Innocent Bystander

A little tech, a little current affairs, and my view on whatever has my attention at the moment...

Current Terror Alert Level
Terror Alert Level

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

New Fuel Economy Standards.... Big Deal!!!!

This has been breathlessly hyped on a lot (maybe even all) the news outlets today, the Bush Administration via Secretary of Transportation Minetta is proposing new fuel economy standards for minivans, light trucks and SUVs. The talking heads on all the news outlets teased this story as relief from the high gas prices we're suffering from...


The reality is that this story isn't worth the time it took for the intern to type it into the teleprompter. So why, you ask, am I bothering to write about it if it's such a worthless story? Education, to make sure that you get all the facts, and not just the attention grabbing ones that the reporters jumped on....

Reason 1 why this story is unimportant:
The new standards are for NEW cars, not the ones we're driving now. You can't retrofit what will need to be done to the new cars into your current car. Which means the new standards have no effect on you now. They won't lower oil prices and they won't help you get better mileage now.

Reason 2:
The first vehicles effected by this will be built in 2008 however the automakers don't have to be in full compliance until 2011!

Reason 3:
It actually lowers the requirements for full sized pickups and all the models by Hummer will still be EXEMPT from these requirements!

What the new proposal does:
Currently federal standards require manufacturers to have an average fuel economy of 27.5 MPG for passenger cars, that won't change.

Currently, minivans, pickups and SUVs should have an average fuel economy of 21.6 MPG (remember these number are an average across a manufacturer's entire product line in that class and not for a particular model.)

Under the new standards, minivans would need to get 23.3 MPG by 2011.

Currently light trucks are required to get 22.2 by the start of the 2007 model year, the new proposed standard would require 28.4 MPG by 2011.

While these are significant improvements, they're still many years off. Plus older cars that don't meet the new requirements will be on the road for quite a few years after the new standards are supposed to go into effect.

Wake me when they propose something for the present....