Lutz says fuel economy regulations will add 5K to price

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Chuck., Apr 19, 2013.

  1. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    The carmakers helped write this bill. I'm sure they have a scheme in mind to meet 54.5 CAFE. First off CAFE is not the same as the published numbers we see on door windows. Those numbers are "adjusted" downward by about 30% which means, under CAFE, the Prius is rated very close to 70 MPG.

    Likewise a small SUV like Toyota's Rav4 would be almost 40MPG under CAFE. The carmakers simply have to sell more 70mpg cars like Prius to offset the SUVs getting 35-40mpg, in order to average out to ~54 CAFE. The numbers can also be offset with electric cars like Honda Fit EV at approximately 140 CAFE and Nissan Leaf at ~120 CAFE.

    Right now the automakers are only ~20 below the desired goal. It won't be easy but it's doable: Corporate Average Fuel Economy: How Automakers Rank - Cars.com
     
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  2. ChipL

    ChipL Active Member

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    Gas taxes can be a motivator for sure....
     
  3. ChipL

    ChipL Active Member

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    Lol....

    A bit more than that...but the reality remains the same....
     
  4. ChipL

    ChipL Active Member

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    Yep, CAFE is a bunch of crap... Feel good numbers for both the government and the motor companies...

    I would like to see CAFE go away... Period.....
     
  5. Dogwood2

    Dogwood2 Member

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    By the way -- I hesitate to ask, because I'm sure somebody has beaten this to death in another thread somewhere -- what do those huge mpg numbers for electric vehicles really mean? Does 100 mpg really mean that an oil-burning electric generator at the power plant, for burning 1 gallon equivalent of gasoline (I assume the plant doesn't burn the grade of gasoline we put in cars, but there will be some adjustment to make the comparison meaningful), would generate the number of kilowatt hours that would be delivered over the wires and to your house and into your car, which would then push the car 100 miles? Is the efficiency of that operation really so high that it completely trumps the local burning of the fuel?
     
  6. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    Nothing that complicated. The EPA meausres the miles per kilowatt-hour using their city/highway test schedules. Since 1 gallon of gas has an energy equivalent of [33.7] kWh, it is just simple multiplication. For example 3 mile/kWh * 33.7 is 101 MPGe.

    They don't figure-out how many gallons of oil the central plant uses to make 1 kWh.

    BTW if you stop and think about it, that means a battery holds less than a gallon of gasoline (in terms of energy). For example if an EV has a range of 77 and MPGe of 101. So that's 77/101== about 3/4 gallon of energy in the battery.
     
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  7. Dogwood2

    Dogwood2 Member

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    If the mpg measuremeant is made as you describe, then it's not useful for the purpose of comparing between gas vehicles and plug-ins. The only fair comparison is how far a gallon of gas will push each car. The kWh in a gallon of gas is a lab number, and presumably doesn't take into account the real-world inefficiencies involved in the generation and transmission and storage. Am I missing anything?

    I'm not trying to make an argument for or against EVs; I'm just trying to understand the merits and demerits. On the plus side, a gas car can only burn gas (or maybe gasohol); an EV is powered by whatever powers the electric plant, and thus is flexible. That's good for something, considering other energy forms are in greater supply than gasoline.

    But the fudging of the numbers, if that's what's happening, is relevant to meeting the CAFE standards and making the government happy.
    Yes, the Nissan Leaf (for example) can be regarded as a pricey car with a 2-gallon gas tank that takes hours to fill up. (I'm not editorializing; that might be just fine for getting around town.)
     
  8. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Dogwood- You are correct Prius is still one of the cleanest cars on the road re: CO2 etc. The EV's use about the same amount of fossil fuel as Prius in the average US power plant fuel scenario, worse in winter and in places where coal use is high...better in solar/wind/nuke power scenario. I agree the MPGe is very misleading and I complain about it too. The main benefit of EV is reducing oil use, which if you are a libertarian leaning, you might question that motive. The other reason for EV is US is trying to establish technology leadership in the Plug_in area (given Toyota has a lock on the hybrid area).
     
  9. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Yes exactly.

    The mpg on gas cars does not measure the fuel burned to get the oil to gas either. MPG never was about well to wheels. People are falsely trying to make the epa number mean something it isn't.

    Yes quite a bit. People have incredibly varied electrical generation and petroleum production. The epa attempts to put out the number that makes sense, how much you put into the car. You should know how much a gallon of gas, or a kwh of electricity costs. If you look into it you may be able to find out how much stuff is used on average to produce your electricity or gasoline. Does your gasoline come from the tar sands? It takes more oil than if it comes from saudi arabia. All of your gasoline takes electricity to produce, and most of it uses a lot of oil energy and natural gas to the pump at your service station.

    If you want to guestimate your ghg contributions, the epa has the 2007 electrical generation averages on fueleconomy.gov. Electricity likely is cleaner than that at your home and work today, and many with plug-ins choose wind and solar. If you fill your car with wind, how would you compare it to gasoline?
     
