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Not suggesting he's doing it for the right reasons, but just to add a touch of debate on this polarised issue, from my POV here in Europe, all that the 95g/km CO2 requirement has done is to encourage a series of PHEVs with truly pathetic and teeny battery sizes.

Consider the BMW 220XE (I think it is called?) it has a battery supposedly capable of 25 EV miles but in practice people here are reporting 10 EV miles.

10 miles!?!?!

I think it is something like 6kWh usable, IIRC.

Yet this car is getting a 49g/km homologation out of NEDC which puts it into beneficial tax categories and 'supposedly' that translates to something like 80mpg, US gal.

Like BS it can do that.

People who buy that sort of car, unless they are really dedicated EV enthusiasts like us, are going to not bother to plug in. Over in the US, I guess that might save a buck a day, maybe, but is it really going to change behaviour?

All that the 54.5mpg requirement does is encourage the sale of PEHVs with such small battery sizes that people will end up using then as gassers BUT lugging around an extra 500kg of battery and motor.

I think the move should not be mpg based. To get 54.5mpg means you basically HAVE to put electricity in the loop as an energy source to get through the NEDC/EPA tests, but in doing so on a SMALL scale then it makes it worse than if you didn't have it at all.

I think the jump to 54.5 is too big a jump in one go, but not big enough to force BEVs/EREVs/REX into the market place. If it was lower, then it would make sense to apply PHEV technology to the larger SUVs and whilst those are being developed and improved we could see a jump to a much better level of electrification as the tech comes down in price and up in availability.

If I was in charge, I would put a 45mpg level in, with a sudden jump to 80mpg 10 years after that, so there is a clear path. This would really force manufacturers to plan to deliver big BEVs, or at least PHEVs with bigger batteries and useful Volt-like EV range.

Either that or just do what CA has done and mandate a certain number of BEVs. I think this would be better than imposing a new mpg level.
 

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Exactly, a carbon tax forces the issue. Only warming with that is once the transition starts occurring in earnest the money brought in by the carbon tax would decline and declining revenues of federal offices would lead to a general energy tax. That aside, I think it is the best way to encourage the transition while still allowing consumers to buy what they want for a time.
 

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Good point. CAFE rules probably create unwanted distortions, especially now that the gains from better engine designs over the past decades have mostly been squeezed to the max, so they have to start looking elsewhere. The carbon tax does get right to the heart of the matter. We have definitely seen that fuel price spikes in the past have had a visible impact on consumer preference toward more efficient vehicles.

The auto industry will be glad to provide vehicles that are truly more efficient as long as there is a market demand for them and they can be sold at a profit. Their only real objection now is that the bulk of consumers really want the V8 trucks and SUVs. The economy cars are produced in excess of demand and have to be sold cheap to move them off the lots.

Plus, past price spikes have increased other conserving activities like carpooling, trip consolidation, public transport, etc. which CAFE has absolutely no affect on. So you would get benefits in more ways with a tax approach.

The main problem with Trump rolling back the CAFE standards is that they will not be replaced with other measures.
 

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The Obama administration responsibly used the tools available to them. CAFE standards were the only choice. Plus, overall fleet fuel economy had stalled and even gone backwards in the past decade.

Would they have preferred a carbon tax? Maybe, but it was not possible. There was no chance to get a carbon tax passed with the Republican control of Congress.
 

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I agree with you.
Mandating fuel economy is not the most effective tool to reducing emissions.

Personally I think a combination of a carbon tax (with proceeds moving to fund cleaner technologies) and a ZEV mandate would be more effective.
Except for the fact that you will never get a carbon tax passed with this congress/president. They have too much money at stake in carbon to tax it.

The crazies (Grover Norquist, et al) foam at the mouth at the mere mention of the word "tax" and "moderate" Republicans (as plentiful these days as unicorns, Sasquatch and Underpants Gnomes) will talk a good game, but never actually deliver.
 

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So far nothing has been rolled back. The decision date has been placed back where it was agreed to in the first place. And state waivers were not rescinded, if Californians want to drive around in clown cars, more power to ya. (Little poke in the ribs, there)

I agree with the OP in many ways. Games are played to the rules, not necessarily the way "we" think they should be played. And humans are really good at gaming the system.

