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39 by 2016


someonesomewhere
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http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200905191727DOWJONESDJONLINE000657_FORTUNE5.htm

Unveiled late Monday, the new rules would require new passenger cars sold in the U.S. to meet an average mileage requirement of 39 miles per gallon by 2016. Light trucks would have to deliver an average of 30 mpg. That's a dramatic rise from current averages - 27.5 mpg for cars, 23 mpg for trucks - and would bring the overall average of cars and light trucks on U.S. roads to 35.5 mpg by 2016, four years earlier than current federal law requires.

This will only be good for the consumer. I'm not biting on the whole raising the cost of vehicles thing. Car makers were already reacting to $4 a gallon gas from last year by moving ahead full building more hybrids, better hybrids and plugin hybrids.

The new Ford Fusion hybrid gets 39 MPG combined, right now. It's 7 years ahead of schedule for meeting the 2016 standard.

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When vehicles use less gas, all the links in the chain of petroleum production will take in less revenue; the cost of a gallon of gas will go up to make up for the lost revenue.

Gotta love the business model. They can't lose.

"Demand is up! Unfortunately, we must raise prices."

"Sales are down! Unfortunately, we must raise prices."

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There also seems to be lots of concern as to the relative safety of the smaller vehicles when they (... and they will) become involved in accidents with the older, much heavier cars that will still be on the highway.

How long do you suppose it will be before the government imposes weight restrictions on personal vehicles, or makes the cost of registering them unaffordable, or bans vehicles over a certain weight altogether? At this point, nothing would surprise me.

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There also seems to be lots of concern as to the relative safety of the smaller vehicles when they (... and they will) become involved in accidents with the older, much heavier cars that will still be on the highway.

How long do you suppose it will be before the government imposes weight restrictions on personal vehicles, or makes the cost of registering them unaffordable, or bans vehicles over a certain weight altogether? At this point, nothing would surprise me.

Agreed. If someone in a Prius hit my 35 year old pickup truck, they would fold like an accordion while I got a little scratch in my paint.

I can see the additional fees for registering the older vehicles. All in the name of progress.

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There also seems to be lots of concern as to the relative safety of the smaller vehicles when they (... and they will) become involved in accidents with the older, much heavier cars that will still be on the highway.

Small vehicle argument rings pretty hollow. Carmakers were already moving towards hybrids, plugins and EVs and not with microcars.

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Small vehicle argument rings pretty hollow.
I agree. Large vehicles are based on the fallacy that energy will be abundant and cheap forever. Moreover, hasn't anyone ever wondered why we need a 3000-4000lb machine with a ridiculously inefficient internal combustion engine to get a 200lb person from one locale to another? It is absurd. And consider the costs. First, financial. Even before the run-up in petroleum costs, the average US family spent between $10,000 - $15,000 per year on their vehicle(s) and all related costs. Seems we're working decades longer than we have to foot the bill for this junk. And we all claim we can't pay for healthcare (everyone sings the tune)...but we have $10k to $15k for our vehicles in the driveway??? What's more important? Second, environmental. Waste sucks. Noise sucks. You cannot escape the sound and smell of these vehicles in the US. Third, trade deficit. For whatever reason you want to assign, we are not willing to drill domestically. This means that we devalue our national worth through our currency every time we pump a gallon of gasoline or diesel into our tank. Again, not fun. Fourth, the time commitment. Every sit in gridlock? It is DEAD TIME. Away from your family and friends. And you certainly can't bust out your laptop or a book and be productive. And gridlock costs hundreds of billions in productivity cost.

Small vehicles, hopefully non-petro based, are a HUGE start to break the addiction. Where cost effective, light rail mass transit is also huge.

With all that said, I do reject the need for decisions like this to be made by Washington. Let consumers choose. IMO, the cost of oil and gasoline products should be subject to a new slowly increasing federal tax that is placed into a lockbox for Medicare solvency. The tax should increase by 0.05 per month. That places the extrinsic costs to society back on the users of the petroleum. Want to drive a Suburban? No problem. Pay for it. More importantly, it incentivizes reduction without applying non-market interference on the choice between efficient petro or the type of alternative fuel we'll inevitably migrate towards. Let things develop.

By the way folks, U.S. energy consumption is at a 16 year low and we are just getting started with the coming reduction measures. I don't see it going up anytime soon. Maybe people are finally waking up :-)!

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Well said, jq26.

I'm finding out that 39 MPG doesn't even necessarily mean 39 MPG.

The 2009 Chevy Cobalt doesn't get 39 MPG from the EPA, even on the highway with a stick shift. Yet it meets the 2016 standard of 39 MPG right now--from NHTSA.

This isn't a huge reach for the car makers.

http://blogs.edmunds.com/greencaradvisor/2009/05/when-cafe-meets-epa-a-tale-of-two-fuel-economy-standards.html

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