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Tom, Ray and your car's MPG

So... what do you think? Are higher federally-mandated MPG standards a

wise idea, in the interest of national security... or do Tom and Ray

have their headlights up their tailpipes? Should we let the

marketplace rule, regardless of a greater national interest?

Tell us know what you think!

You can share your thoughts right here.

And thanks.


  • edited November 2007
    The marketplace should be the decision maker.
  • edited November 2007

    The market place has NEVER ruled in these things. MPG and polution have NEVER been influenced by the market. Mainly because if the automanufacturers don't offer a choice then we'll never know it exists.

    The greatest increases in MPG was when it was mandated by the government. Funny how the auto-industry was able to all of a sudden make cars that are heavier, faster yet get MUCH BETTER gas mileage then they did 30 years ago.

    The same thing for polution. The automanufacturers would have spent $0 in R&D to make less poluting cars if it wasn't mandated. Back in the 60's they were given tax incentives to come up with ways to make a car polute less. After 2 years and MILLIONS of dollars in tax incentives...the big 4 went to congress with a report saying that cars can NOT be made to polute less. Funny how things have changed since they wer MANDATED to come up with ways to make cars polute less. Funny how every car manufacturer can somehow make a car that meets California's standards...yet sell a completely different car that polutes 1000% more to countries in South America where there is no standard.
  • edited November 2007
    Personally I believe so. The only alternative I see is to impose a serious pollution tax. BTW I like the tax better. Maybe it can reduce the national debt that the current war is loading onto the backs or our children and grand children.

    I don't believe the market place is functional here. You do not have a truly free competitive market. There are too few players and the customers don't bear the cost of pollution nor the cost of things like wars to get and protect oil supplies, rather the suffer those cost but their choice of cars as it is not related to how much of it they pay.
  • edited November 2007
    There can never be a "market driven" buyer, since there are so many regulations that dictate what the car companies manufacture. The market doesn't rule -- look at what happened to the electric car in California--there was a market but the industry not only removed the product, they destroyed it.

    There is not a free market. The industries of auto and oil are intermixed to the degree that there will not be a general trend to increase MPG, regardless of the facts that it is do-able. Alas, the stick is likely the only way to motivate, that or a general uprising of the buying public, which I don't see happening anytime soon.
  • edited November 2007
    Funny, Last week I wrote an article about the same exact thing for college. 100 years ago, the government took a very laissez faire approach to market, and what effort did industry make to do things for 'national interest'? Nothing. It wasn't until the government decided that it's role is to protect it's citizens that quality of life for the average joe really increased.
    It's the governments role to really get it going, because it doesn't look like the market is doing it quickly enough.
    Tom and Ray say we could meet the 35mpg mark in 5 years if we made it a priority, I would say we can do it in a year.
    Anybody ever heard of hydrogen boost systems? This is enriching the vaporized gasoline and oxygen mixture with volatile hydrogen gas for better combustion. Timing can be changed, and the levels of pollution are drastically lower. THis country has ingenuity, let's use it.
  • edited November 2007
    While I think that some GOVT regulation is necessary, I do not think the 35 MPG standard will work. Hear are some of my reasons

    - The market DOES dictate what is sold. The prius is a great example of that, hear we have a car that costs more then a non-hybrid competitor, YET still sells at almost full sticker, because people want the green stamp of approval. However looks at the Accord, Camary, and highlander as a few examples of how Hybrids don?t work as people do not get the same green stamp of approval from there friends and neighbors.

    - I don?t believe there is an reason that a car company today would not have a more fuel efficient fleet of vehicle if it was technologically possible. This would be a HUGE competitive advantage, and that is what truly drives the market.

    - Despite what some people think, not every one can make do with a compact car, many family?s need suburbans, and mini-vans, etc to get around. Pick up trucks are NECESSARY PART OF MANY PEOPLES LIFES. It would be great if every one drove a Metro or a Civic, or Corolla.. what ever, but this is not practical. Bob Lutz put it best when he said that telling automakers that they MUST make cars/trucks that get 35MPG + is like telling America, your fat so we are going to only make small sized clothes so that you have to loose weight. The argument just does not work.

    - I am in favor of a tax at the pumps, if you must drive a vehicle that does not get high MPG this should be your right. But if the price of gas hits $4-5 a gallon you will see many people who are driving these inefficient vehicles because of there "bling", or "status" stop driving them as often.
  • edited November 2007
    I keep seeing that the US, with 5% of the world's population consumes over 20% and some say 25% of the current supply of petroleum. This is not sustainable and vehicle fuel consumption is a part of that.

    The EPA should, by order from Congress, should increase the average fuel mileage requirement for new primarily passenger carrying vehicles by 1% per 5 years. The purchase of a pickup truck should require a permit to screen out those who buy pickups who have nothing to haul that a small trailer or a hatchback auto couldn't do.
  • edited November 2007
    What Tom and Ray should do is let everyone know what kind of cars they drive, how many times a month they walk somewhere while running an errand, how large their homes are, how much energy is used to heat and cool them, etc. instead of asking a loaded "do you beat your wife on a regular basis" question.

    I've shared my thoughts and don't expect an answer this time either since it was never addressed twice previously when I brought it up.
  • edited November 2007
    <-- Top Gear's review on the Prius

    And the deal with the gas prices, not everyone can afford to buy a new fuel efficient car that's going to be mandated to the 35MPG+. So, should the person who can't afford a new car be punished by spending MORE to keep their current car going? And besides, the Prius is a fugly car.
  • edited November 2007
    Yes, higher Federal standards push auto makers to do better. There is however, a point of diminishing ability to eek out extra mileage with an internal combustion engine, better aerodynamics and weight reductions. Remember, to get where we are today in fuel economy and low emmissions your new car costs have skyrocketed. We may now get 25 to 30 MPG but the vehicle also costs a LOT more, requires a rocket surgeon to work on it and has many more very specific maintenace requirements. Can there be a 40MPG car in two years that's bigger than a lawn mower? Probably, but at what cost initially and then through the next five years of operation.
    American car buyers are very fickle. We want or agree with much higher MPG for many reasons stated already. We also don't or won't pay the ever higher price tag for this accomplishment. We also want this vehicle to be 22 feet long and haul/handle/pull anything.
    Having said all this, the free market will ALWAYS dictate. Hybrids and toy size cars are available today with the best mileage. They are a small percentage of the market and cost more or are diminished in size and capability. Most Americans don't want them cause they do not fill the need they have. There is an entire world of discovery to be made in diesel technology and should be advanced much greater than currently available.
    Bottom line is this. Mileage has absolutely nothing to do with the supply and demand for oil and gasoline. This especially applies to national security. If this were important, why is there still no national energy policy? It is easy and lazy to target the obvious. The heavy lifting has to be done in Washington on what direction the country will go in.
    PS: A tax has never done anything but take money permanently out of the economy and put it into government coffers for follies that abound. Check out how much federal and state taxes you already pay on a gallon of fuel where you live. How have these existing taxes raised mileage, reduced consumption and cut pollution? Clue-they haven't, at all, ever, but you don't have that money. :-}
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