Any ideas on how to replace hydrocarbon fuels for aircraft, ships, trucks, trains etc? That's what 2/3 of a barrel of oil goes towards.
 

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Any ideas on how to replace hydrocarbon fuels for aircraft, ships, trucks, trains etc? That's what 2/3 of a barrel of oil goes towards.
That is a tough issue, but taxing the carbon would probably result in switching some cargo and passenger volume to more efficient modes of transportation. For instance, trains are 3x more efficient than trucking. Trucks are absolutely needed for local distribution, but maybe trains could handle more regional/national transport (assuming appropriate infrastructure investment).
 

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That is a tough issue, but taxing the carbon would probably result in switching some cargo and passenger volume to more efficient modes of transportation. For instance, trains are 3x more efficient than trucking. Trucks are absolutely needed for local distribution, but maybe trains could handle more regional/national transport (assuming appropriate infrastructure investment).
A trucker friend of mine tells me his average is 8.3 mpg (company computed and his tractor isn't the latest and greatest tech). Since a typical load for him is 20 tons (tanker with liquids) he's moving a ton 166 miles on a gallon of fuel. A train is 400 and a large container ship 1000. Size matters.
Trucks aren't as efficient as trains but they have a valuable advantage, flexibility. Hard to run a just in time, lean inventory economy unless things can be moved on demand from here to where ever.
 

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The past administration set CAFE goals, but did not know if they were attainable, so they scheduled a hearing for re-evaluating the plan in April 2018(?). Interesting timing. Why not October, before the election, if he was going to stick to the plan no matter what? He planned the decision to be made by the next administration. We do not know what would have happened at the April meeting if Hillary would have won. Unions were a big backer of her campaign, and if tighter CAFE regs would have cost union jobs, she might have allowed the formula to slowed down as well.

Something to understand, is that tighter CAFE means more expensive cars which are already gaining mass due to the NHTSA so more expensive weight reduction methods would need to be implemented. Wanting heavier cars and better fuel economy and to help the poor and middle class financially are all conflicting policies. Who are you going to chose to harm and by how much and how fast?
 

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A trucker friend of mine tells me his average is 8.3 mpg (company computed and his tractor isn't the latest and greatest tech). Since a typical load for him is 20 tons (tanker with liquids) he's moving a ton 166 miles on a gallon of fuel. A train is 400 and a large container ship 1000. Size matters.
Trucks aren't as efficient as trains but they have a valuable advantage, flexibility. Hard to run a just in time, lean inventory economy unless things can be moved on demand from here to where ever.
20 tons is probably his gross vehicle weight, not the weight of the cargo. Trucks are typically 130 ton miles per gallon.

As for the costs of carrying more inventory, that is a consideration. If the true costs of trucking were factored in (via a carbon tax, for instance), it might make economic sense to carry more inventory to accommodate slower, but cheaper distribution while providing equal customer service.
 

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A trucker friend of mine tells me his average is 8.3 mpg (company computed and his tractor isn't the latest and greatest tech). Since a typical load for him is 20 tons (tanker with liquids) he's moving a ton 166 miles on a gallon of fuel. A train is 400 and a large container ship 1000. Size matters.
Trucks aren't as efficient as trains but they have a valuable advantage, flexibility. Hard to run a just in time, lean inventory economy unless things can be moved on demand from here to where ever.
20 tons is probably his gross vehicle weight, not the weight of the cargo. Trucks are typically 130 ton miles per gallon.

As for the costs of carrying more inventory, that is a consideration. If the true costs of trucking were factored in (via a carbon tax, for instance), it might make economic sense to carry more inventory to accommodate slower, but cheaper distribution while providing equal customer service.
The load is 5000 gallons of water based liquid, 20 tons. The gross weight is 80000 lbs. Michigan allows double trailers so intrastate the economy would be even better.
 

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Any ideas on how to replace hydrocarbon fuels for aircraft, ships, trucks, trains etc? That's what 2/3 of a barrel of oil goes towards.
Hybrid power systems are the way to go. It doesn't eliminate the need for carbon fuel on ships, but certainly can cut down on the consumption. Also, such systems would give ships the ability to "self-fuel" in extremis. You may have to go slow, but moving beats sitting in the water.
 

