New Government Regs To Impact Pickups

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By Larry Edsall

Let’s say it’s autumn 2024, and you’re hungry for a new pickup truck. So you decide to stop at Uncle Sam’s Roadside Cafe to check out the menu and see what’s available.

Now, you love your good ol’ long-bed, crew-cab 4x4 Tonka-like truck with its big, snorting V-8 engine and its pull-the-world-along trailer hitch. But it’s finally as worn out as that old pair of work boots you leave out on the porch because your wife says they stink up the house if you bring them inside.

Or maybe your truck is still in good running order, but you’re the guy who’s lived on a meat and potatoes diet all his life but has been told by his wife and doctor that it’s time to learn to like tofu and yogurt, and that cargo rating and towing capacity aren’t as important as fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions.

And while we’re looking at the numbers -- be they blood pressure readings or gas mileage figures -- Uncle Sam has pretty much mandated that each automaker’s corporate average fuel economy needs to be at 54.5 mpg by the 2025 model year, and you don’t have much choice but to open the CAFE menu and see if there’s anything you’re willing to swallow.

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What's the Impact on us?

Sounds dreadful, doesn’t it? And yet, right there on the menu, you’ll find an array of full-size pickup truck choices that not only meet fuel economy and greenhouse gas regulations, but they still can carry a bed full of rocks or tow your boat, camper or toy hauler. How can this be possible?

There are several reasons, including the fact that automotive engineers have a history of meeting whatever sort of standards that governments around the world have thrust upon them. And not only have they met those standards, but while they’re at it they have also found ways to keep cars and trucks fun and fully functional.

Consider that way back in, say, the first decade of the 21st century, Detroit produced factory hot-rodded Camaros and Mustangs and Challengers that were clean and green and yet more powerful and faster and far better-handling and much safer than anything from the revered muscle car era.

Not only that, but 13 major automakers -- companies that account for 90 percent of the American new-vehicle fleet -- have endorsed the latest federal regulations, and that pretty much indicates that they’re confident they will be able to comply.

Don't be frightened

And here’s another reason: Don’t let that 54.5 mpg CAFE figure frighten you. Somewhere in the 1,300 pages of new regulations from the EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is a chart that includes targets for things such as fuel economy and emissions for specific types of vehicles. Take into account projected sales figures and market mix, and you’ll hit the 54.5-mpg figure. But the recipe also contains specific ingredients (i.e., mileage targets). For example, the figure for compact cars such as the Honda Fit is 61.1 mpg. It’s 48.0 mpg for full-size sedans such as the Chrysler 300, and 47.5 mpg for what the government calls a “small SUV” (think Ford Escape).

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What’s the number for full-size pickup trucks? Under “Table 2: Model Year 2025 CO2 and Fuel Economy Targets for Representative MY 2012 Vehicles,” an extended-cab Chevrolet Silverado with a 6.5-foot bed is used as an example, and the table suggests that the 2025 version of that same truck should average 33.0 mpg while emitting no more than 252 grams of carbon dioxide per mile traveled.

By the way, that CO2 figure is hugely important. For one thing, the 10-page executive summary of the 1,230 pages of proposed regulations is entitled “EPA and NHTSA Set Standards to Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Improve Fuel Economy for Model Years 2017-2025 Cars and Light Trucks.” Note that “greenhouse gases” is mentioned first.

Page 8 of that summary notes that there are “incentives for advanced technologies including hybridization for full-size pickup trucks.” Although the final language has yet to be established, the text below that heading says the EPA is working on incentives for an automaker that applies “advanced technologies” such as hybrid powertrains or alternative fueling to a certain percentage of its pickup trucks. That percentage appears to start at around 10 to 20 percent for the 2017 model year and increase in the following years.

Supply and demand

There also are incentives for enhancing the efficiency of air-conditioning systems, which the government sees as a big producer of greenhouse gases. More efficient air conditioning means fewer emissions and even better fuel economy because such systems will use less energy to operate. Clean up your act, and you might be able to fudge on your mpg number.

If you’re wondering why all this is happening in the first place, the summary of the new regulations notes that “light-duty vehicles are ... responsible for nearly 60 percent of U.S. transportation-related petroleum use and GHG emissions.” The target for these new regulations is to double fuel efficiency and halve the amount of oil we import from OPEC countries. 

