CAFE standards controlled by our Government? Can someone explain why?

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I've noticed that CAFE's don't get raised very often, or maybe I don't pay careful attention when they DO raise them?
Nevertheless, why can't we raise the CAFE standards on a fixed
interval of time? Why can't we make it a goal that we ALWAYS raise the CAFE every 2 years and make the new CAFE announced to be for cars made in the 4th year after the announcement?
Obviously the CAFE would exceed the possibilities of a gasoline engine at some point thus forcing car makers to go to hybrids or, my favorite, hydrogen powered cars.
Since it is clear that the private sector has no plans to mass produce affordable hydrogen cars, shouldn't we force them?
All the current gasoline producers would follow suit and, over time, change the gas stations to a blend of gasoline pumps and hydrogen filling stations.
I really don't see why this is so hard or why everyone keeps talking about the "conversion cost" being extreme to the end consumer.
The PRIUS as I understand has a superior MPG to standard gasoline-only powered cars. I'm also lead to believe their is a back order on the PRIUS. I'm told to get a PRIUS you have to get in line and get on the waiting list. If this is true then it seems logical that a very high CAFE would force toyota to produce MANY more Prius than now, making the waiting list disappear.
I'm sure someone might correct me on the Science or MPG benefits, CO2 emission savings or even correct me on the conversion factor but I would be more than willing to be educated on this topic.
I am more than willing to be wrong on this subject. I am also more than willing to have my ass handed to me as long as it is based on the mathematics and economic variables I have overlooked in this post.
Let me have it folks.
p.s. I suspect I will get either no replies or replies based purely on emotion. Please make me wrong on both points? p.s.s. Yes I know his is a FORD newsgroup but I thought this NG would be proper since MANY of you seem to have your heads on straight as opposed to those "general newsgroups" related to this topic. Many of those NG's are filled with political witch hunts having nothing to do with whether these ideas are workable. p.s.s.s If you can inform me of a more proper NG then please do so.
Even if no one replies to this post, at least I got this off my chest.
Good day to you all.
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The reason standards aren't raised at regular intervals is due to several reasons:
1. The cheap oil of the recent past the ended a couple of years ago. 2. Politicial special interests (i.e. - automakers and oil companies). That and spineless politicians that won't admit that the real problem is our overpopulation problem, not an oil shortage. 3. Auto companies who go burned in the past with poor quality cars that are now afraid to take chances. 4. The initial cost of some of the technologies required. Almost nobody wants to be the early adapter. 5. Although this one is partially covered by #3 & #4, a lack of a small, lighweight, inexpensive battery that can power a hybrid commputer car for something like 60 miles before it begins to use gas. This is one of the bigger reasons. 6. Other countries have reduced or eliminated their dependance on imported oil with ethanol and/or coal to fuel processes, so why can't we? Brazil and Nazi Germany come to mind. 7. Traditionally fuel type changeovers have taken very long periods of time. 8. Our only viable alternative in the US is to get everything we can to run off of electricity, and then build enough nuclear plants to support it. I'd be suprized if this ever happens.
That and the fact that we as a species aren't incined to do anything about any problem until it gets way too serious.
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Technically, Nazi Germany didn't end their dependence on foriegn oil. The US ended it for them. ;-)
Egypt and other countries in the middle east don't depend on foriegn oil, either.

That's because of the huge infrastructure.

As well as windmills and solar power. Everything is powered by hydrogren fusion already. Unfortunately, the hydrogen fusion takes place in the sun, not on the earth. If we could do hydrogen fusion on earth, that would be nifty, too.

Although we have done things in the past. For example, we eliminated gases that destroy the ozone layer. And we got rid of lead before it affected the kids of the rich white folks who run Washington.
Jeff
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"Bob Brown" <.> wrote in message

There's no reason why we can't raise the CAFE standards. However, the American public would rather big SUVs be freely available. And so would the automakers. So the automakers have lobbied against it. The oil industry is also against increasing standards.

