CAFE? What is it?

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My counterpoint... I'm not all for CAFE but I'd hardly consider it the end of world. Without CAFE there would little to no pressure on vehicle manufacturers to improve the economy of their products. How they achieve those goals is another matter entirely and as JB is posting some manufacturers are probably 'enhancing' their product designs in ways which may or may not 'enhance' the ownership experience in the long run. That said, anything that makes this country a bit less aggressive on the consumption side of things is not bad in my book. I think what it comes down to is "is old school is the only way to go" when it comes to some things. Also, there is always a big resistance to change once we're comfortable with things as they are. It's almost the same issue with the Acura/Ford guys and 20wt motor oil. No way, no how some say. Yet the UOA's posted indicate these vehicles seem to be doing well and not immediately self destructing. If anything I'm for CAFE since it may finally foster a push to deliver clean burning diesels that get great fuel economy (compared to a comparable gasser) with excellent durability and longevity. Hydrogen, hybrid, fusion drive, whatever, are all too far out on the pipeline to have an appreciable impact on the bottom line, especially in the heavier, larger vehicles that Americans seem to prefer on the whole. There will undoubtedly be problems along they way, but the sciences / engineering involved always seem to make progress on all issues mechanical and chemical. Therefore I'm not too worried about my current or future car's overall longevity. The maintenance and operating habits of the owner will likely play the larger role in determining the vehicle's fate.
Hey guys, I think you all have missed something. I recall that "trucks and commercial" vehicles are exempt from the CAFE average. That explains why domestic and import mfrs can get away with selling so many SUVs and giant minivans in spite of having the CAFE improve or stay the same each year becuse they're listed as trucks. I won't eve get into the safety issues and emission stuff.
CL is correct! Anything classified as a truck (which most SUVs are) are except from CAFE. It's interesting how they calculate CAFE averages. You take a 10 mpg car a 20 mpg car and a 30 mpg car 20 mpg average, right???? Not according to CAFE standards. They have each car do a 10 mile run. This alters the results as so: 10 mpg car = 1 gallon 20 mpg car = .5 gallons 30 mpg car - .33 gallons 30 miles / 1.83 gallons = 16.4 mpg. This is, in effect, more accurate than just the straight averages ..since it can be somewhat assumed that all vehicles will sustain a similar use cycle. That is, 12-15k/year mileage. This is why Ford sold EVERY Escort at a loss ...just so they could sell the luxury sedans at such a great profit.
So why does the gas guzzler loving public elect politicians that pass laws like CAFE? And by the way, isn't there a separate, lower class for light trucks? Another question, if a certain senator runs for president, I can warn people here about how as governor he gave the state police traffic ticket quotas?
Originally posted by labman: So why does the gas guzzler loving public elect politicians that pass laws like CAFE? And by the way, isn't there a separate, lower class for light trucks? Another question, if a certain senator runs for president, I can warn people here about how as governor he gave the state police traffic ticket quotas?
Because CAFE is a regulation from the EPA, not a piece of legislation. Lawmakers have built in deniability when they delegate power to beaurocracies that they create. "I didn't do it, it was the EPA."
Its interesting how corporations think (or don't) The auto companies will maximize their profits by building large gas guzzlers which they know will eventually "break the bank" due to unaffordable high prices for our increasing dependence on foreign crude (which we will not be able to afford in the future). Its just like politicians who really no not look any further then their elections. Everyone assumes that when the poop hits the fan the "GOVERNMENT" will make it all better by throwing a bunch of mone at problems which are quickly outrunning our ability to pay for the fixes. Inefficiency yields rewards-ask the airlines. Oh whell that's another subject. [Off Topic!]
Al, I'm going to sound political but there's no way avoiding it. I'm sorry to say the general public is generally "too guillible, don't think" and politicians and many corporations take advantage of that. "Lifetime transmission fluid" "150,000 mile coolant" "100,000 mile tuneups" "100% synthetic oil" "300 watt speakers" "1,200 watt amplifiers" "5 way speakers" "never needs sharpening" "No new taxes" " "tax cuts" "road hugging weight" " "sport" utility vehicle" substitute the word truck for vehicle and the value drops 20%- 30%. When did trucks get sporty. Please.....
Originally posted by Drew99GT: Subject says it all. I here it mentioned all the time but do not have a 100% understanding of it. Enlighten me guys! [I dont know]
Corporate Average Fuel Economy
The acronym means Corporate Average Fuel Economy and it means that for all vehicles that a manufacturer sells, the average fuel economy must meet a minimum level. Since some of the Domestic companies sell trucks and SUV's by the boatload, and they get horrible gas mileage, they have to sell a similar number of miserly cars to balance it out.
It stands for Corporate Average Fuel Economy. Each year the Government require major automoble companies to meet minimum fuel economy standards for the complete line combined. The average is 27. something mpg for this year. It is ok to sell at SUV with an average MPG of 16 as long as you sell enough cars that get better than 30 mpg to average out to 27 mpg with the SUV. So if you sell one SUV that gets an average of 16 mpg and sell 6 cars that get an average of 30 mpg, then you would have an average fleet MPG of 28. Or a Corporate Average Fuel Economy of 28 mpg.
Cafe is a consumer nightmare. Manufactures look for any way possable to increase MPG. SO this means low tension rings, three ring setup instead of 5 ring setup, iston rings near the top of the piston, narrow mains to ruduce friction, lighter valve train......These things all hurt long term durability. All company's are doing this import and domestics. As they are reduceing NVH and fuel consumption they are boosting output and raiseing operateing temps. This is all thanks to Cafe. Some companys do this better then others. I will high light some pro's and con's of some of the stuff Toyota has done with it's new Z series engines. Some of it is really neat and some is just disapointing.
OK, were getting the idea, but the details are still messed up... Cars, trucks, etc... fall into one of three categories: Category 1: Passenger Cars - self explanatory Category 2: Light Trucks - Pickups, SUV's, and Vans (INCLUDES minivans) under 8500 GVW Category 3: Medium duty and up - anything over 8500 GVW - most 3/4 ton and up pickups, vans, and SUV's Category 1: All vehicles that a manufacturer sells here must average 27 mpg overall. Miss the target = big $ penalties. Has not changed for over a decade. Category 2: All vehicles a manufacturer sells here must average 20.7 mpg overall. Miss the target = big $ penalties. Also has not changed for a very long time. Some controversy on whether or not minivans should be included here, but for now they are classified as light trucks. PT cruiser is also in this category (don't ask why), but Chrysler needed these to balance off the trucks. Puts a new light on the mini-utes, doesn't it? Category 3: No CAFE limits apply here due to the varying duty cycles of the engines in this class that are assumed to actually be doing real work. Emissions do still apply, but less restrictive than the under 8500 GVW category. Personally, I don't think the CAFE limits are then end of the world. Anything new pushes out of our comfort zone (witness the backlash against 5w20 oils around here - yet we haven't had mass reports of failures to date). With CAFE limits stagnant for so long, we have (in case you've missed it) been engaged in quite a little power war. The numbers we pull out of engines these days are mind boggling, and yet we still get the fuel mileage too. Perhaps its time to bump the CAFE numbers a bit to promote some more thought on the fuel economy side instead of the power side?
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