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mustang84

Interesting CAFE post at Autoblog

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In the comments section below an article about DaimlerChrysler paying a $40 million CAFE fine, there was this comment that was pretty interesting.

Now before you read any further, these numbers are JUST ESTIMATES, OK? Thanks.

The calculations are for Chevrolet, Honda and Toyota branded vehicles only and are averaged for all trim/transmission/engine combos since no one provides that sales data for each.

Based on the data I could pull Chevrolet is running at about 27.29 CAFE for their cars and 18.47 for their trucks based on EPA numbers and production for last month.

Toyota is running 31.80 for cars and 18.92 for trucks for last month. The interesting part is if we remove the Prius and Toyota is at 28.53 for cars.

Factor in that Toyota is not selling any Commercial vehicles nor do they have a Corvette class car dragging averages down and the picture gets very complex.

Even Honda with half the production of Chevrolet or Toyota has numbers of 27.57 for cars and 20.95 for Truck-like vehicles. The new Accord and Civic really hit the UberGreen Honda mpg averages.

Overall, no maker is ready for 35mpg anytime soon - Toyota is still closest - worse, all have truck fleets that are way off the mark of 25mpg. Chevrolet and Honda have zero cars that get 35mpg+ combined and Toyota only has one.

The next few years look to be pretty exciting, as the Volt comes out for Chevy, the Malibu makes inroads and the Hybrid SUV drive train is made for more than just the Tahoe. Honda will have the FCX and has sub Fit cars ready. Toyota will answer with more small cars and a plug in Prius but how will both address their truck production mpg? Time will tell...

http://www.autoblog.com/2007/12/31/nhtsa-r...ler-takes-cake/

Wasn't there a modified CAFE passed that allowed trucks more leniency than cars (down to 25 mpg)? If so, and Chevy really is at about 27 mpg for its car fleet, that's a lot better than I was thinking. Trucks have a way to go, however. It's also interesting to note how big of a difference the Prius makes on Toyota's lineup; I think CAFE can be done, but no doubt GM needs more hybrid / electric vehicles on the road. I don't see why size needs to be sacrificed if we have hybrid technology that could hopefully be placed in cars like a Zeta Impala. Technology should be the driver, not another late 70s downsizing / decontenting spell.

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I'm not so sure about the numbers. They are VERY rough estimates (IE no E85 calculations for GM, the failure for him to include Acura, Lexus, Scion, other GM brands, etc.), but it is aninteresting cincept. I also didn't know GM had CAFE credits that they can use for future years...

Maybe this gloom and doom speech really is PR BS...?

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I don't want to sound like Chicken Little here, that's part of the reason why one of my resolutions is to keep an open mind.
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How would marketing go if GM made hybrid technology standard instead of optional? Not in the line of an exclusive "Prius" vehicle like Volt, but just manufactured all Malibus, Auras, Cobalts, etc with the mild or two-mode hybrid systems. If all Malibu's had some form of hybrid technology, would that turn buyers away or would it actually improve Chevrolet's image in general?

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Actually, Honda does have a car that gets >35 MPG combined, the Civic Hybrid. The Camry Hybrid and Altima Hybrid, two "average" midsize sedans, aren't far behind at 34 MPG combined. The Ford Escape Hybrid, at 32 MPG combined, is not far behind. Considering we have 12 years and that CAFE uses a more lenient system, I'm still confident we'll get a 35 MPG average by 2020.

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Actually, Honda does have a car that gets >35 MPG combined, the Civic Hybrid. The Camry Hybrid and Altima Hybrid, two "average" midsize sedans, aren't far behind at 34 MPG combined. The Ford Escape Hybrid, at 32 MPG combined, is not far behind. Considering we have 12 years and that CAFE uses a more lenient system, I'm still confident we'll get a 35 MPG average by 2020.

Remember, Honda hybrids sell in very low volume... so I'm sure they're referring to the Civic line-up in total average (not just one trim level) when referring to "car." This explains why the Prius makes such an impact and the Civic hybrid doesn't.

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Having 1 model/trim that barely reaches 35 is world's away from a CAFE number of 35- even giving 12 years. Whole segments are going to have to die for many manufacturers to get an average of 35, and/or entire new segments are going to have to come online (sub-sub-micro-compacts?), because I just do not see the current mix of segments/sizes reaching these lofty averages on tech alone.

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I don't believe comparing the average EPA ('08) combined number to the new CAFE standard directly will give results close to what will be required. Does the CAFE standard even use the EPA's fuel economy estimates? How different will it be when you factor in the volume of each model sold? How much will the hydrogen FC, natural gas, and ethanol vehicles help CAFE?

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