All of our cars are powered by hydrogen. In fact, hydrogen fusion. In the sun.
However, when you use hydrogen on earth, you have to have a good source of H2, which we don't. All the sources of hydrogen use energy to make the hydrogen. It is almost always for efficent to use the fuel to power vehicles directly. If hydrogen fusion is able to work on earth (not just in stars), then making hydrogen from electrolysis powered by earth-bound hydrogen fusion may be an aswer. Until then, it won't be efficent.
Even using ethanol is not a good was to save energy because of all the energy needed to make and process ethanol, at least the way it is made in the US.

If we force anything, we should force car makers to make more fuel-efficent cars. Let the private sector work with any technology they want, like gas, diesel, hydrogen, pedals (human powered). Whatever.

It is not nearly that easy. Hydrogen requires a totally new infrastructure.

Because making hydrogen is not efficient.

Not anymore.

No, a high CAFE would force car companies to produce energy efficient cars. It would be up to the car companies to figure out which technology to use.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_fuel there are also some links at the bottom, like hydrogen economy.
Google is your friend in your search, as well (or yahoo or search msn).

Gee, I hadn't noticed.

Actually, it should be p.p.p.s. (post post post script - p.s.s.s. means post script script script - post means after and script means writing).
Newsgroups are not your best resources. We're all biased; well, I am not, most of are. ;-)
The Wikipedia articles seem to be pretty good places to start.
Also, there is a web site called how things work or something like that. That is also good.
Scientific American and New York Times Science section have had articles on this as well as science magazine (science has research articles - ignore those - those are too dense for even me; but science has a good news section up front). All these sources are good source, IMHO, on science news.

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stuff snipped

The car makers are not shoving gas guzzlers down our throats. They are making what the buying public wants to buy. Back in the mid '70s during the "oil crisis", the public DID force the automakers to produce more efficient cars (sadly, at that time it meant smaaaalll) simply by refusing to buy anything else. Remember the Vega and Pinto? Then, the buying habits of the public changed so fast the auto makers had a heck of a time retooling to compete with the suddenly popular Japanese compacts (which few people wanted, except as a second car, prior to the oil embargo). Just as soon as car buyers adjusted to the gasoline prices, they went back in droves to larger vehicles. As long as the people buying the new vehicles (not me, by the way) are actually buying them, there is no compelling reason to make anything else. Besides, there are plenty of models out there that get very good gas mileage and the mileage will only increase as engine control technology advances.
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The Pinto and Vega predated the first oil crisis by more than two years. They were both introduced in 1970 as 1971 models. The first oil crisis didn't hit until 1973. I would argue that US automakers had first tried to address the desire of Consumers for smaller cars in the early 50's (Metro, Henry J) and then in the late 50's/early 60's (Corvair, Falcon, Valiant). Even the late 60's Ford Maverick was a relatively small car. Volumes were often good for the smaller cars (Ford had great success selling Falcons, Mavericks, and Pintos) but the profits were not so good. Low end cars had to compete with used cars. Given the gas prices in the 60's and early 70's what do you think must Consumers would rather have - a new Maverick, or a low mileage 1 or 2 year old Mustang or Torino? I bought my first import in 1975 - a Datsun 280Z. I bought it because it was different, not because of reliability (it wasn't) or fuel economy (it wasn't particularly good on gas). A lot of people I know who bought imports early on bought them because they were different. Over the years I have owned imports from England (2 seat sports cars), Germany (Audi), and Japan (Nissan, Mazda, and Toyota). I've never been overly impressed with the quality or value of imported cars compared to domestic cars. I really don't understand why Toyota has become so successful. In terms of what I look for in a car, Toyota has consistently been far down the list - even compared to the Japanese rivals. Apparently boring is what Americans want.
Ed
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It is ALWAYS better to set ATTAINABLE goals than to set date certain demands to be met. The market place will take care of who sells what. Witness the date certain set by the original emission and CAFE standards in the past. As a retire automotive engineer I can assure you in reality if given a goal for the market to meet, rather than date certain demands, we would have the safer, cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicles available on the market today, ten to fifteen years sooner.
mike
"Bob Brown" <.> wrote in message

