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#155 of 250 Re: This mandate [xwesx](andre) [hpmctorque] [andre1969] [hpmctorque] [andre1969]
Oct 23, 2012 (1:50 pm)
#157 of 250 speaking of progress
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Nov 05, 2012 (11:48 am)
"Fuel economy of new vehicles purchased in October hit its highest level since at least 2007, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute said Monday.
The average fuel economy based on window-sticker value of new vehicles sold in the U.S. in October was 24.1 mpg — the highest level yet, and up 4.0 mpg from October 2007, the first month of monitoring."
Survey: Fuel economy in new cars hits highest level since '07 (Detroit News)
#158 of 250 Re: speaking of progress [steve_]
Nov 05, 2012 (1:02 pm)
I wonder if the gains will slow now that gas prices are falling? $3.33 average in VA the radio said this morning.
#159 of 250 midsize mpg for 2017, 2021 & 2025
Jul 20, 2013 (4:39 am)
My all-new 2013 Accord is the first model to be covered by the new EPA mpg requirements of the past few years. It's also been designed, of course, to take into account the higher price of gas we've had for the last 6+ years.
My 2013 Accord is a CVT, and is rated by the EPA at 27 in the city and 36 on the hwy, with a combined rating of 30. This compares with my 2008 Accord which has a rating of 22 in the city and 31 on the hwy, with a combined rating of 25. That's a pretty big jump over 5 years. In percentage terms it's a 20% increase.
I was guessing that for the next generation of Accord, due out in about 5 years, Honda might be targeting a similar percentage increase. In other words, they might be aiming for a car that gets a 36 combined epa figure, although that's probably on the high side.
But I was wondering whether the EPA requirements actually require Honda and other makers of midsize cars to do that, and the answer is no.
Take a look at this chart, which gives the guidelines going forward for each "footprint" of car, from small, to midsize to large:
http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/good-and-bad-news-emerges-from-cafes-fine-pr- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - int.html
It's a bit confusing because the famous "54 mpg" requirement for 2025 is based on the EPA test of 1975, and those numbers need to be cut by c.30% to match the current EPA window numbers, which are close to my real-world results. Anyway, doing that translation, you find that the EPA requirement for a midsize car in 2012 is about 23 mpg. So the current Accord is way beyond that, and in fact the 2008 Accord was beyond that.
But the requirements get strict quite rapidly, right? Not really. And they are starting from such a low base # that it doesn't start to get impressive until about 2025.
The standard for a midsize car for 2017, for instance, is about 27 mpg combined, and so the 2013 Accord is already beyond that.
The standard for a midsize car for 2021 is about 32.
The standard for a midsize car for 2025 is about 38.
In other words, if the next generation Accord for model year 2018 gets an improvement of just 10% over the current model it will easily meet the target for 2021.
I think Honda and other car makers will be more aggressive than that in improving mpg, which is a good thing imho.
Since the 2013 Accord gets 20% higher mpg than a 2008, as I've said my guess is that they are targeting maybe as much as another 20% by 2018, which would mean a combined mpg sticker that year of about 36. If they could do that (and that's probably way too optimistic) by that time they would be only 2 mpg away from the standard for 2025!
It's good in my opinion that these standards exist, but they sound much more impressive aggressive than they actually are. The 2018 Accord could achieve a 32 EPA mpg number and still be way ahead of the curve. The more I think about it, the more I realize that's probably closer to what they'll aim for. After all, the current Civic is rated 32 mpg combined (although the 2013 Civic still uses older tech engine and transmission). If the next gen Accord can get the mpg of the current Civic, that would still be impressive.
Anyway, these epa mpg numbers should be possible to hit even without hybrid technology, and the Accord of the future will probably have about the same amount of interior room as the current model. This is how I've wasted my time on this Saturday morning as I wait for the rest of my family to wake up
Jul 20, 2013 (5:22 am)
As many articles have pointed out, the 54.5 standard by 2025 is a total fiction.
The real EPA number for that year would be more like 38mpg. And with the "credits" that manufacturers can claim for various real and imaginary things it actually gets taken down to about 35 mpg.
But that's still a significant improvement over where we are now....
#161 of 250 Re: midsize mpg for 2017, 2021 & 2025 [benjaminh]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Jul 20, 2013 (5:32 am)
Nice post - I woke up at 5 am and just drank coffee, goofed off and watched some youtubes.
I think Honda and other car makers will be more aggressive than that in improving mpg
Maybe it'll go like seatbelts. No one wanted to pay extra to have them as options on their cars so the feds finally mandated them. And then we got mandated airbags. At some point the lines blurred and some of the safety equipment we have is mandated while some of it is demanded by the consumer. And now lots of consumers are even willing to pay extra for stuff like rear view cameras or traction control.
Lots of people buy on mpg nowadays.
#162 of 250 Re: midsize mpg for 2017, 2021 & 2025 [Stever@Edmunds]
Jul 20, 2013 (6:16 am)
Lots of people buy on mpg nowadays
Very true. I was surprised when Toyota discontinued the V6 as an option on the Rav4. "Not enough people wanted it." I was reading a long term test on the Honda CRV, and they were bemoaning no availability for a V6. They referred to the car as a "gutless wonder" on the highway. But of course it gets wonderful mpg (for a CUV), and that is what people seem to want.
I don't drive enough miles anymore to be worried about mpg. When I was doing 33 miles (one way) to work, it mattered. These days, at 5.3 miles one way, I simply don't care.
#163 of 250 Re: midsize mpg for 2017, 2021 & 2025 [Stever@Edmunds]
Jul 20, 2013 (7:41 am)
"Lots of people buy on mpg nowadays."
I think the demand by consumers is driving some manufacturers to go way beyond the EPA requirements for boosting mpg.
Also, the way the law is written manufacturers can "bank" credits when they go over some years to use when the standards are much stricter c. 10 years from now. And so the 2013 Accord is earning credits for Honda because it already meets the standard for about 2019.
The 2013 Accord LX CVT weighs 3254 pounds, which, iirc, is only about 75lbs less than the 2012 LX. I think Honda wanted to lose more weight than that, but the tough IIHS small offset crash requirements caused them to beef up the structure to a significant degree.
It's possible that they'll be able to take another 150 lbs off the LX in 5 years, which would take it down to c.3100 pounds. And a slightly smaller and lighter car could make do with a smaller engine, which might mean they could use a 2.2 liter engine in 2018?
The new 2014 Mazda6 and Nissan Altima already get 38 mpg hwy. I bet that Honda would like to equal those numbers by the time the current Accord gets to its major refresh for model year 2016, which comes out just a little more than two years from now. As you said, customers really want higher mpg, as long as they can do it without sacrificing safety or performance.
And so far, that's happened. My 2013 Accord accelerates significantly more quickly than a 2008 Accord and is significantly safer, all while getting c. 20% higher mpg.
It's actually a golden age of automotive engineering imho.
#164 of 250 Re: midsize mpg for 2017, 2021 & 2025 [benjaminh]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Jul 20, 2013 (7:57 am)
Golden age but it's tough too. Cars last a lot longer so unless you hang out in Chronic Car Buyers Anonymous, you may wind up like me and keep your car a decade or more. We have smaller engines, better mpg, and still have peppy cars so what's left? Ten air bags per car isn't unusual. How much more tech can we cram into the dash that will convince people they need a shiny new car? (especially when auto tech currently runs ~3 years behind the stuff you can buy online).