implied MPG requirement ) that has pushed people to mandate EVs and strong hybrids.
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Old 04-02-2018, 06:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The original article is a bit misleading. The 54.5 mpg is a combined target for a sales mix of vehicles. If you are selling a bunch of heavy SUVs that only get 30 mpg, you will have to sell a bunch of light and economical cars that get north of 60+ mpg. Little economy cars don't make a manufacturer much money. It's going to push them to get that SUV well into the 35 mpg range. The original mandate isn't bad in and of itself. Its more the timeline is frightening the manufacturers.
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Old 04-02-2018, 07:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RustyLugNut View Post
Little economy cars don't make a manufacturer much money.
They do not make evil Canadian oil tycoons much money either.

The commenter I quoted said that the fuel economy target depended on the vehicle platform; full-sized pickups are not held to the same standard as subcompacts. Is this not true?
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Old 04-03-2018, 02:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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They've never been.

US regs are very lenient on "light trucks" since this is the primary profit driver of the domestic auto industry.
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Old 04-03-2018, 02:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Remember, it is about the vehicle mix.

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Originally Posted by Xist View Post
The commenter I quoted said that the fuel economy target depended on the vehicle platform; full-sized pickups are not held to the same standard as subcompacts. Is this not true?
There are tiers of MPG expectations based on vehicle mass. For many years, heavy pickups in the 1000 and 2000 pound segment had no MPG numbers because their use implied those numbers would be varied. However, more and more soccer moms are purchasing such vehicles to . . . do whatever soccer moms do. The Sport Utility Segment was designed to fill this niche but you can increasingly see pristine 4x4 heavy payload pickups loaded up to do family transport. This points out the problem vehicle manufacturers have with the 2025 54.5 MPG mandate. They would rather sell large, profitable vehicles to said soccer mom than tiny, low profit economy vehicles. But, the mandate is pressing the manufacturers to make these economy vehicles.

Ford is an example of a manufacturer that is heavily invested in trucks as they lead the Big Three in truck sales. They will have to balance out the volume of sales of trucks with something that gets much better fuel mileage. The trucks and SUVs are not necessarily held to a lower standard, they just are inherently less fuel efficient and so must be balanced out by more fuel efficient models. What the manufacturers are griping about is the fact that they will be forced to build vehicles the public may not want. They will be burdened with the responsibility of social change. For every 25 MPG Ford F150 they sell, they will have to build and sell a vehicle that can get 75+ MPG. The California requirements are not as impossible as that sounds as there are credits for electric only vehicles that exceed the 1:1 balance. I forget that ratio, but it behooves manufacturers to sell some electric vehicles.
This hints at how a manufacturer could meet Federal requirements. Build and sell a mix of conventional, hybrid and electric vehicles and you can meet the 54.5 MPG mandate. The problem is that if States dictate what they want to see sold in their jurisdiction, it forces manufacturers into custom builds that will be expensive. We absolutely need a Federal Mandate, and not a hodge podge affair.

Electric sales should be higher in urban centers and all along the Sunbelt. Hybrids thrive anywhere. Light duty trucks will serve the farm and industry. Big, heavy payload pickups should be kept out of soccer moms possession, but even if they aren't, the mix of vehicle sales can meet the 54.5 MPG average. The problem is the timeline. Can they do it by 2025? I think it can be done by crediting all electric vehicle sales with a greater weight in the equation. An all electric pickup would be a game changer as would a strong hybrid pickup. This is not as impossible as they ( the manufacturers ) are making it out to be.
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyLugNut View Post
Most manufacturers can meet CARB and AQMD requirements in pollutants. It's the addition of CO2 as a pollutant ( and thus an implied MPG requirement ) that has pushed people to mandate EVs and strong hybrids.
OK, but I would still be not surprised if some automakers start a hybrids-only approach to California. Toyota is already taking a similar approach with Lexus in most of the Europe, plus in some countries such as Spain and Portugal even mainstream models such as the Yaris are only available with either a manual transmission or the hybrid e-CVT instead of the traditional automatic. Well, since the market share for manuals in the U.S.A. is almost negligible, it seems like an easy move. Well, once Toyota finally gets some hybrid versions for the Tacoma, Tundra, 4Runner and Sequoia, I'll be convinced there will be no way back.

Anyway, even if Trump effectively makes EPA to pull the plug on Obama's standards, I'm sure fleet managers and private entrepreneurs would still demand fuel-efficiency improvements not just in order to cut their fuel expenses but also to trade carbon credits whenever possible.
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Old 04-06-2018, 04:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think we are basically in agreement.

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Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
OK, but I would still be not surprised if some automakers start a hybrids-only approach to California. Toyota is already taking a similar approach with Lexus in most of the Europe, plus in some countries such as Spain and Portugal even mainstream models such as the Yaris are only available with either a manual transmission or the hybrid e-CVT instead of the traditional automatic. Well, since the market share for manuals in the U.S.A. is almost negligible, it seems like an easy move. Well, once Toyota finally gets some hybrid versions for the Tacoma, Tundra, 4Runner and Sequoia, I'll be convinced there will be no way back.

Anyway, even if Trump effectively makes EPA to pull the plug on Obama's standards, I'm sure fleet managers and private entrepreneurs would still demand fuel-efficiency improvements not just in order to cut their fuel expenses but also to trade carbon credits whenever possible.
My point was that the manufacturers should be able to create a mix that meets the Federal 2025 mandates across the entire continent and not just in a singe State Market. States like California with their unique combination of geography and intense population need extreme measures to keep their air clean. If that means EVs and strong hybrids, make it so. Those vehicles should be credited and places such as the windswept reaches of New Mexico should have choices that reflect their needs. If that means lean burning direct injected engines, make that so. The entire mix of a Name Plate can then meet that 54.5 MPG target. But, if all the states follow California and New York, THAT is really quite a feat to accomplish by 2025.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RustyLugNut View Post
My point was that the manufacturers should be able to create a mix that meets the Federal 2025 mandates across the entire continent and not just in a singe State Market.
Sure.


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States like California with their unique combination of geography and intense population need extreme measures to keep their air clean. If that means EVs and strong hybrids, make it so. Those vehicles should be credited and places such as the windswept reaches of New Mexico should have choices that reflect their needs. If that means lean burning direct injected engines, make that so.
That's why I would expect some automakers to try a hybrids-only approach for California (either making hybrid versions available for their entire ranges or selling only hybrid versions of mainstream models that already have this option), but not as a nationwide strategy. Lean-burn direct injection might eventually also find its place in other regional markets, but I wouldn't hold my breath for revised emission standards to be any less restrictive than current ones anywhere else.


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if all the states follow California and New York
This would sound quite unlikely to happen.

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