Using less fuel lowers demand, the feds note, and the summary anticipates that reduced demand will reduce pump prices by around $1 per gallon. The summary suggests that the equipment changes needed to meet the new regulations will add some $1,800 to the average vehicle price, but the resulting fuel savings over the life of such vehicles will be $6,000 or more. And those figures don’t include the health-care cost savings from inhaling cleaner air.

Although engineering and installing the needed equipment are doable, the big issue, according to a spokesman for the automakers, is persuading the car- and truck-buying public to spend that extra $1,800 (or whatever the actual figure may be a dozen years from now).

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“It’s important to remember that CAFE doesn’t measure what we built as much as what we sell,” says Wade Newton, director of communications for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a Washington, D.C.-based trade association that includes a dozen foreign and domestic automakers. “There is no one standing at a factory to say you turn out this many vehicles and here’s the mileage. It’s what consumers purchase [that determines CAFE compliance].”

Guiding the Marketplace

What the automakers fear, he said, is that they’ll build CAFE-compliant vehicles but that, unlike in the baseball movie, the consumers will not come, that those vehicles will sit on dealers’ lots.

“New technology costs more than the technology it replaces,” Newton says. “It’s always a challenge for automakers to add new technology in a way so it doesn’t put the price of the product beyond the consumers’ reach.”

And it does no good, he adds, for such vehicles to be parked in showrooms instead “of being out in the traffic flow giving us the benefit of the technology.

“Consumers often will stay in their old vehicle that doesn’t have safety or other technologies that new vehicles have,” he says.

Meeting CAFE or other such regulations, Newton says, is “more a marketing challenge than an engineering challenge,” but the engineering challenge remains daunting. “Every automaker has expressed what a hard job it’s going to be to meet the new fuel economy standards,” Newton says, adding that while working toward the 2025 model-year targets, the automakers want the feds to include a midterm review of targets in the final regulations. That review, he says, should include factors beyond the automakers’ control, including consumer trends and even weather emergencies that can spike the price of fuel or increase the demand for pickup trucks needed to rebuild stricken areas.

Automakers are adept at looking six, seven or eight years down the road, Newton says, but the new regulations are forcing them to anticipate targets twice as far in the future.

And don’t’ forget that even in 2025, people will still need things such as towing capacity and four-wheel drive.

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There is hope

Remember that 33.0 mpg figure? For the 2012 model year, Ford launched an F-150 with a 365-horsepower, turbocharged V-6 EcoBoost engine that has a maximum tow rating of 11,300 pounds and rated at 16 mpg in the city and at 22 mpg on the highway.

Then, for the 2013 model year, Chrysler’s Ram 1500 comes with a normally aspirated 300-plus-hp V-6 linked to an eight-speed transmission, good for 25 mpg on the highway and 17 or 18 mpg in the city (depending on whether it’s the special HFE model with start/stop engine technology) and enough grunt to pull 6,500 pounds behind its trailer hitch.

Such leapfrogging only will accelerate. And there are new fuels -- remember the emphasis is on greenhouse gases -- to add to the mix, such as diesels, propane, compressed natural gas, even hybrids. Think electric motors with their instant and maximized torque to get you rolling before your V-8 or turbocharged bio-diesel V-6 takes over and pulls that load down the road. No doubt we'll be seeing some interesting technology in the next five years, but how much it will change our pickup trucks over the next 20 remains to be seen. 



This is so stupid. I would bet big money that this particular set of regulations will be suspended or heavily modified before coming into play in 2025. The CAFE system is absurd. CAFE mileage is different than EPA mileage, an its full of all sorts of loopholes and methods to game the system. I will make a promise to every single person on this board that the average fuel efficiency across a manufacturer's line of pickup trucks that burn petroleum will be NOWHERE near 33 mpgs in 2025.

There may be other technologies that arise by then to supplant the ICE (although I doubt it), but no 6000 lb powered hunk of steel is going to get the mileage of a current Hyundai Elantra. If the government really wanted people to drive more efficient cars all they would have to do is increase the gas tax... or just WAIT. Extraction rates for petroleum have no increased in several years, and petroleum usage is trended upwards long term (although it has dropped over the past few years as economies have puked). That will lead to increasing prices and to people buying more fuel efficient vehicles. I could go on and on about this forever, but CAFE is a garbage system that exists to be gamed.

It's easy to meet stringent future milestones when pickups are only used for grocery getting, commuting, and another issue altogether when it's hauling, towing, etc.

The ecoboost design isn't fuel efficient when worked. Engineers have yet to pull a rabbit out of that hat.