  10. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    I use greenercars.org for those kinds of comparisons, because they include ALL the energy input to a car, like digging the oil out of the ground, or generating the electricity at the central plant. Also manufacturing & disposal costs. They rate most EVs equal (or +1 better) than a Prius hybrid, but lower than the original 60mpg Insight CVT and lower than the Civic natural gas car.

    In other words EVs are clean cars but not really any better than an HV, or as good as very high MPG cars like the insight (60) or Lupo (80), or as good as natural gas.
    greenercars.org | the most comprehensive and scientific environmental vehicle ratings resource
     
  11. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    From a thermodynamic standpoint, vehicle drag dictates how much is needed to move from point A to B at any given speed. It is one of the reasons why I've become a fan of the "roll-down" coefficients. A fairly simple quadratic formula tells us what hp is needed at any given speed.

    As for engine technology, it is less bad today but still limited by the laws Carnot developed in 1824. For example, I was listening to Autoline After Hours: AAH #192 – Wow! Achates Opposed Piston Engine Design – Autoline After Hours

    They had a booster for the "Achates Opposed Piston" engine. Ever hear someone who sounds 'too enthused?' Well that is what I heard. A lot of 'piece of cake' and nothing about the things I'm interested in such as:
    • exhaust temperature - a primary determinant of efficiency
    • NO{x} and HC emissions - he was dismissive as if 'today we are only interested in efficiency for CAFE'
    As he spoke, I was reminded of the late "Billy Mays" commercials of old.

    Bob Wilson
     
  12. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Quite true, but plug -> battery -> electric motor is more than twice as efficient pump-> tank->gasoline ice. We can read this as mpge from the epa sticker.
    Compare Side-by-Side
    Rav 4 ev -> 76 mpge, Rav4 gasoline ->26 mpg. This in spite of the fact the gasoline car is slower and heavier (rolling resistance should be higher in the EV version).

    Make that vehicle a hybrid and you increase ice efficiency, but can't get close to that electric efficiency. Carnot efficiency of a gas turbine is a physical law that can't be broken, but if you use the heat, say in a ccgt power plant to produce electricity, then you get more efficient (61% in the new GE units). Use that leftover heat to heat a building and we get over 85% efficient. I'm not even sure how to rate efficiency of wind or solar or nuclear.

    Then it becomes a judgement call on what is better, what ever fuel is used to get the electricity, versus the oil, natural gas, and electricity to get you the gasoline. Many americans would rather use domestic natural gas, solar, and wind, then oil.
     
  13. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    Yeah except Greenercars website rates the EVs as no cleaner than a Prius HV. Why? Because U.S.-EVs get about 90% of their electricity from coal, oil, or other fossil fuel (like natural gas). And where I live I don't really have a choice how the e is generated.
     
  14. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    That just is false statement, but we might be able to diagram the misunderstanding.

    1/3 of plug-ins are in california. The US energy mix is
    What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source? - FAQ - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
    That is 68% fossil fuel, far less than the 90% you were quoting. In california fossil fuel was only 44%. In 2012 the percentage stayed about the same, but the mix shifted to more efficient ccgt natural gas from coal.
    http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec7_5.pdf
    coal dropped to 37% as natural gas rose to 30%, with 0.84% coming from petroleum and other fossil fuels.

    You could analyse it a different way, and say we are not building anymore nuclear or large hydro, so these shouldn't count. We also are retiring more coal plants than we are building. That means new energy is coming from natural gas and wind. You can see that from the above data. In that way you could say EVs are mainly taking natural gas, and some wind. I would buy 90% natural gas and 10% wind. If we look at plant efficiency and engine efficiency, along with pollution control at the plants, many would prefer the natural gas and wind, but everyone is welcome to their own opinion.

    You may live in a place with a much dirtier mix, and may be focused on ghg above other pollutants in a city. These trade offs are quite specific to localities, and in your own situation you may prefer a hybrid to a plug-in. But that is not the case for the majority of people actually buying plug-in cars. A prius has very low tail pipe emissions, and who knows in a polluted city like LA, the air might come out cleaner than it goes in.
     
  15. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    So about 70%. I was going to write 70% in my post, but thought maybe I was underestimating so I changed it to 90. Thanks for the correction.

    Nevertheless greenercars.org rates EVs as about the same as Prius HV (for example the Fit EV is better than Liftback but lower than the C). They also rated EVs as less clean than a 60mpg Insight CVT or the Civic CNG.
     
