EPA CAFE Targets Unattainable… And their fuel efficiency “test is [fracked] up big time.”

Guest post by David Middleton

Doubly too fracking funny!

In July 2011, the Obama Maladministration increased the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard for passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2025.  However, a couple of funny things happened on the way to greentopia.

Consumers didn’t cooperate…


Fuel Targets Threatened by Demand for Big Autos


DETROIT — Despite praising automakers for recent gains in fuel economy, two federal agencies said on Monday that surging consumer demand for pickups and sport utility vehicles made it unlikely that the industry could meet the government’s ambitious projections a decade from now.

If fuel prices remain low, and trucks continue to outsell cars, the industry will probably not meet the goal of 54.5 miles per gallon as a fleetwide average by 2025, but will probably come in at only about 50 miles a gallon, according to a report by the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The report issued on Monday was termed a draft by administration officials, and included input from the California Air Resources Board, as well as the two federal agencies.

That lower fuel economy number would translate into higher levels of carbon dioxide emissions, which environmentalists say would make global climate change worse and undercut efforts to curtail greenhouse gases agreed to by the Obama administration in last year’s Paris climate accord.



And the EPA’s fuel efficiency “test is [fracked] up big time”…

The EPA’s Fuel Efficiency Testing May Not Work. Like, at All

IN 2012 PRESIDENT Obama instituted new, aggressive fuel economy standards for automakers selling cars in the United States. The executive branch—represented here by the Environmental Protection Agency, basically—mandated that every car manufacturer would have to have a fleetwide average gas mileage of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

The Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards (CAFE to transit nerds) take the gas mileage of every car a company sells—from Yaris to Tundra, Verano to Enclave, Golf to whatever—and average it out. You want to build a gas-guzzling, smoke-pumping, V-18 for hauling a camper dragging a boat? You’re gonna need to sell a hybrid, too.

Yesterday, a technical assessment report from the EPA, National Highway Traffic Administration, and the California Air Resources Board took a look at those standards and said, yeah, car companies should be able to hit them. The technology is there, or will be.

But there’s a problem: Even if the car companies do, they don’t. Or at least, no one has any way to know if they do. Because the EPA’s test to make sure automakers are hitting their CAFE numbers—the sole federal, legal requirement that cars get more efficient—probably doesn’t work. At all.

“The test is [fracked] up big time,” says Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign. “It’s akin to telling all parents that their kids are getting A’s on the exam, when they’re not.”



As an added bonus… The total CO2 emissions from 54.5 mpg aren’t significantly different than 50 mpg and won’t have any measurable effect on global temperatures.

Atmospheric CO2 projected to 2025 based on the average increase over the most recent 5-yr period compared to the reduction obtained by adding 20,000 cars per year, driven 12,000 m/yr at 54.5 and 50.0 mpg relative to 12.0 mpg.

CO2 emission calculator

My math could be way off here, particularly since I made a lot of assumptions and I should have worked through the total carbon emissions rather than just converting it straight to ppm… However, it’s pretty clear that U.S. CAFE standards won’t have any measurable affect on Earth’s climate… And, as always, liberal environmentalists feel good about setting CAFE standards and giving the EPA useless tasks to perform… And feeling good about wasting the money of taxpayers and consumers is what really counts.

Featured Image Borrowed From Here

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July 20, 2016 9:03 am

If Trump becomes POTUS, all of this garbage will become irrelevant and the EPA will be gutted top to bottom !

Reply to  David Middleton
July 21, 2016 7:59 am

Bureaucratic “inertia” can be stopped dead in its tracks by a new Administration and a willing public.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 21, 2016 9:36 am

The bulk of the “pubic” only cares when their welfare checks are late.

sun Spot
Reply to  Marcus
July 20, 2016 12:31 pm

Trump is a New York Liberal ! I have no idea why you think you won’t get a big L Liberal result from the Drumpf ???

Reply to  sun Spot
July 20, 2016 1:09 pm

So why do my left-wing friends hate Trump even more than my right-wing friends hate Clinton?
Or is this a clever double-blind to get him elected?

Reply to  sun Spot
July 20, 2016 1:12 pm

Left-wingers hate anyone with money.

Reply to  sun Spot
July 20, 2016 1:17 pm

“Left-wingers hate anyone with money.”
So why don’t they hate Clinton?

Tsk Tsk
Reply to  sun Spot
July 20, 2016 4:44 pm

Why do Lefties hate the great pumpkin more than Hillary? The same reason that people believe that the war on the eastern front was between left and right when it was in reality just a war between left and left.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Marcus
July 20, 2016 2:57 pm

Don’t bogart that joint, Marcus. It is obviously very good stuff and you should pass it around.

Thomas Graney
Reply to  Marcus
July 20, 2016 5:57 pm

You have no idea what you’re talking about.

george e. smith
Reply to  Marcus
July 25, 2016 11:02 am

The reason that CAFE targets are unobtainable, is very simple.
Traffic lights and four way stop signs.
I used to work at a place that was located four 4-way stop signs, and I think five traffic lights away from where I was living. (In a State not to be disclosed here).
One night in the wee hours, when there was no traffic around, I took that trip running at the full legal speed limits posted (30 or 35 mph).
So I went through each intersection at the posted speed limit (stop signs too) and as soon as I was on the other side I shifted into neutral and let the car coast.
In every case, I was able to coast to the next intersection in neutral. (yes it takes multiple runs to do this because you can’t be doing the coasting and the max speed both at the same intersection on the same run.
So this demonstrated (flat road) that for that particular short trip, each of those traffic controls that would stop me, (Stop sign or red light) would force me to dissipate enough energy to have gotten me to the next intersection, they about doubled my energy consumption. Well it takes a bit more than that to maintain the constant speed instead of idling deceleration.
And of course, it takes a considerable amount of energy just sitting idling while waiting for a light to turn green.
So traffic lights are a major energy wasting system, that is stupider than any two year old child, who can tell, there is no traffic coming that would require one to stop.
They are also programmed to stop all traffic except the one they select to allow to go.
They should be reprogrammed to allow all traffic to go, except the ones they have to stop.
Here in silicon valley, we have many intersections, where multiple cars are stopped in every direction but one, and the light is green for the only direction that has no cars, and it will stay that way until a car finally arrives from that one direction.
At times I have seen no less than 50 cars, in multiple lanes in multiple directions, all sitting and waiting for one single car to eventually come from the one green direction.
So CAFE can never account for totally dumb traffic light programming.
I did I forget to say that silicon valley is full of software engineers and programmers, and these are the very people who are going to program your car of the future to drive itself for you.
Knowing how to write computer code, does not teach one how to solve real world problems.

