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.
“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