  16. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    "Vehicle and battery weights are used as the basis for estimating manufacturing and disposal impacts. Standardized, model-specific data on the environmental damage of vehicle manufacturing are not available. With this year’s methodology change, we draw from the vehicle life-cycle module of Argonne National Laboratory’s GREET model to generate weight-based estimates of impacts that vary by technology. For hybrid and electric vehicles, GREET accounts for the replacement batteries needed over the vehicle's lifetime. For hybrid vehicles with nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) batteries, GREET assumes that the battery gets replaced once during a vehicle's lifetime. Anecdotal evidence suggests, however, that only a small fraction of hybrid owners have required battery replacements since the purchase of their vehicles. For 2013, we assume that a hybrid vehicle’s Ni-MH battery lasts the lifetime of the vehicle. For all other battery technologies, we revert to GREET's replacement assumptions."
    greenercars.org | how we rate the vehicles

    That is why EVs are scored the same as hybrids. They have bigger batteries, and are more likely to need a replacement over the vehicle's life. This also shows the issue with reducing all these factors to a single score. There is no nuance, and it can muddy the waters. What's worse? Components that need to be replaced, and then the old ones repurposed or recycled. Or burning more of a finite fuel source. The question is one needs to answer when comparing a hybrid and EV with the same score.
     
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  17. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Yep that is a better ball park number. Most of these models also use 5 year old power models (2007), and although fossil fuel percentage hasn't changed much, ghg are down about 14% as well as slight reductions of SO2, NOx, etc from stricter EPA rules.

    Absolutely, I see that organization uses life cycle costs, which are highly dependent on estimated vehicle life and assumptions about recycling. Bad assumptions for these things brought out the CNW report of the hummer being greener than the prius. I do not know if greenercars.org assumptions are good or bad, but you can try to plug your own numbers in, and this is quite personal. A leaf that lasts 250,000 miles in LA, will end up being much greener than a fit ev (or prius) that lasts 80,000 miles in Indiana Part of it will be the cold in Indiana makes you burn more fuel per mile, but the bigger part is energy that went into building that car, and especially the big battery will get amortized over fewer miles. The fuel (electricity) in Indiana is aslo much more ghg intense.
     
  18. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    You are comparing the ACEEE (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy) to that oil shill group CNW? Come on. If anything the ACEEE would be biased *for* electric cars and inflate the EV scores.

    As for the 2013 change to Greet methodology, I don't see any difference in the results. Even as far back as 2001, ACEEE's greenercars report listed the GM EV1 and Honda EV+ as no cleaner than a Prius (and less clean than the 60mpg Insight CVT or Civic CNG).

    That makes sense because I've read elsewhere that 85-90% of a car's "dirt" comes from the fuel it burns, not manufacturing or disposal.
     
  19. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    No I pointing out the problems with life cycle assessment methodology. It is deeply dependent on assumptions. I'll give you back an example that can't be considered biased.

    Prius c versus prius liftback? Which is greener? Both burn about the same amount of fuel, but the liftback is more efficient at higher speeds, the c at lower speeds (lower rolling resistance, smaller battery, higher drag, less efficient engine). I can't tell which one will get higher mpg unless I know your route and speeds. YMMV, but I wouldn't be able to claim one is greener than the other. Then we get to lifecycle. The liftback uses more materials especially energy intensive aluminum and the battery. If we say that they go the same number of miles in a lifetime, and you have to replace that bigger battery, I think they got the prius c was 4% greener? What if the liftback lasts longer? What if you don't need to replace the liftbacks battery.

    IMHO, its likely that 10 years from now we find liftbacks go more miles than the smaller cs that are sold as city cars, and that is enough to make them more green in a life cycle analysis. Until you sell these things 10 years it is really hard to tell. That is why I said your personal situation matters. If you are going to be driving an EV low miles each year, then the energy cost of the battery will skew it towards the hybrid. We had older analysis that picked a very low number of miles on a battery, and that made hybrids look like they were bad choices.

    Unless I know the assumptions its hard to decide whether analysis is good or not for the fleet, but one thing we do know, is an individual is going to know a lot more about miles per year, and electric generation than greet trying to guess it for the country and guestimated cars.

    You would think a leaf would have lower life cycle costs than an ev1, back in the day. First it is much more efficient when it comes to using energy, 16% just on electricity (2012, 2013 is even better), but the grid is much cleaner than it was in 2001. Energy to build that nimh pack and labor and energy intense build of the car, should also have been lower, as well as estimated miles in the vehicles lifetime.
    Compare Side-by-Side

    You have to ask what CARB had against the hybrids in 2002, to have tried to force these electric cars and fuel cells, but give no credit to hybrids. The federal government though did put up some prius subsidies. I certainly would not consider a civic cng greener than a leaf, but that takes a whole different set of assumptions.


    I really don't know in your personal situation which car is greener, and you may have different trade offs than I do. I also don't know if the single number rating system is good or bad for you. I would not trust a single lifecycle number from anyone. greencars likely has a better one than CARB or Greet or CNW though.;)
     
  20. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    Yeah I see your point.

    As for the C it has the same engine as the G1 and G2 priuses. It's longevity should be the same as them.
     
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