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Need I say do you own homework? ;)
mike

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The problem with CAFE is not that the mileage standards cannot be met. It is the mileage standards can not be met while also meeting the emission standards and the customer's performance expectations. If you don't worry about performance, driveability and emissions, 100 MPG is easily within reach.
Run a totally ceramic valve timed high speed two stroke, turbo compounded engine at about 600 degrees F. and your biggest problem is NOX. And the cat won't work if you run it lean enough to get the rest of the job done.
--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


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I have posted many times on the fallacy of setting dates certain to meet improved government automotive standards, beside I get paid for teaching a class.
For a person that tries to speak on every subject, like they know what they are talking about, one would think you would know what I was talking about. Apparently you do not want to do what is necessary to learn the subject matter before commenting on the subject ;)
mike

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Might I add that the banning of CFC's was date certain, not technology or business driven. You either did it or paid the fines. I'm NOT saying this would work in all industries but it is one example that did work [except in all other countries who banned CFC's when they decided]

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On Sat, 21 Apr 2007 22:05:36 -0400, Bob Brown <.> wrote:

But DID the above work? Seems to me that I've read that the replacement refrigerants are equally harmful and are about to be also banned....
Government often imposes standards that are too much and occur too fast before the science has been worked out.
Remember the U.S.'s EPA mandating MTBE as a gasoline additive despite the warnings from scientists?
As for hydrogen as a widepread fuel source.... it will never happen, at least not without some new technology.
It takes more energy to isolate the hydrogen than is available from its use. Unless some revolutionary breakthrough process is discovered, the main way to generate free hydrogen is from the electrolysis of water breaking it down into free hydrogen and oxygen. However the energy to perform this separation has to come from somewhere. WHERE?
Things are rarely as simple or as easy as most folks believe....
Doug
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The invironuts relay on the average persons misunderstanding of the fact things are rarely as simple or easy, as well as the cost vis a v benefits. The politicians are afraid to go against the invironuts because of that basic misunderstanding. Look at the current rush to reduce C02, and mercury as a good examples, they have turned them into a political debate because they can not win the scientific debate. Scare the folks and they can win.
mike

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wrote:

I wish you guys in this newsgroup would visit some of the political newsgroups and go toe to toe with them on what they consider important and possible with regard to the "global warming" craze.
I'm so sick of reading and hearing about global warming and how man is 100% responsible and those doom and gloom predictions; ignoring that the 1970s claim of global cooling NEVER HAPPENED.
I really wish some of you here, since you seem far smarter than those idiots who worship at global warming, would go to those political groups...
I've used logic, common sense and it doesn't seem to matter to them.
Al gore said it so therefore it's the truth because after all he won an oscar [which he didn't]
anyways...
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Logic and common sense doesn't seem to matter to the kooks in the NG either, unfortunately ;)
mike
"Bob Brown" <.> wrote in message

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"Bob Brown" <.> wrote in message

The waiting list have disappeared and Toyota is even offering incentives on the Prius. And Prius sales are way up. However, the main advantage of the Prius is stop and go driving. For open road driving, there are non-hybrid choices that are just as good that don't involve battery packs, electric motors and complicated control systems.
Ed
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I disagree with Ed a little bit. The Toyota Camry 4.cyl gets 24/34 mpg (city/highway) while the Camry hybrid gets 40/38, or 4 mpg better on the highway. The Civic gets 30/40 while the Civic Hybrid gets 49/51, or 11 mpg better on the highway. The hybrids benefit from the technology used to get better fuel mileage, even at highway speeds.
So while the main advantage of hybrids is in stop and go or city driving, they also improve highway mileage. Whether or not hybrids or non-hybrids are a better choice depends on the mix of highway and stop and go traffic (which, around LA and NYC, are the same thing sometimes) and the other cars being considered. If your concern is for the environment, also note that the hybrid systems also require special batteries that have environmental costs when they are made, just like everything else.
Jeff
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