I consistantly get 16 mpg's in town, real world driving with the 5.3L GM V8.
Why would I want a V6 for the same 16mpg? Even if it eaked out 17mpg in real world driving, I'd opt for the V8.
Where's my motivation? Just askin'.

There will be some compromises on these standards but being more efficient is a good thing especially if fuel goes to $6 to $8 a gallon. Only time will tell and it is impossible to predict the future.

But why??? Look at all the oil coming out of Western North Dakota. And now oil is out biggest export. I thought we were trying to keep it all for ourselves.

The people in Washington make no sense, like tits on a boar.

I would love to get better mpg but cannot image a full size pickup getting 35mpg highway and being able to tow or haul anything.

My current ride a 07 4x4 ext cab Silverado is getting 22 mpg highway, even 23 if I drive no faster then 60 mph.

I like the headlights on the Ford in the post.

The ecoboost gets 22mpg highway in 2wd not 23mpg.

Oh great. I can see it now. Pickups are going to cost $100,000+ to have the technology necessary to meet the requirements. Nobody will have the money to buy one, the manufacturers will have to file bankruptcy or collect another bailout because they haven't sold enough product. Obama hands them more money and the national debt climbs over $20T. Meanwhile, nobody has any new trucks, we hang on to our old 14mpg gas hogs and nobody wins in the end. The government needs to stop dictating to the free market!

Hear we go again the freaking liberals trying to regulate every thing.But if they keep this way we wont even have a country in a few years.

My extended family has several crossovers ranging in age from 2006-2011 in model year. These things, which are all supposed to be much more fuel efficient than trucks, ding out 15-16sh in "real" city driving (in Philadelphia, not a suburb), and get 21-22 in "real" highway driving -rolling hills, about 75-80 mph, not some unrealistically slow 55 garbage. I would have to check to be sure but they are rated in the 18-20 range city, and 24-26 range highway. Each weighs roughly 4000 lbs.

Now even if we interpret 35mpg CAFE to be closer to 23-24 MPG real life. I see no way the truck fleet average will be able to get close to this burning petroleum. If they goof around with batteries and such they can probably make a "computed" MPG of 23-24, but those trucks will end up with a likely big time reduction in payload and possibly towing as well. If current crossovers can't even come close to the future truck standard, I really doubt that trucks will be able to do it.

The government wants the gas prices to go up so the "green" movement and can continue. The current US government is controlling ware we can drill and how much oil can be processed and there are also controlling the auto company’s by making a stupid mandate on fuel economy. This cause companies to spend money to get better mpg and that causes the price of the car to go up.

Hear we go again the freaking liberals trying to regulate every thing.But if they keep this way we wont even have a country in a few years.

-Heck ya Tyler! And Government Motors Corp.-GMC-GovtMoCo will lead the way in destroying America! You gotta love Obummer and his blingmobile Denali fetish. GM is the way into the auto market for the Govt to control everything the rest of the honorable automakers build. Support the honorable automakers like Dodge (who'm the taxpayers made over 16% interest on), or Ford or Toyota or even Nissan. Sorry Chevrolet guys. You are Part of Government Motors! Too bad for you. We'll be taking over your spot in truck sales soon.

At first, I thought the 1300 pages of regs was hyperbole. Reading further, though, I realized that the regs are actually 1200+ pages. Wow.

@ MoparMadness Both political parties are in favour of the new regulations. George Bush's administration stated CAFE now the current administration is carrying it on.

Mark Williams, it looks like you are drunk on EPA kool aid. Real There is no fooling mother nature or father physics. Real trucks will either become wimpy or expensive - or both - to meet these goals. Add on 20% inflation from QE3, and I fear for the future of people who depend on trucks.

@Big Al from Oz & Robert Ryan--Do you know if your standards are going to change as well since your standards are more like Europe's? I am just wondering if Europe and some of the rest of the World is going to adopt similiar standards? If so it would make sense to develop products conforming to the same standards and that would control costs.

I'm a believer in "There's no replacement for displacement". When it comes to the engine, the bigger, the better suits me just fine. I never cared about the price of gas and I'm not going to start now.

So in order to offset all this government-mandated BS about mpg and GHGs and still buy a future truck with some real capability, I see my self trading up to the HD trucks with the huskier engines when I get ready to trade.

Right now I drive a 2011 Tundra 5.7 DC SR5 LB, and it is a great truck. But in 2015/2016 when I decide to trade the Tundra, I could conceivably see myself in an F250 or GM2500 with the biggest engine they offer.

It is unlikely that any HD pickup truck will be forced to give up its capability in the future because those trucks actually do the heavy work that continues to build America.