Reply to  george e. smith
July 27, 2016 6:22 pm

On one memorable occasion in the early 1970s at around 3AM I ran the full length of Deansgate, Manchester, UK, straight through the centre of the city and possessed of around a dozen traffic lights end-to-end, on an BSA A10 650cc motorcycle, watching the lights turn green in front of me all the way through in perfect synchronisation, a truly wonderful, almost mystical experience, never to be repeated.
I was doing around 85 MPH at the time…

Tom Halla
July 20, 2016 9:05 am

But setting high CAFE standards makes the greens feel so good, we should indulge them despite the lack of real-world effects/sarc

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 20, 2016 9:50 am

The solution since greens want all renewable energy, high mileage cars, zero emissions, etc.
Is to require that greens register as greens. If they register in high enough numbers I’m fine with having renewable energy, high mileage cars, zero emissions products available. The greens will be restricted to just buying these products. They can’t purchase non-renewable energy, low mileage cars, or emitting products.
This solves the problem. The rest of us are left alone to enjoy real energy, polluting products, and low mileage cars and the greens can feel good that they are saving the planet.
And the reality is some of us will purchase the “green” products. But it will be a choice not a requirement.

Steve T
Reply to  PA
July 20, 2016 10:56 am

They should also be required to sign up for “renewable energy only” tariffs controlled by smart meters. They can be charged the higher rates and also cut off when the sun goes down and there’s no wind. Everybody else can have reliable cheap energy unless they choose otherwise.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  PA
July 20, 2016 12:17 pm

It would be better if they all just went and built their own city and lived the way they want the rest of us to live. It they are successful on that scale the free market will make it desirable to build more of those utopias. PITST

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 20, 2016 12:58 pm

Greens hate cars. And they really, really, really hate that pretty much everyone but Greens would rather buy a big, comfortable car than a tiny 100mpg diesel three-wheeler.
And the CAFE requirement was obviously insane from the start. Any engineer could have told them that. The primary result has been to push a lot of relatively new and untested technology that will cost a lot more to maintain than any money saved in fuel economy.
Trump should scrap the EPA as soon as he’s elected, but probably won’t.

July 20, 2016 9:09 am

I know people who went to China back in the 1970s. Everyone rode bikes except for Madame Mao and her gang.

Reply to  emsnews
July 20, 2016 9:13 am

..Yes, but not be “Green”, it was because they had no money to but a car …

ferd berple
Reply to  emsnews
July 20, 2016 9:56 am

How about setting fuel standards based on what the President gets driving around? How about requiring all EPA officials to drive 54.5 mpg vehicles only?
Do as we say, not as we do?

Reply to  ferd berple
July 20, 2016 12:59 pm

“How about setting fuel standards based on what the President gets driving around?”
How about the Constitutional Lawyer President explaining how telling auto manufacturers what kind of cars they can sell is Constitutional?

Reply to  emsnews
July 20, 2016 12:52 pm

Today in China, there are many electric scooters. The problem is that much of the electrical power in China is produced by coal. These electric scooters looks great to the greenies and makes them feel really good, but the reality is very different.

July 20, 2016 9:18 am

Lots of people will end up dying while driving the EPA approved tin cans.
As far as the leftists/ecologists are concerned, that is a big plus.

Reply to  MarkW
July 20, 2016 2:15 pm

I call those small cars lunch boxes. Occasionally I call them wheel chocks and sometimes doorstops. Mostly, though, its lunch boxes.

Reply to  A.D. Everard
July 20, 2016 2:30 pm

Argh – it’s – not its. I was sure I wrote it’s.

Reply to  A.D. Everard
July 21, 2016 9:38 am

My wife calls the key chain cars.

Reply to  A.D. Everard
July 21, 2016 1:45 pm

In the UK they are sometimes referred to as “a pauper’s box* on a roller skate”.
* Cardboard coffin used to bury people too poor to afford a wooden one.

Reply to  A.D. Everard
July 25, 2016 2:28 pm

I call mine a half-pint beer can. 😉 Fortunately, my Tundra makes up for it!

July 20, 2016 9:20 am

VW showed one workaround method. The legal way to do it is to stop buying new cars and identify statistically the best long-term used cars by category and stay within those parameters. That method also contributes to retirement savings and other cost and tax containment strategies.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Resourceguy
July 20, 2016 11:28 am

Or, just move to Cuba. They have done a pretty good job of keeping all their ’50s era cars in top running shape. Alternatively, Cuba auto mechanics could demand a pretty high sum if they wanted to emigrate.

