New government miles per gallon vehicle standards

It came to light recently that the administration is “negotiating” with automobile manufacturers to raise the average miles per gallon their fleets of new vehicles must attain.

The administration is proposing regulations that would require new US cars and trucks to attain an average of as much as 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025, roughly double the current level. That would require increases in fuel efficiency of nearly 5 percent a year from 2017 to 2025. [emphasis supplied]

I hate to be a naysayer, but, this isn’t even remotely rational for a number of reasons.

First, due to a Congressional mandate that ever increasing amounts of ethanol be blended into our gasoline each year, vehicles will attain reduced fuel efficiency, not greater fuel efficiency each year.

Ethanol has only 65.8% as much energy as gasoline. A car that gets 25 miles per gallon on gasoline would get 24.1 mpg on E10 and 23.7 on E15.

Second, to achieve this magical number, as well as offset the effects of increased ethanol mandates, vehicles would have to be lighter. 

Sean McAlinden of the authoritative Center for Automotive Research recently pointed out that many of the materials needed for ultra-high-mileage vehicles would outstrip current world production several times over.

And, were that not enough,

[t]he automakers say the standard is technically achievable. But they warn that it would cost billions of dollars to develop the vehicles, and they express doubt that consumers would accept the smaller, lighter – and in some cases, more expensive – cars that result. [emphasis supplied]

I’m sure you know by now who will ultimately bear the cost of those billions of dollars.

I suspect that the automakers, some of whom are beholden to this administration, will ultimately agree to some lesser, but equally unattainable, number, in the hopes that sometime between now and 2025, a more rational administration with a coherent approach to this issue will appear.

14 replies
  1. Eric
    Eric says:

    Leave it to a politician to come up with such an unrealistic proposal. ?Do these clowns think that the lack of a government mandate is the only reason our cars can’t get better mileage then they do? ?Knuckle-heads! ?They should realize that the auto companies will have to build lighter weight and less safe cars to achieve these unrealistic fuel economy numbers.?

  2. Todd from Farmington
    Todd from Farmington says:

    Jimmy Carter tried this same BS back in 1977.? What we got were cars that looked they were chopped in half…and more importantly, a one-term president!
    Let’s hope that history repeats itself…at least with the one-term president thing at least!
    Hey DC here’s an idea, why not allow the market decide what kind of cars we want to drive!? Last time I checked those ObamaMotor’s Volts were selling at a sail’s pace.

  3. RoBrDona
    RoBrDona says:

    Increased efficiency mandates only raise prices.? Increased use of ethanol decreases that efficiency and destroys engines at a much faster pace. The 70’s nearly destroyed the “big 3” by making them produce cars that?performed poorly with sketchy engineering engendered by trying to meet unattainable US standards. It also froze innovation as all R&D went to meeting the new standards. It put the industry back 15 years. I disagree that?Ford and GM (Chrysler no longer matters as it is 51% owned by FIAT) are beholden to O-Hoover as they must realize that this hisorical redux may?finally put them out of business for good. ???

  4. Tim-in-Alabama
    Tim-in-Alabama says:

    We need to go to 75 mpg standards. Vote for me. I care about the environment more than my opponent.

  5. Plainvillian
    Plainvillian says:

    Weren’t we promised in 2008 that the oceans’ levels would stop rising?? Ultra MPG cars?? Not a problem.? Is there nothing that cannot be promised?

  6. Murphy
    Murphy says:

    Don’t worry about “billions of dollars to develop the vehicles” for the correct Political party donation you will qualify for a waiver.

  7. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    our o – ring on the filter for our dinghy motor disintegrated because of ethanol in the gas. Before you say, who cares, Sammy. Think of the lobsterman, scallopers and fishermen who depend on motors for their vessels. Multiply the lost time, energy and equipment for the stupid ethanol.

  8. GdavidH
    GdavidH says:

    ?not to make a case for the detractors but those motors are most likely diesel.

    ?But anyway….Tim, it looks as if you will have to primary against me??because my 100 MPG requirement makes you look like an environment-hating, big business loving radical America hater.?

  9. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    No I was right there when we filled the tank it was $5.00 gasoline because we bought at a marina. We usually fill small tank at Gas station, but we forgot.

  10. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Oh GDAVIDH, apologies, my dingy brain just got it. You meant fishing boats use diesel, yeah you are right! Oh well, it sure screws up boats that don’t use diesel.

  11. NH-Jim
    NH-Jim says:

    I drive a Toyota Yaris which gets 40 mpg.? No, it’s not a hybrid and it is not a car for “get up & go” but it reduces my cost of commuting to my business 42 miles each day.? I parked my Ford truck which now only sees use taking a trip to the recycling center (codeword for “dump”).
    But, it is the fact that it was MY decision, not the government’s mandate, to purchase this car for MY reasons of reducing MY costs.? It was a personal finance and business reason to have this car.? Therefore, I am a prime example of the market deciding the future of auto manufacturing and not the government.
    I do have to consider that the size of this car puts me at more risk if the unthinkable were to happen.? Therefore, I drive every second with this in mind: I do not allow myself to be surrounded by a couple of 18-wheelers.? I drive like my politics: conservatively.? And, I have the personal pleasure of knowing that more of my hard-earned money stays in MY pocket and not in those of Middle Eastern regimes.
    Plus, believe it or not, it’s the best car I have owned.

  12. JollyRoger
    JollyRoger says:

    Like the constitution, the laws of physics are so antiquated and hard to understand!!!? I wish Obama and GM execs would design a flying school bus, and then take it for a test flight!

  13. Murphy
    Murphy says:

    The same idiots that are creating CAFE standards are the same ones making it harder to make cars that meet the standard. Case in point my 1970 Caprice with a 350ci 350hp could get 27mpg at 75mph back in 1977 before they required crappy gas, emission controls, tire pressure alarms etc etc… my 1969 Olds emissions results were better than most of the cars we drive now…. oh yeah I tuned them and maintained tire pressures with screw drivers, manual gauges and a good set of ears.

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