By 2020, Vans would have taken the market share of Pickups just like the CUVs took the market share of SUVs.

Transit, Transit Connect, NV200, NV, Doblo, Ducato are some of the new Vans coming to the market.

Sorry Chevrolet guys. You are Part of Government Motors! Too bad for you. We'll be taking over your spot in truck sales soon.

@MoparMoron. Good luck with that. I'm a Chevy guy and will always support Chevrolet. Not to support GM but to support Chevrolet Motors future. I'd just assume they had no part in GM any longer but what can one do. Just because GM-GMC has a bad stigma now doesn't mean Chevrolet can't rise above it as it's own real company again and be 'somewhat' detached. Particularly in terms of marketing. Our local Chevrolet-Cadillac dealer is more Chevrolet-Cadillac now than it ever was before. They've been seeing a massive increase in sales now that the GM signs have been either taken down or toned Way down. You got back in the service center or parts department and it's Chevrolet and Cadillac service. It's Chevrolet Performance parts. There's actually renewed excitement again amongst those of us who love both Chevrolet and Cadillac vehicles.

Historically speaking, Chevrolet has always been able to rise above the garbage GM did to them. If this next Silverado is a homerun, Dodge won't have the shot you think it does in taking over Chevy's #2 spot. I'll be the first to admit that the last couple of Silverado's have been duds. I really don't think the powers that be will ever let that happen again. If it's another dud, so be it. Throw your little party. As said, I don't think that will be the case. You Dodge guys are throwing your party prematurely. I guess that's just what you do though.

I find it real odd that a country that allegedly claims to be the free market, free speech, and freedom fighter of the "free" world would make these kind of regulations. They make these regulations then dole out billions to encourage business to build what the government wants them to build. They also have rules in place that impede outside competition. That doesn't sound like a free and open system to me.
For those guys who say they will just hang onto their old trucks, those vehicles can easily be outlawed. You won't be free to decide to keep that paid for free truck. Isn't that what California has already done to the trucking industry?
How about deregulate, open the borders to what is really and truly "free" trade and the market will sort itself out. Allow fuel prices to rise through market forces and we will see the manufacturer's come up with what they think is the best way to improve MPG. Consumers can then be "free" to decide what they want to buy.

I would love to see these "experts" engineering concepts/plans on how to achieve these goals. They must have missed the Thermodynamics course in their engineering curriculum. The internal combustion cycle isn't going to magically get 50% more efficent. If I recall, I think the model T Ford could get close to 20mpg in its day in time but not at the speeds of today. For a 3/4 ton truck on a level surface, the rolling resistance makes up about 20 to 30 percent of the power required to maintain it at 55 mph. The remaining 70 to 80 percent is the power needed to overcome air drag at 55 mph. Its going to take "X" amount of power to maintain a vehicles speed regardless of the efficiency of the powertrain. The EPA and NHTSA must have some new "pixie dust" that the rest of the fluid power and drivetrain design groups are not privileged too.

All that oil you are talking about isn't sufficient to provide the US with a significant gain. If the US brings on much of the oil it will still need to import 50% of its oil.

What is silly is the fact that 25% off your oil cut goes into central heaters.

There is a lot of oil out there. As myself and Jeff S discussed much oil isn't viable yet as to cost of recovery is to high. There isn't much "easy" oil left, there might be alot of oil but expensive oil. Either from the wells or refining. A lot of this new oil is full of contaminants and they cost to remove.

So to all of you people bleating about the amount of oil out there, realise is isn't economical yet.

We are already achieving 30mpg out of our pickups, you obviously aren't an engineer.

Also don't confuse fuel economy with emissions.

@Jeff S
Australia should be aligned to the Euro VI emission standards in 2017. I think the Euro region and other users of Euro VI will come on line in 2016.

Some developing nations will take longer to comply due to economic reasons.

The US will be more or less aligned to Euro VI in 2016. Japan is the third major differing system to come on line about the same time.

There is a major difference in the execution of both the Eurozone and NA in tackling the emissions issue.

The Euro region have concentrated on CO2 and particulates more so than the US and the US is concentrating on NOx emissions more than the Europeans.

Also, the Europeans have geared their regulations by the use of more existing technology and the US is aiming towards developing technology that doesn't exist.

To encourage the use of less fuel the Europeans have high taxation on fuel and the US is trying to regulate the people into using what it deems suitable.

@Jeff S
We are travelling down a path similar to the Euro region, but with a significant difference. Our fuel is much cheaper on average.