July 20, 2016 9:25 am

and said, yeah, car companies should be able to hit them…
yeah…it’s so easy they are risking getting caught lying about it

July 20, 2016 9:26 am

Here in the west, people just aren’t all that price sensitive when it comes to fuel costs.
At some point in the future the green-tards may finally grasp the simple fact that to dis-incentivize fuel usage it is necessary to make fuel costs sky-rocket.
Bans on the maximum input power of vacuum cleaners or pie-in-the-sky emissions targets or massively wasteful “cash for clunkers” schemes are not going to make a jot of difference.
Even a significant carbon tax would not successfully FORCE people to give up their energy usage.
We still live in a world where people travel around for no other reason than to – travel around.
Only astronomical rises in energy costs would make any inroads into inducing people to cut wastage and make energy efficient choices.
Even the insane $140 a barrel oil peak of a few years ago had little to no impact on global energy use – which continues to rise and rise.
And from where we stand we would need a tax of nearly 200% on the base price just to bring prices back up to that level.
If the leftists really do want to slow down energy use then they probably will have to completely crash the world economy.
And, believe me – they’re working on it!!!

Michael C. Roberts
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
July 20, 2016 10:40 am

And this mindset, my fellow WUWT denizens is what the current crop of (Anti)Progress-ives describe as “Sustainability” – as Professor Maurice King once said, ‘Global sustain-ability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption, and set levels of mortality control’.
Lest we forget the real mission of the faithful. For a primer, call up and reread the Club of Rome charter.
Seems the current administration in the US of A is nearing GDP ‘sustain-ability’ right now…where is that number, again? 2.4% year on year?
(Source: http://www.statista.com/statistics/263614/gross-domestic-product-gdp-growth-rate-in-the-united-states/)
When it hits zed/zero, we here will have achieved Green Utopia, Sustain-ability Personified!
(hyphens intentionally added to preempt potential moderation)

Ian W
Reply to  Michael C. Roberts
July 20, 2016 1:14 pm

It is not sustainability that the progressives are concerned about it is the proliferation of the human race. As Paul Ehrlich wrote about nuclear fusion [unlimited energy] would be “like giving a machine gun to an idiot child”.
They do not appear to want to be first in the queue when it comes to become soylent green, so it is only non-progressives they are talking about as a ‘cancer of the Earth’. ‘Othering’ is one of the progressives’ strong suits.

Carbon BIgfoot
Reply to  Michael C. Roberts
July 21, 2016 5:03 am

The Club of Rome Charter stems from the Malthusians that Robert Zubrin explains in his stellar work ” The Merchants of Despair”, e.g., Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism.

Keith Willshaw
Reply to  indefatigablefrog
July 23, 2016 12:42 pm

Here in Europe you better believe we ARE price sensitive.That is why more than 50% of cars are diesels. If you did 18000 miles per annum and gas cost $6 a gallon you might think otherwise. You cant win of course, I drive a car that does more than 50 mpg but the greens hate me anyway.

Joel O'Bryan
July 20, 2016 9:30 am

it is about control and power; controlling the sheeple. but the sheeple aren’t cooperating by buying those tiny cars.
The pols understand that without wage growth and with the current slow economic growth, expensive gasoline would lead to a huge pull-back in consumer discretionary spending. And it is consumer discretionary spending that is keeping the looming recession at-bay.
but cheap gasoline (petrol) keeps the Ford F-150s and Chevy Silverados moving off the sales lots.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 20, 2016 10:58 am

Been a while since I’ve seen a new (real) pickup truck. What I do see is a lot of 4 door road sedans minus a trunk lid. I have a 2000 F-450 diesel –great truck, will pull a mountain–12 mpg loaded or empty uphill or down. Loved a ford ranger I once had, and would buy another but–Ford doesn’t make them for the american market any longer–sell one with a little 3 cyl. diesel over seas, but those darned cafe standards–it lowers the fleet average too much to keep it and the bigger trucks both in the fleet. My current PU is a 64 dodge–suspect it gets about 10 mpg, but since the gas gauge nor the odometer work, thats just a guess. EDD is an 06 matrix. at my age, don’t suspect I’ll be buying any new vehicles at all.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 20, 2016 10:05 pm

at my age, don’t suspect I’ll be buying any new vehicles at all.
Yes: at my age, don’t suspect I’ll be buying any advertising, armageddonism, high brow bettering, msm dumbfounded ‘I know what’s the best for you to believe ‘ at all.
cheers – Hans

Brian McCain
July 20, 2016 9:31 am

I’ve worked in the household refrigeration industry for 20+ years and don’t understand why the auto industry doesn’t fight for a new type of efficiency standard. Standards for refrigerators are based on the style, storage size and features (ice and water, auto defrost…). They all have to meet their own standard and the companies aren’t forced to sell more small top mounts because the new hot model is a huge bottom mount or side by side that uses twice the electricity.
From what I’ve read, even the 50mpg goal is un-achievable. So we’ll end up with the government banning the manufacture of pick up trucks and SUV’s in order to “save the planet”

Reply to  Brian McCain
July 20, 2016 1:03 pm

“From what I’ve read, even the 50mpg goal is un-achievable.”
I guess it is achievable, in theory. You just need a 0.5-liter engine with a quad-turbo setup that gives 10bar boost when you need power. So it’s gutless in the city but hits the fuel economy target, and burns fuel faster than a 10-litre V8 as soon as you hit the gas.
Needless to say, no sane person would choose to buy such a vehicle if they were given a free choice.

Reply to  MarkG
July 21, 2016 8:08 am

If we want free choice we must stop voting Democrat.

Reply to  MarkG
July 21, 2016 8:39 pm

People buy pickups and SUVs for safety reasons.
It may not be possible to build cars in the U.S. in the near future if these CAFE regulations have to be met. Expect car production to be moved to other countries.

July 20, 2016 9:33 am

Toyota Tundra Truck…need it for my work.

Reply to  emsnews
July 20, 2016 10:48 am

Ford Superduty diesel…because I wanted one

Reply to  Paul
July 20, 2016 11:22 am

GMC Sierra 1500:
Because we use the vehicle off road, for long camping trips, carrying and ferrying show goods, carrying hay & feed, moving farm equipment, separating muddy things from people…
… and for all those times that a truck is incredibly useful and small vehicles are freaking useless. Which tends to be at least once a week.