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Remember the previous Administration set CAFE standards with the belief that oil prices would be higher, thus gas prices would be higher and the mix of vehicles being purchased now would thru market forces have a higher percentage of smaller fuel-efficient vehicles. With oil and gas costs so low, people are choosing to buy lower fuel-efficient vehicles, even when more fuel-efficient vehicles are available at a reasonable cost.

If any Administration wants to meet the future CAFE standard, they need to raise the cost of fuel, so that people buy the more efficient vehicles. Thru a fuel tax or carbon tax, whatever. As this potential tax is regressive, lower income folks hurt more, then some means of helping those folks afford the higher tax should be considered.
 

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Not suggesting he's doing it for the right reasons, but just to add a touch of debate on this polarised issue, from my POV here in Europe, all that the 95g/km CO2 requirement has done is to encourage a series of PHEVs with truly pathetic and teeny battery sizes.

Consider the BMW 220XE (I think it is called?) it has a battery supposedly capable of 25 EV miles but in practice people here are reporting 10 EV miles.

10 miles!?!?!

I think it is something like 6kWh usable, IIRC.

Yet this car is getting a 49g/km homologation out of NEDC which puts it into beneficial tax categories and 'supposedly' that translates to something like 80mpg, US gal.
So basically this car has been made to game the system, and that we are likely to see more of these sorts of vehicles.
 

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A few points should be kept in mind. First is that there is no 54.5 MPG standard. Every vehicle gets a footprint based on its size, and a fleet average for a given manufacturer depends on the mix of vehicles it sells. Sell larger vehicles and the fleet average goal is lower. Sell smaller vehicles and the fleet average goal is higher. The 54.5 MPG was a guess based on the estimated mix of vehicles expected to be sold. The actual mix has tilted towards larger vehicles so the goal will be lower. The TAR made that clear.

Second is that the 54.5 MPG isn't related to what you'd see on the sticker. The CAFE number is based on the old driving cycle. Translate the 54.5 number on the old cycle to the new cycle and the number is more like 40+ MPG.

Third is that the EPA does NOT set MPG standards. In accordance with the Supreme Court's directive in Massachusetts vs. EPA, it has to set greenhouse gas standards. NHTSA sets MPG standards. In essence you have three independent regulatory bodies: EPA, NHTSA, and CARB. Right now the standards are harmonized. But they don't have to be. You can change one or two, leaving the third one in place. In this case, as a practical matter, manufacturers would have to meet the highest standard. (The Clean Air Act allows states to follow either CARB or the NHTSA standards and states representing about 45% of the market follow the CARB standards).

Fourth is that CARB has a waiver until 2025 to regulate emissions at the current standard. Short of congressional action there is no way to revoke that waiver. In addition CARB has ZEV requirements which are more important for electric vehicles than the MPG standards, which can be met with hybrid or some conventional technologies.

Fifth is that states can easily require higher standards by simply taxing the sale of vehicles that miss the emission or MPG standards, say with a tax of $3K per MPG missed.

Remember the previous Administration set CAFE standards with the belief that oil prices would be higher, thus gas prices would be higher and the mix of vehicles being purchased now would thru market forces have a higher percentage of smaller fuel-efficient vehicles. With oil and gas costs so low, people are choosing to buy lower fuel-efficient vehicles, even when more fuel-efficient vehicles are available at a reasonable cost.
That is not what happened. See my explanation above as to how the 54.5 MPG standard was estimated.
 

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The past administration set CAFE goals, but did not know if they were attainable, so they scheduled a hearing for re-evaluating the plan in April 2018(?).
This is factually incorrect. In order to accommodate the auto manufacturers, who wanted the rule done far enough in advance so that they could plan, the rule required the review be completed by April of 2017. By doesn't mean on, and anytime before that date would have been and was fine. Unless of course you think paying your bill a week early makes it late! ;)

Actual hearings started years before the decision.

Not only is "revisiting" the final determination legally dubious (what part of "final" is so hard to understand?), the science that supports the finding is voluminous, detailed, and persuasive. Not an easy task to show that it's wrong.

Hopefully the manufacturers don't waste too much time tilting at windmills.
 
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