Not only is increasing our CAFE standards good for the environment, it's of vital importance to our national security. It's VERY important that we stop our dependence on foreign oil. Think how much the war in Iraq cost us in American lives and billions of dollars. We must stop giving blood and green for oil. Switching to electricity and US natural gas as well as having more fuel efficient vehicles are our best first steps to achieving independence on foreign oil. This discussion should not only be about one's petty selfish desires, it's also about what's best for the country.

The best thing for this country is to responsibly tap our own resources mostly in Alaska and drive whatever we want. Restricting the manufacturers and literally telling us what we can and cannot drive is not American nor is it a sound energy policy. Government is of the people, by the people, for the people. The people want to drive trucks and SUV's. The engines of today, any of them are exponentially cleaner and more efficient than anything we had say 20 years ago. The manufactures did that on their own. An efficient engine runs better, lasts longer and makes whole lot-o-power. It is the natural progression. Instead of fighting this issue from the conservation, less is more strategy, why not hit it head on with "we don't need your oil" we have our own thanks? That is an energy policy. It is liberal, evironmentalist over reacting that has weakened our nation to this point. Too many regs, too much cost with the regs, and too much taxing. Our fuel should remain inexpensive and the administration should move to provide for the will of the people, not the desire to mirror Europe and make us a "citizen of the world" lets not be afraid to lead the world. All could be great here again if the liberals would stand down, the voice of dissent is a good thing but they have taken it too far. GM I'm afraid is headed down a familiar path, their pipeline of products looks in many ways like the products that killed the company. The cars are average at best and seem to always be in catch up mode to the competition. The trucks current and coming leave much to be desired. GM still seems to be building them for the accountants and not for the drivers. I'm a GM guy and that is hard for me to say but its what I see. My last two GM purchases have been disappointments. They did what they needed to as transportation but they didn't inspire me as a driver and I felt like in both cases I was a couple years behind the competition. The last inspired GM product I owned was a 2004 GTO, before that is was a GMT 400 truck. Both vehicles were perfect for their time. The GMT 400 was cutting edge for a decade. The GTO was to GM at the time what the Raptor is to Ford today, the problem was that the GTO had such a premium price that they had trouble selling them. The upcoming Chevy SS has a lot of potential if they don't hold it back. It ought to be a 4dr Camaro SS in every way. It will suffer from now aged G8 styling but if they give it the full on LS3 or better and Camaro handling it could be something special in their vanilla ice cream world. I hope it is, I really really do.


Better watch out Ford....RAM has your #. One down (GM) and one to go (Ford).

At what cost are all these improvements in mileage going to come? How much is that pick-up that meets CAFE really going to cost you in 2024?
Why are we not drilling and refining more of our own oil? It's been reported there is estimated to be more in reserves than that possessed in the middle east, yet due to the whack jobs, we cannot proceed in obtaining it and therefore must continue to fund nations, and organizations, which hate us.
BTW, there is no global warming crisis, and CO2 is not a pollutant, and we have an abundance of resources available on our own soil; so why are we forcing these efforts upon the automakers and not allowing this to develop along with the efforts to bring more of our own energy online?

I think you guys will find that you'll have to lose hp to gain fuel economy or buy a 2013 VW Amarok that is already getting 31mpg in a 4x4. I think the muscle car pickups are doomed.

Hybrid pickups will always be far more expensive and/or subsidised, just have a look at the systems employed. They are much more complex to maintain and produce. How much lithium do you think there is? Bolivia has by far the largest deposit of lithium.

Pickups will revert more to what they where in the 70s. Less power and more of a work truck as the costs become more prohibitive. Now you can see why the Euro style vans are coming into vogue. The vans can do most of what an HD can do also in truck form.

Change is coming as I have been telling you, and there's nothing you can do about it. Blaming Obama or Bush is just a tool for venting your anguish. Someone voted them in and all the other administrations that made the changes.

I can't believe how many of you guys are niaive enough to believe that the US can become independent of oil or oil prices should be low. Its all very capitalist, (which I'm one) supply and demand. Its not a conspiracy, its what happens when somethings becomes harder to produce.

For the US to succeed in this newer world you guys have to change some of your ways and take on these challenges positively. Even without CAFE and the EPA gas prices will rise soon, what we are paying now is cheap.

For the untapped oil to be used the cost of producing it could be $100 per barrel and even twice that. If they cant sell it and make a profit they will not drill for it. A lot of this unused oil is full of different types of contaminants which has to be refined out, at a cost.