Tom Judd
July 20, 2016 9:41 am

How many mpg does the presidential limo get? I think they call it the ‘beast’ (no doubt, an indication that it is most definitely not a dinky, god-hope-I-don’t-get-in-an-accident-with-anything-bigger-than-a-roller skate, 2 seater hybrid like I drive). But, in the future it may be called the hildebeest. And, just like its predecessor, it will slurp up the fossil fuels a lot more than that overweight Aphrodite (plant that picture in your mind for the next 4 years) thinks our cars should be able to slurp it.
Ah, but to be in a position to demand a lower standard of living for others than for one’s self must be such a tingly feeling.

Mark from the Midwest
Reply to  Tom Judd
July 20, 2016 9:51 am

about 4 mpg, the damn thing weighs between 8 and 9 tons

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
July 20, 2016 1:15 pm

I hear it can shrug off your average RPG. The rumors of a Chobham inclosement with NBC sealing and an 8 hour air supply in the trunk that the prez can lock himself into is probably untrue.
2 hours air, max. ^¿^

NW sage
Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
July 20, 2016 4:16 pm

A lot less than that because at least 4 vehicles are required EVERY time the POTUS goes by road – HIS car, the lead car for the secret service and to ‘clear’ the way, the follow car for more secret service and to keep someone from sneaking up, a van or equivalent to carry all the security ‘stuff’. And that doesn’t even count the police motorcycle escorts. Every one of these burns hydrocarbons and makes a LOT of CO2.

Reply to  Mark from the Midwest
July 21, 2016 9:41 am

Don’t they always have a second beast, in case the first one gets a flat tire?

July 20, 2016 9:45 am

Here’s a T-shirt that should be available at WUWT:
Never under-estimate an old man who is an engineer

Stewart Pid
Reply to  David Middleton
July 20, 2016 10:31 am

David source please …. I qualify on both counts.

Reply to  ptolemy2
July 20, 2016 8:25 pm

This one know how to turn a car seat into an x-ray machine.

AGW is not Science
July 20, 2016 9:48 am

Here’s the irony; it’s the US government that made the U.S. so automobile-centric in the first place. Lopsided government transportation spending and regulation supported massive buildup and subsidies for highways and aviation, and punished railroads, the most efficient mode as a practical matter (beaten only by bicycles, which won’t haul much freight or any passengers for much of a distance). Now the government wants to punish us for using what THEY pushed us to use. The government picks the winners, and everybody loses – as usual. Look no further than subsidization and attempted cramming down our throats of “renewables” for energy production for another fine example of government imbecility.
CAFE should be ditched along with the EPA in its current form.

Owen in GA
Reply to  AGW is not Science
July 20, 2016 11:38 am

You realize, of course, that the US Passenger Rail System doesn’t exist because all the carriers went bankrupt, right?? The last of them left the market in the 60s, but most had already abandoned the market by the 50s. It simply cost too much to maintain the rails and rolling stock to make the market affordable.
The highway system in the US is actually a byproduct of the cold war need for easy troop movements.

Reply to  Owen in GA
July 20, 2016 2:22 pm

Same in the UK.
‘Go diesel!’ they cried.
Now, someone has noticed that even the ‘cleaner diesels’ fling out a lot of particulates, especially stood I traffic.
So now the “thinking” [knee-jerk reaction?] is to penalise folk who bought diesel for its mileage. . . .

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Owen in GA
July 20, 2016 5:14 pm

There was never a US Passenger Rail System, as such. Railroads moved people as a by-product of their main business which was freight. No passenger-only line has been able to pay it’s own way. All such ventures require subsidies to operate.

Reply to  Owen in GA
July 21, 2016 7:01 am

The National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956 was created by Eisenhower from his experience on his cross country drive in 1919 and his seeing Germany’s Autobahn system.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  AGW is not Science
July 20, 2016 2:07 pm

That seems only fair. It was government subsidies to the railroads which bankrupted canals and clipper ships.
True Story:
In 1948-1949 Chicago hosted the Chicago Railroad Fair in what was then Burnham Park along the Lake Michigan Shore between 21st and 31st streets. The fair was promoted by many prominent Chicago persons include Robert McCormick, the publisher of the Chicago Tribune.
Because the Fair would involve potentially permanent damage to the park, which had been set aside permanently for public access by the master plan (the “Burnham Plan”), many resisted the idea. McCormick pledged that if the Fair lost money and could not restore the park to its original condition, he personally would make up the funds needed.
The Railroad Fair came and went, but it lost money. So the city was left with a torn up public park and McCormick was left with the promise to fix it. Suddenly there arose a cry that what the city needed was a new convention center, and what better place than right there on the lake. The Chicago Tribune championed the cause and eventually carried the day; construction started in 1958 and completed in 1960. As McCormick had died in 1955, they named it after him.
The original ugly convention center was destroyed in a fire in 1967 and they replaced it with an even uglier one. It is still called McCormick Place.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
July 20, 2016 2:09 pm
Reply to  AGW is not Science
July 21, 2016 9:47 am

People moved to the suburbs because they wanted to move to the suburbs. Nobody forced them to. Nobody bribed them to.
The government built roads, because that is what the people wanted.
Just look at any city where they have both mass transit and a decent road system. Only those who can’t afford cars take mass transit. Even where there isn’t a decent road system, people choose cars when they can.
People don’t take trains for a few, very simple reasons, none of which have anything to do with government.
1) Cars leave when you want, not when the schedule says they should leave.
2) Cars take you door to door. With trains you have to drive to the depot, then rent a car when you arrive at your destination.
3) Even when the start and end points are the same, cars are way, way faster. For the simple reason that cars don’t stop every 15 minutes to drop off and pick up passengers.
4) With cars, you only have to put up with the people you choose to bring with you. With trains you have to put up with anyone else who happens to buy a ticket.
I’m sure there are more.

