Auto industry National Vehicle and Fuel Economy Laboratory

Published on May 9th, 2017 | by Steve Hanley


ICCT Says Meeting Fuel Economy Goals Will Cost Far Less Than Automakers Claim

May 9th, 2017 by  

US automakers are sucking up to the putative president, begging him to save them from the horror of the cruel CAFE fuel economy mandate foisted imposed on them by the heartless Obama administration as it saddled up and headed out of town. Mark Fields, head honcho at Ford, sheds crocodile tears as he wails about a million or more right thinking, God fearing Americans being thrown out of work if the current standards aren’t rolled back.

National Vehicle and Fuel Economy Laboratory

“Horse puckey,” says the International Council on Clean Transportation. Its most recent study shows the 2025 standards are easily achievable through a combination of technologies such as cylinder deactivation, high compression Atkinson cycle engines, lightweighting, and mild hybridization. And it says doing so would only increase vehicle prices by about 5%, saving consumers far more than that in lower fuel costs.

The organization sees efficiency gains coming from a variety of sources, among them low friction engine technology, tires with lower rolling resistance,  high efficiency alternators, electric power steering, aerodynamic improvements, 6 speed transmissions and electronic camshaft phasing, and vehicle weight reductions. Those techniques would make it possible for manufacturers to continue building cars with internal combustion engines for decades more while electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles become more common.

Clean transportation advocates bemoan the slow pace of growth in sales of cars with plugs, but replacing the world’s entire fleet of vehicles powered by fossil fuels will take decades. ICCT suggests it is important to continue pumping up the fuel efficiency of new cars with internal combustion engines while the electric car revolution is gaining momentum.

Michigan representative Debbie Dingell yesterday toured the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory and decried the cuts proposed by the latest Trump budget, which would slash funding for the organization that actually conducts fuel economy testing for the auto industry. Trump suggests the car companies should pay for the testing, an idea akin to assigning the fox to guard the hen house. The Donald would be delighted if new cars burned coal instead of gasoline and would happily pay for research to make that happen.

Source: Plastics Today

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I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I'm interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.

  • fred smith the deplorable

    Love it. The ICCT, a government- and climate-change-funded organization of talking heads who have never built a vehicle, are telling producers how little it will cost to comply with regulations. It it’s so easy, perhaps it is time for the ICCT to start producing vehicles and show us how it’s done.

    • Just because one group isn’t the manufacturer of a product doesn’t mean that they’re completely incapable of providing ideas for improvement. The automakers know full well that the goals are achievable and that they’re actually pretty lenient here in America. Ultimately, if they keep dragging their feet, they’re going to see their market share tank as people flock to alternatives.

    • Joe Viocoe

      Both sides have an agenda.
      Automakers have every incentive to exaggerate the costs… And have done so for decades.

    • Jim Smith

      agree. What these know nothings don’t say is how much this adds to the sticker of cars which are already crazy over-expensive due to excessive government regulation. The markets will deliver the vehicles people _want_.

  • Steve Hanley

    Well, the first two comments seem to lay out both sides of the argument quite nicely.

  • airchompers

    Sure it’s easy – just lift your sedan a few inches, made the track wider, bring the roofline back to an upright rear window, and that gas guzzling sedan became a fuel efficient light truck with lower emissions and fuel economy expectations!

    I do like the CAFE credit scheme but I think that we see some instances of false economy in some modern cars. It seems like there are more transmission issues now than ever – do we need 9/10 speed automatics?

    Hopefully electrification comes on in a big way and helps sort that out. Food for thought, every Toyota hybrid ever was/is CAFE 2025 compliant except maybe the first Highland hybrid.

  • kevin mccune

    Don’t laugh about the coal idea , its been tried before . These standards while increasing the cost of already unaffordable new vehicles , will improve the breed .

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