You will have full size pickups for a while, but they will gradually wind back as they become to expensive to buy and operate.

Remember any vehicle that works is beats walking.

For those of you that keep saying to tap into Alaska and start upping production of natural gas, you NEED to look at the extraction rates, the projected extraction rates, and projected recoverable reserves. There is not enough natural gas in the US to switch the entire vehicle fleet over. It will become exhausted. There is not enough petroleum that can be extracted quickly enough in Alaska to replace foreign sources. The ONLY feasible proposal for energy independence I have seen (and it still relies upon technology that does not yet exist) would be the construction of thorium reactors using thorium extracted from coal. Use the reactors to provide massive amounts of electricity throughout the land, and use the waste heat from the thorium reaction to run a coal liquification setup. The US *DOES* have enough coal to leave itself energy independent for more than a century.

The technology (at least to do this commercially) does not yet exist, but it is at least *reasonably* close. Natural gas has its place, as does oil, but the US doesn't have enough readily extractable of either (with current techniques and known reserves) to power our standard of living alone.

We do have enough natural gas that bi fuel vehicles may become a realistic commercial possibility. Since those tanks for CNG take up so much space that would probably be something that would get me to take a look at a half ton, if the financial side made sense. CNG stations seem to be popping up in PA bit by bit. The next decade or two are going to be exciting times.

If Bill O'Reilly will not happy about pickup truck will become unibody will be crossover chassis 65 mg . it is big problem

Just some food for thought....

The 2013 T6 Ford Ranger can carry a 3000lb bed load or tow 8800lbs. Unloaded with the 3.2 liter diesel it gets 27 US MPG.

That's F250 workloads folks. Keep in mind that. that is a $45k Ford Ranger, but the point is it can be done.

Of course it can be done. Ford could use the much more powerful 4.4L V8 diesel and get around 30mpg with that. The EPA needs to make its emissions standard compatible with Europe's so we can get these diesels (without choking them). It would be good if we use our own oil too.

I should know better than to chime in on this topic but I am going to do it anyway. I am actually surprised to see so many people in the middle, usually when an environmental/CAFE article is up most of the comments are absurd ones from either end of the spectrum.

Overall I think in the medium term (15-20 years) we will see a shift in our vehicles to include more advanced technology like hybrids or clean diesels. I think there will be no silver bullet to fix everything but a consortium of technologies and fuels that will power our transportation system going forward.

Although the success has been limited bio-diesel should be something that takes off over the next 5-10 years and will really help minimize/stabilize the costs and environmental impacts for heavy transportation like trains and semis since this fuel system works very well as is, although there are likely to be some refinements and increasing power densities in the years to come (ie a 10 liter diesel will have the same torque and HP as the current 14 liter motors meaning better mpg's and likely more packaging space to make trucks more aerodynamic)

Hybrids will be more likely for our personal use (ie light duty) trucks. These systems will improve and become more cost effective in a very short time period (ie 5 years or less).

Using our own oil sounds great in theory but the problem is we are not a communist society so we will never nationalize our energy production like so many on here would like us to do. Oil will go up in price, largely because of increased demand and as Big Al has pointed out the cheap, light sweet crude is all but gone and all of the rest requires much more expensive extraction and refining techniques to produce viable gasoline and other fuels. Oil in the shorter term will go up because of the Quantitative Easing done by the Fed over the past 3-4 years since it increases the money supply (ie inflation) and oil is priced in dollars. I think this will account for about $25-30 overall so the most recent QE 3 will probably only account for $5-10 at the most. An impact yes but not overly meaningful.

I am sure that this post will create a lot more comments that I will have a chance to respond to so I'll stop here before this post gets too long to read. :)

I noticed an typo in the article. Where it states "the equipment changes needed to meet the new regulations will add some $1,800 to the average vehicle price".

It was supposed to read, "$18,000" NOT $1,800

@Big Al from Oz--It would make more sense that the US, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, and most of the developed World develop a shared standard and as you said expand on existing technology first before developing off the wall nonexistent technology. More standards are coming and oil will continue to go up so cooperation and more uniform standards only make sense.

@Lou-I don't think the Gov is going to outlaw older trucks they will just start to disappear as they wear out and are scrapped. After a period of time it would not be cost effective to keep a vehicle running indefinitely and the fuel would become too expensive. Again this gets back to the late 70s and the big cars which eventually changed to smaller cars and people have adjusted to that.