Reply to  MarkW
July 22, 2016 7:35 am

“With trains you have to put up with anyone else who happens to buy a ticket.”
This is effect is amplified through adverse selection. The people you have to put up with on trains are generally of the sort that can’t afford a car.
Or worse.
They CAN afford a car “but choose for gaia” and will spend the entire trip telling you how their vegan, cross-fit, sustainable, recyclable, low carbon foot print lifestyle is superior to yours.

July 20, 2016 9:57 am

The EPA is a dual-use government agency.

July 20, 2016 10:27 am

EPA’s CPP goal of a 32% reduction in US power generation’s CO2 output will make a difference of about 1.5% in the global CO2 output. India’s and China’s expansion plans will quickly wipe out that gain and then a lot more so.

Gentle Tramp
July 20, 2016 10:40 am

“And feeling good about wasting the money of taxpayers and consumers is what really counts.”
This observation could inspire a truly fitting name for our current age of greenish anti-enlightenment:
The FGE = The Feeling Good Era… 😉

July 20, 2016 10:41 am

The problem with MPG is that it isn’t linear, so the higher up you go in MPG the less benefit you get. We do how many litres per 100km you use, since that is linear and thus the improvement can be much easier quantified.

Reply to  classicalhero7
July 20, 2016 1:24 pm


July 20, 2016 10:43 am

Another little trick in the Obummer rule. The EPA milage stickers used the same dyno tests as for the CAFE rules. There are three tricks. 1. The dyno tests use straight gasoline, not lower energy E10. So subtract 3 percent for the real world. 2. EPA has developed a set of dyno corrections to estimate ‘real world’ driving conditions. These reduce dyno results by about 30%. So 50 CAFE is really 35 EPA sticker, minus an additional 3 percent. 3. All those big flex fuel SUV and pickup vehicles that don’t actually ever run on E85 are excluded from the new CAFE harmonic mean fleet estimate cause they are ‘green’.
How can you tell is a politican is lying? He’s talking.

Reply to  ristvan
July 20, 2016 1:34 pm

I have an E-85 capable vehicle. I never use E-85.

Reply to  TA
July 21, 2016 7:38 am

I have E85 capable vehicle and I was trying to run on E85, terrible fuel efficiency, running costs are higher than on gasoline. But occasional usage of E85 will burn your carbon deposits from engine and keep it clean. It is like steam cleaner inside cylinders 🙂 And E85 will not stale as gasoline, so if planning to not use vehicle for few months it is better to have E85 in tank.

Dr. Bob
July 20, 2016 10:43 am

The only way to get improve fuel economy from vehicles is to cut weight. And in so doing, safety will be sacrificed. So people will die in traffic accidents they could have survived if they only had more metal around them. That is one of the main reasons people like larger vehicles. Simple physics. Two teens were killed in a rear end collision between a Ford Fiesta and a PU truck The teens were in the back seat and were crushed as there was no crush zone in that vehicle. Simple physics, two dead. No matter how strong a car is made, it responds to F=MA. A bigger mass will always push a smaller mass around. Try getting rear ended by a big rig at 75 MPH to find out how even a medium sized PU truck responds to 80,000 lbs hitting it. No contest, the Big Rig wins every time. I know, I was in the truck and walked away from an end-over-end flip. The only reason was the mass of the truck and the protection a large bed provided from the Big Rig.

Reply to  Dr. Bob
July 20, 2016 11:10 am

As I drive a 70′ long vehicle that can gross up to 80,000 lb. around the nations hi-ways and bi-ways I sometimes wonder what it would do to the “Smart Cars” I see. Those things seem to be nothing more than Golf Carts with doors. I already know what one will do to a 700 lb. Elk cow.

Reply to  RAH
July 20, 2016 11:42 am

“I already know what one will do to a 700 lb. Elk cow.”
One what? Golf cart or 70′ (21.3m) truck?
My guesses are the golf car loses big and the truck get elkburger in it’s running gear.
Leaving work at around 10PM.
Driving south on Rte.95 from Wash DC at about 65mph (105kmh) with a large flat front semi very close behind me; smaller than your 70′ truck.
I notice cars in front of the car to my front swerving wildly.
The car immediately in front of me suddenly swerves wobbling sharply to the right.
There, in the center lane, is a kneeling large beautiful buck with a magnificent rack.
Already tensed from seeing other cars swerve, I briefly check my left mirror and swerve hard into the left lane, pass the buck with inches to spare and swerve back into my original lane.
I hear a large smack/crunch sound.
It takes a few seconds for me to get the car back under control. When I do, I glance into my rear view mirror and there is the same truck immediately behind me with a slight smear on his center bumper.
No damage visible.
Then I thank the Lord that I wasn’t the car immediately behind the semi truck.
What a surprise that driver must’ve gotten.

Reply to  RAH
July 20, 2016 6:23 pm

Hit the Elk Cow going west on I-40 about 13 miles east of Flagstaff, AZ at about 01:00 local time. Had a co-driver unsecured in the sleeper. You don’t swerve a big truck to miss a big animal like that unless your absolutely sure you can miss it. If they go under the wheels on unweighted side they can flip the rig. Had to limit my breaking because of my co-driver. So I braked as hard as I thought I could without having him fly out of the bunk and squared up and took her straight on with that Freight Liner Century class pulling a 53′ dry van trailer. I hit her and she flew about 30′ in front of me then I ran right over her. She didn’t feel much I’m sure.
She dented the bumper and took out the grill. The AC condenser was demolished and the radiator had two thumb sized holes in it which were leaking. I limped on in to the Little American Truck Stop in Flagstaff and parked it and shut her down. It was early Sunday morning. We sat all day Sunday except pulling out from under the trailer to allow another team from the company take it to it’s destination in LA. Monday I took it to the Frieghtliner dealer in Flagstaff. They said it would take 3-4 days before they could even start on it.
The company, Schneider National, had us get a PT Cruiser rental and drive down the San Antonio, TX to get a new truck they had sitting there. Now that sucked. Two guys out for 5 weeks running have a whole lot of stuff in a truck so our knees were in our ears for the whole drive.
I trained and cut my teeth on over the road driving for Schneider. I would never work for them again but they sure gave me a lot of experience in a short time. By my 10th month with them I had driven a big truck in every one of the lower 48. Did 148,000 mi my first year.