@Big Al & Lou--Anyway I might hold on to my two low mileage trucks for another 10 years and either scrap them or if there is another Cash for Clunkers to take advantage of I will do that. I think there will be some more push back from the auto industry and some compromise will be reached. Killing new car and truck sales would have a catastrophic effect on our economy that would make 2008 look minor. At the very least the standards will be pushed further into the future. That's my take on it there are just too many jobs at stake.

The author of this post is obviously a shill for the EPA or current administration. Setting a corporate AVERAGE of 54 mpg??? There is not ONE single vehicle sold in the US today that can claim that number, let alone it be the corporate average??? He obviously doesn't remember the late 70's either as those vehicles were products of trying to meet EPA standards with insufficient technology. I'm all for efficiency improvements, but let's set some achievable goals. With diesel it might be possible, but we've regulated diesels to the point where they're expensive and unreliable. 2025 is maybe 2 product cycles from now. I just don't see it happening without raising the cost to the customer tremendously.

This will be a disaster !!

We dont need the feds making these impossible mpg rules,vote Obama out..Romney said he will take these rule Obama put in out if he gets elected !

If your truck gets 55 mpg lets you think you will save on gas ? NO because less people will be buying gas and to drill/produce/refine gas is expensive you will pay $100 per gallon of wont have $7 a gallon gas it will be $100 a gallon because you use less and the cost to produce is high !!!!

Vote this clown out,he will destroy the automotive world !! Give me 400 hp truck,15 mpg $4 a gallon gas anyday of the week !!

This is the good old days folks ,enjoy it !

This is a joke !

C02 is not a pollution !!

Drill/Refine oil in Canada/USA get out of Opec...Sell our oil just in north America for our market and it will be cheaper,then sell excess to Europe and other cesspools !

A good read below :

Welcome to the old Soviet Union!

You are a bunch of retro do not change anything you are the ones who will probably stay with 1950 engines with all pollution those engine were making. Now please stop whining and move to 21 st century.

@ AmericanChevrolet,

Dodge guys have a reason to celebrate as the RAM is the 2nd best selling truck in Canada and the U.S market seems to follow Canadian sales lately...

The RAM H.D is the best selling Diesel truck here,blowing Ford H.D Diesels away in sales !

Like I said the US trends lately follow Canadian trends as In Canada Chrysler recovered fast and was gaining sales for 3 years,Chrysler USA were gaining sales before any import or Domestic brand was ,everyone was still losing but Chrysler was gaining for over 2 years now in the U.S !

Yep,Chev used to be a solid #2 in Canada now they slipped and now RAM is #2 ....RAM is trying to catch Ford here..and RAM is setting monthly records here so...we will see...

Could be if Chev trucks are real nice it may take sales away from Ford as Ford F-150 has been around since 2004 and the H.D Ford is a old 1997 version !! So,RAM could be #1 and Chev #2 and Ford #3 as Ford is asleep at the wheel in the design department...

Could be the new mpg rules they dont want to spend money on trucks as trucks will be sold just to businesses and we all will be driving golf carts...

Remeber vote Obama out...Romney will get rid of these ridiculous mpg rules as he knows business and how this will destroy America !!! Its up to you Americans if you like to drive or not,it depends on who you vote for !!

That 54.5 MPG is very confusing since it uses only one of the old EPA testing regimens for the test and is specifically for the small cars not the entire corporate fleet (including cars, trucks and SUV’s). On that scale the Prius is already past the requirements hovering around 56-60 mpg on the CAFE scale (I couldn’t find an exact number so I extrapolated based on the gen 2 prius). A truck needs to get 33 per the article but even that is blended for trucks (ie small/mid-sized although the 33 example is a Silverado 1500 extend cab with 6.5' bed). Our typical half tons are already around 21-22 on the scale and they only need to hit about 27.5-30 if memory serves me after adjusting for typical footprint sizes. 30-35% increase is substantial but through about 700-1000lbs weight decrease (about half of that coming in the next 2 years for all truck makers) and more aerodynamic profiles will help boost the mpg's significantly with the aforementioned $1800 cost increase.

Hybrids will also get some credits towards the overall averages and I fully anticipate some much better hybrids coming in order to take advantage. These will help a lot in the city mileage which can't really be helped in any other meaningful way beyond insane weight reductions. GM at least got the ball rolling years ago with the 2-mode system and I bet the next generations of those systems will be much better (I guesstimate 25 city & highway for the next gen hybrid trucks with most of their payload and towing capacity in tact)

Also please try and keep in mind that CAFE regs still are only on the lower end of middle ground for regulations around the world. The automakers are already planning for more restrictive plans than ours so the changes really shouldn't be too overly impactful to us since the engineering costs are being spread over tens of millions of vehicles.