Reply to  RAH
July 21, 2016 6:07 pm

I have a name for Smart cars, I call them dumb cars!

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Dr. Bob
July 20, 2016 9:57 pm

Take 2 fresh eggs and put them in an egg carton. Flip it onto the floor with 2-axis spin. Open the carton and take out the unbroken eggs. Now do the same thing with 2 eggs in a welded heavy steel box the same dimension as the egg carton but 100X heavier and without the contoured dividers. The eggs don’t survive.
Or take the example of a poor-handling Bloatmobile that the drunken teenagers ram into a bridge abutment at 70 MPH. All that extra weight does is make it harder to extract the bodies. On the other hand, there are many examples of drivers walking away from a 1000 lb formula race car that hits the wall at 70 MPH and the car disintegrates. That’s not physics, it’s engineering.
Or take a look at NHTSA statistics. Pickups and large SUVs are not statistically safer than sedans, as they are more prone to rollover and the roof collapses under all that extra weight. Head-on collisions may favor the heavier vehicle, but head-on collisions are not the major cause of traffic fatalities.
I agree with the thread originator and most posters; buy what you want and drive what you want. I own 2 cars and the big heavy one is a Mazda MX-5 Miata. Compared to the several motorcycles I have owned, it’s big, heavy, quiet, and comfortable….. and safer.

Reply to  dan no longer in CA
July 21, 2016 5:04 am

Your F1 comparison is not valid. They specifically designed the F1 course at Indy so they would not do a full high speed turn on the existing course because even with the safer barrier it was calculated there would be little left of an F1 car that hit the wall at full speed and driver survivability was highly doubtful.
Engineering can do much but course design has every bit as much to do with driver survivability.
There are limits to everything:

Reply to  dan no longer in CA
July 21, 2016 9:56 am

Your egg example is 100% invalid, the reason is simple, all cars are designed with crush zones. You metal box has none while the egg carton has some.
Out here in the real world, the bigger the car, the more crush zone there is around the passengers.
Statistics show, that even in single car accidents, big cars are much, much safer.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  dan no longer in CA
July 21, 2016 11:29 am

Here are the official US government statistics from the NHTSA. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812192 From 2004 to 2010, they show pickup trucks at somewhat higher fatality rate than passenger cars per 100,000 registrations. They have no information on fatalities per mile, but it’s not likely that pickup trucks are driven significantly more miles per year than passenger cars.
Then, in official government fashion, they show a reporting discontinuity that has 2011- 2013 pickups safer than passenger cars. SUVs are about the same as passenger cars throughout.

Ian Macdonald
Reply to  Dr. Bob
July 20, 2016 10:56 pm

In a collision between two vehicles of equal mass, one stationary, if the collision is perfectly elastic the striking vehicle stops and the stationary one is then moving at the initial velocity of the striking one. (as in the ‘Newton’s balls’ toy)
In a collision between a stationary light vehicle and a moving heavy one, the heavy one continues as if nothing has changed, while the light one rebounds away at twice the impact velocity of the heavy one.
Hence, being struck by a much heavier vehicle imparts about four times the kinetic energy (in proportion to the square of velocity change) than being struck by a similar vehicle, and could be assumed to do four times the damage. The important point is that once the striking vehicle is several times the weight of the struck vehicle, further increases in striking vehicle mass make little difference.
That does not of course take into account the crashworthiness of either vehicle. A vehicle of flimsy construction is going to suffer far more deformation than one of strong construction. A vehicle with a strong passenger compartment but weaker extremities will undergo a less-elastic collision, and hence the total velocity change of the occupants will be reduced by up to half. Which is why the SUV is still a lifesaver in such situations.

July 20, 2016 11:02 am

The Soviet Union and the Third Reich both tried to advance technology by fiat. Both failed. Lysenkoism is dead and the ‘Jewish science’ of Einstein still stands.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
July 20, 2016 11:25 am

I haven’t read the actual CAFE regulations, but setting an “average” fuel economy that spans multiple types of fuel produces distortions. Diesel engines achieve better MPG than gasoline ones for several reasons that have nothing to do with thermal efficiency. For one thing diesel fuel is denser than gasoline, so there are more hydrocarbon molecules in the same volume of fuel. At the other extreme, pure ethanol is less dense than gasoline and therefore less chemical energy for the same volume.
You can see the comparisons here. For example diesel fuel has 129,500 BTU/gallon vs 114,000 for the base (standard) formulation of gasoline vs 76,100 for E100 ethanol. All other things being equal, you would expect MPG to be proportional to the fuel energy density.
But assuming you are interested in reducing consumption of oil, measuring MPG at the carburator (or injector) is still the wrong approach. What you should be measuring is MPG of crude oil, taking into account the actual refining yield. It may be possible to formulate gasoline which delivers 10% better MPG at the injector but at the cost of using 20% more crude at the refinery. Or maybe it’s not possible — I’m not a petrochemical engineer — but it’s the kind of unintended consequence the CAFE standard encourages. The point is you need to measure what you’re trying to conserve, and the CAFE approach does not do that.
But even then, you still can’t meaningfully compare fuel economy if you don’t take into account how much useful work is done for that unit of fuel. If I have to make three trips to carry the same amount of stuff from point A to point B because my vehicle is too small to fit it all in at once, I could easily end up using more fuel in the “more economical” vehicle. The government cannot determine whether you “need” a pickup truck instead of subcompact car, although ours seems to be full of people who think they can.
So assuming there is any point in CAFE regulations, they need to measure how much useful work a given vehicle can do per unit of crude oil. The government cannot decide whether you really “need” an SUV and they should not have the power to do so, directly or indirectly.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
July 20, 2016 10:15 pm

I’m not a petroleum engineer either, but I think a barrel of crude yields more Diesel than gasoline.
The thermal efficiency difference is real and significant. Diesel cars get about 25% higher mileage than the same car with an Otto cycle spark ignition engine for three reasons. First, as you mentioned, the fuel is denser and you buy it by the gallon or liter. Second, the efficiency of both machines is a function of the square root of compression ratio, and typical Diesel compression ratios are 20 compared to Ottos at 9. Third, there are pumping losses (Vdot delta P) across the throttle plate and Diesels have no throttle.
But getting back to CAFE, I wonder if the likes of Ferrari, Lambo, Bentley, etc will be judged by their own products, or will they be included into the fleet of their various owners? Fiat, Audi, BMW…..

Reply to  dan no longer in CA
July 21, 2016 7:56 am

Yes, efficiency of diesel is about 15% higher, but this is partially outdone by engine weight. As diesel engine has higher compression ration and higher pressures it must have everything stronger, which means more weight. Average diesel car is 15% heavier than gasoline car. This is ruining efficiency advantage of diesels in cities, in start/stop driving. Real world efficiency advantage of diesel car is somewhere around 7%.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  dan no longer in CA
July 21, 2016 10:52 am

Per the Edmunds website: http://www.edmunds.com/volkswagen/golf/2015/diesel/features-specs/ a Volkswagen Golf Diesel gets 30/45 mpg and the same car with the gasoline burner gets 23/24 mpg. that’s an improvement for the Diesel of 30%/80%. The numbers for the Mercedes E-class Diesel sedan are 28/42 and the E-400 3 liter gasoline burner sedan shows 20/29 mpg. That’s a lot bigger difference than 15% minus a penalty for heavier.

Reply to  dan no longer in CA
July 23, 2016 1:17 am

Don’t forget that diesel is considerably more expensive than regular gasoline in the US.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
July 25, 2016 2:44 pm

If they REALLY wanted to reduce consumption of oil, a lot could be done by reducing the need to do so. Eliminate most daily commuting through telecommuting, working from home, and Skype. Stagger corporate start and quit times to eliminate traffic bottlenecks. Incentivize companies to quarter employees in neighborhoods within 5 miles of their offices. Eliminate unnecessary air travel for “meetings” that are glorified expense-account parties. AND, the biggie, eliminate most government travel of all non-essential types. Well, that’d make a dent, no?

July 20, 2016 11:39 am

What the heck… as long as the gum’mint is going to decree 54.5 mpg why don’t they make it 75 or 100 mpg?
Why not raise the minimum wage to $50/hour while they are at it? A unicorn in every pot and a flying car in every garage.
Our brilliant government can’t even figure out that when they subsidize poverty, they get more of it. Oh wait… they have that figured out and they do it to create a larger dependency on government. Never mind that one.
Welcome to the Nanny State.

Myron Mesecke
July 20, 2016 11:40 am

I believe there are several practical matters as to why pickups and SUVs are so popular.
1. You can still get a full size spare in most of them. If you are towing or carrying people and cargo you don’t want a donut or no spare at all.
2. The windshield glass isn’t as slanted so it is easier to reach and clean it on the inside, especially the bottom of the glass where the angle is larger and your rag and fingers can fit..
3. Passenger area is as wide as the body so interior is roomier. Almost all cars have gotten wider in the track for stability but body narrows as it goes up reducing hip and shoulder room.
4. Fuel tanks are larger. So even though mpg is less, driving range without stopping to refuel is sometimes greater than smaller fuel efficient cars with small fuel tanks.
They have taken out so many features from passenger cars in the name of mpg that they have reduced the usefulness and desirability of having one. One of the worst things is the so called ‘coupe like’ styling that has reduced the size of the trunk lid. Only small and medium sized objects can squeeze through the opening. No wonder sales of CUVs with lift gates have taken off.

Reply to  Myron Mesecke
July 20, 2016 1:16 pm

To be fair, a lot of the problems with cars are due to safety requirements, not fuel consumption. Windows are smaller because it’s easier to pass crash tests with metal than glass. Doors are further from the seats because it’s easier to pass crash tests with more distance between the metal and the passengers. People are dying from airbag-propelled shrapnel because they’re needed to pass safety tests.

Ben of Houston
Reply to  Myron Mesecke
July 20, 2016 2:02 pm

How about this. When we need to haul five or seven people, we can. When we need to get some bricks or dirt or a month’s worth of toilet paper, we can. That’s the big thing. Even if we only truly NEED the space once a month, it’s there when we need it. It’s the same reason that electrics are so unpopular. Yes, a Smartcar or electric would satisfy 95% of my needs, but why would I have a separate car for the other 5%?
I drive a tiny little car for the mileage on my job, but my wife will drive an SUV until our kids are in college at least.

Dr. Bob
July 20, 2016 11:43 am

I am reminded of Steven Chu, former head of DOE, saying that an electric powered big rig would work just fine. Only thing is, the battery pack would be at least 1/2 of the total load of the vehicle. One trailer of batteries and one of load, if it could pull it. And range would be 200 miles before the battery pack was depleted. Swap out is the only solution as no one can wait 24 hours for batteries to recharge. Physics, plain and simple.

Bruce Cobb
July 20, 2016 12:10 pm

Next, our All-Knowing and Wise government should make the housing industry build more “energy-efficient” tiny homes for us to live in. And, as an added incentive, they could offer us a bribe for us to move out of our current homes, and then move in and destroy them, which would also be a boon to the housing industry. They would need to come up with a catchy slogan for the program though, like “New Homes for a Brighter Tomorrow.”
It would be awesomesauce.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
July 20, 2016 12:23 pm

Of course they would retain their mansions because……. um because……… uhh because……well let’s just say they see themselves as deserving.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Tom in Florida
July 20, 2016 5:13 pm

Of course they would retain their mansions because……. um because……… uhh because……

because some animals are more equal than others.