@ JoBlow,

Educate yourself you sound foolish...C02 inst a problem we need it as matter of fact the Earth is greener now because of it..

And the 1950 engine was that bad on pollution,basically the carb was the most cause of its pollution,fine tune it and a 1950 vehicle passes government testing !!

We have testing here ,I sell vehicles for a living and my old classic cars I sell pass the government testing and the numbers are not that far off of newer 1-2 year old 4 cyl import cars,when the old cars are tuned up right...its not a big huge disaster as you say..

Thes mpg rules are crazy,it wont save the earth (as going green is proven to harm it more) all it will do is take more money away from us..and make the auto industry go belly up !! Your leader is a clown and knows nothing,as he even said he wants to raise electricty rates extremely high under his plan,now make driving a thing of the enjoy walking you will be broke,car/truckless and cold !!! Keep on the track you are on and we will be sending you care packages..Feed The Americans for only 25 cents per day....


Its hard to maintain a free market when those who have the most impact on it (big banks) indulge in shady business. We are in a recession because these fools bent and broke the rules so that they could profit big time. And they did! Hence the economic boom in '05-'06. The problem is it is not sustainable, enter the recession. I agree with you that government shouldn't be involved in regulating everything, but then again someone needs to hold these big banks, big billionaires accountable so that they screw the small guys like us over again. Last time I checked, I'm still struggling and these jerks are still rich.

@mhowarth --I agree the European standards are getting stricter and all the manufacturers are preparing for those standards. This is not the end of the World and we are not going to become the Soviet Union. The standards were going to get stricter regardless of who we have for President. To some degree this is a repeat of the 70s though more restrictive.


From the WSJ via the Drudge Report.

The Wall Street Journal reports. Following a $50 billion bailout in 2009, the U.S. taxpayers now own almost 27% of the company... the newspaper said GM executives are now chafing at that, saying it hurts the company's reputation and its ability to attract top talent due to pay restrictions. Earlier this year, GM GM-1.41% presented a plan to repurchase 200 million of the 500 million shares the U.S. holds with the balance being sold via a public offering. But officials at the Treasury Department were not interested...

If you ask me, you can start looking at trucks being completely re-classed based on their purpose--with those so-called "grocery getters" being classed low and those farming/working trucks given a higher class perhaps going so far as to require CDL ratings on the owners' licenses even to own them.

On the other hand, if they go all-electric or a decent, fully-internal diesel/electric you may yet see the power (think locomotives) while still seeing huge fuel economy numbers. Gasoline engines may be able to put more horsepower to the road more quickly, but a diesel just keeps building until it tops out at or above an equivalent-sized gasser's ratings. Europe and Asia both have proven that 4- and 6-cyl diesels can do the same work as a huge V8 gasser, even if they aren't as fast.

WhOUbU - I agree that there isn't a real "free"market. Big business and big banks did bend/break many rules. The USA government under several administrations (both Republicanand Democrat) softened many banking rules and rules governing loan paractices. They also cut back on funding for those whom provide fiscal overwatch. Dubya Bush let things run amoke and the "boom" read "balloon economy" that was created made him lookgood but as you pointed out was unsustainable. That lead to 2008. Dubya left in the knick of time leaving Obummer holding the bag. Perfect time for a liberal leaning government to dole out cash to fix the mess previously created.
Government should of made and enforced the rules to stop such a mess from happening in the first place. Canadian banks more strictly regulated faired much better than the American banks.
My point was if a country claims to be "free" market than let it be a free market.

Canadian " HEMI'RAM " idiot -
Have you been locked in a garage with an engine running?
Republicans aren't going to be the savior of the free world any more than Democrats.
Cheep fuel is not dependant on political ideology.
China and India are copying western culture in relation to the automobile. A billion Chinese wanting petrol for their Chinese badged BMW's will drive up the price of fuel.
Global warming is a good thing??
Sure, the science is sketchy and there is much debate as to whether the weather is cyclical in nature but what will happen if the ice caps do melt?
I'm not going to argue the pro's and con's with you as that would be a waste of my time.
Chrysler is on a roll, yes.
BUT, since when does Canadian trends set the pattern for the USA?
"I sell vehicles for a living" - that comment explains a lot. You do sound like a used car saleman.

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