Michael C. Roberts
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
July 20, 2016 12:46 pm

BC – You have just described the thoughts behind ICLEI and the ‘Sustainable Cities’ approach for the future of mankind (I’m thinking you knew this and that your post was on purpose?):
Oh, the humanity…

July 20, 2016 1:07 pm

There is no 50 MPG being achieved. It amounts to paying Tesla thousands of dollars for every car sold.

July 20, 2016 1:24 pm

Why isn’t someone questioning the EPA’s, and the government’s, power to regulate fuel consumption? There’s no direct health or safety issue involved, only unproven assumptions, so in the absence of a declaration of war, the government at any level has no power to set limits on fuel consumption. The concept of limited government enshrined in the constitution, the Founders’ greatest gift, is being lost here by a failure to push back.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 21, 2016 5:37 am

Ok they could do it the way they do it in most other countries, by taxation. Add the UK rate of ~$2.9/US gallon for unleaded gasoline and I’m sure you’d see a shift to lower fuel consumption vehicles.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  David Middleton
July 21, 2016 11:01 am

The US federal and state governments are doing the opposite of European countries. Fed tax on Diesel is 6 cents/gallon higher than gasoline and most states add another differential of 6 to 10 cents per gallon on top of that. http://www.gaspricewatch.com/web_gas_taxes.php Without differential taxation, Diesel at the pump would be cheaper than gasoline. They are discouraging more fuel efficient vehicles by taxation. I moved from CA where the taxes on fuel are 69 & 79 cents/gal to TX where the taxes are 38 & 44 cents/gal.

CC Reader
July 20, 2016 1:50 pm

Gentle people, the leaders of the AGWers are really time travelers from the future! There is no oil available except that which is created during the process of making soylent green. They are trying to save their society and return fat to their diet.

July 20, 2016 2:58 pm

Yes. All of this will indeed become totally irrelevant should Trump be elected. He’ll also use every other form of domestic energy to achieve energy independence.
His type actually want to be successful.
Obama 3(Clinton)..same ole destructive agenda with vested $$ for the positioned wealthy.
“Yuge” difference if you’re bought and paid for( and have a constituency that’s, well, not
very smart).

July 20, 2016 3:35 pm

cafe combined with ethanol blends really sucks. here in my area of maine no pure gas anywhere.
my 2010 marquis runs around 19-23mpg (rural driving lot of short steep hills) but by using large car I can pull trailer and avoid needing separate truck also.
can easily tow 1500-2000lbs payload (actual weighed materials in trailer) with no issues. few weeks ago had 1510lbs metal in trailer, tipped scales over 6700lbs and towed fine.
and this vehicle rated to survive a lot, can get rear ended at high speeds and survive. full frame also so I know I can make it last 18 yrs like I did my 1997 version.
to meet cafe standards weight reduction usually the initial way to go before engine and gearing tech catches up. dangerous.

Reply to  dmacleo
July 21, 2016 5:41 am

If it were a hybrid you’d cut fuel consumption with the added benefit of higher torque at low speed.

Reply to  Phil.
July 21, 2016 8:58 am

let me know when you tow a dual axle 16ft trailer with a hybrid.

Reply to  Phil.
July 21, 2016 9:04 am

irony. while towing my 5×10 trailer (I have multiple trailers) with my car I have had to (5 times so far) hook onto a prius (that had a 4×6 trailer on it) and tow IT up the hill here by my house.
and tongue load kills weight on front wheels on it.
so I had my trailer (900 lbs empty) with 800lb of mower in it (multiple wheel and front weights) hooked onto a prius with a tow rope hauling IT and ITS trailer (total weight of trailer and mower approx 800lbs) up the hill here.
yeah …..torque….does no good when vehicle weight too light to tow anything wortha damn.
would love to convert my car to a diesel generator powering a traction motor bound to third member input shaft on rear axle.

Tsk Tsk
July 20, 2016 4:46 pm

As an added bonus… The total CO2 emissions from 54.5 mpg aren’t significantly different than 50 mpg and won’t have any measurable effect on global temperatures.

1/n, how does it work?
Seems obvious until you understand how a Leftie counts: One, Two, Many, Mine.

July 21, 2016 8:45 am

The basic reason for the ridiculously high CAFE standard is simple. It’s unobtainable. Therefore the fees (taxes) required to make up the difference will force vehicles to be much more expensive, reducing the number of people who will be able to afford one.
This is similar to the EPA regulation that requires refiners to use a certain biofuel, But that biofuel is not available, so the refiners are fined (taxed) to increase the government income. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/10/business/energy-environment/companies-face-fines-for-not-using-unavailable-biofuel.html
If the banks are “too big to fail” at what point is the government “too big to fail”?

July 21, 2016 10:19 am

Buy top quality, long-life used cars and leave the life of debt, underfunded retirement plans, and policy subservience to others.

Larry Butler W4CSC
Reply to  Resourceguy
July 21, 2016 2:47 pm

Done! 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300TD diesel wagon running on 50 parts used vegoil from Chinese restaurants I get free mixed with 1 part paint thinner in Summer and 2 parts paint thinner in Winter in Charleston, SC. Exhaust smells faintly of frying fish, not french fries. Has approx 680K miles without engine or automatic transmission overhauls. Wore out 3 speedometers, 2 fuel guage senders, 2 sets load leveler hydraulic cylinders, 1 steering wheel, 2 shift knobs and a few odds and ends like power window switches. Paid $2500 for it from a banker when his wife got new 300E. Change Rotella T every 3000 miles. 5th set of tires….

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