New Emissions Rules Will Kill Cars as We Know Them

CARB has just passed sweeping new changes to their motor vehicle emissions regulations. This is going to be hard for many people to swallow…

Have you been to California?? Air quality there …while greatly improved from 20 years ago…is not even close to the Air quality here in NH. And car pollution is by far the biggest polluter in many of it’s cities. I surely understand the reasoning behind their decision.

This is going to be hard for many people to swallow…

Medical bills in the THOUSANDS or even HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS (PER PERSON) due to illnesses related to the extremely poor air quality is hard to swallow also.

Cars as we knew them are already on the way out. Nothing new here.

If they hold the party and no one comes, what happens?

It will be interesting to see if enough Californians will buy zero emission vehicles to make the 1 in 7 car fiat workable. What happens if they fall short? Will they stop new car sales entirely?

““Our research shows a $1,400 to $1,900 car price increase. But over the life of the vehicles, the owners save $6,000 in reduced fuel and maintenance costs,” board spokesman David Clegern said.”

I think it’s much more than a couple grand. The MSRP on a loaded Nissan Versa (with CVT) is $20,140. The list on the least expensive Leaf with carpets is $36,220. Maybe Mr. Clegern slipped a zero.

I bet the new CAFE regs will achieve much of what the CA regs require, so the additional impact of the CA regs will not be nearly as much as it would be without the CAFE revisions.

And they most certainly, can’t possibly, do anything better…cheaper !

“New Emissions Rules Will Kill Cars as We Know Them…”

We can only hope.

When Chrysler introduced 4-wheel hydraulic brakes on lower-priced cars, the mfrs that did not have this technology predicted gloom and doom because those Chryslers “would stop too fast”.

When seatbelt use was mandated in many states, some folks refused to use them because “thousands of people will be trapped in burning cars when the belts won’t release”.

When airbags were introduced, some folks predicted that more folks would be killed by airbags than would be saved by them.

When automatic transmissions were introduced, some folks actually predicted that drivers’ left legs would begin to atrophy from disuse.

When catalytic converters were introduced, some folks intentionally destroyed them by fueling their car with leaded gas, because…well, just because cat converters were going to shake up their automotive world in a way that was alien to them–and they found this change to be threatening to them.

Just as our republic did not cease to exist as we knew it when women were given the vote, or when the military and the schools were desegregated–despite predictions to the contrary from the Cassandras of those times–cars as we know them will not cease to exist simply because of new fuel economy regs.

What will happen is that technology will advance more rapidly, simply because there will be an increased push for new technology in this area, and this new technology will produce most of the necessary increase in fuel economy.

Other than the obvious question about what happens if the public ain’t buyin’ in the ratio they desire I would take any stats quoted by the director of that board with a large grain of salt

Take a fuel efficient economy gasoline car that gets 35 mpg, equip it with a two gallon gas tank, and then make it a requirement that you can only fill the gas tank up once each day. That’s roughly equivalent to a all electric car available today. And people are wondering why electric cars have never sold well? Electric cars will never sale well until some big breakthrough in battery and charging technology which hasn’t happened yet.

My guess is the new CARB regulation is a benchmark in hopes it will bring about new technology. This is not the first time CARB has set the goal real high on electric cars and then have to ease up on the regulation after the breakthrough in technology does not come to fruition

I’m willing to bet that, in some areas, it’s actually safer to breath the exhaust fumes from a brand new vehicle than the air the engine is sucking in.


It appears that this really only effects states that follow CARB mandates. Glad I don’t live in one.

If I read some of the more optimistic comments correctly, from VDC and the like, I agree there is no reason these mandates could not be met with ease. The technology has been with us for years. Getting rid of cars as we know them can be a really good thing. Electrics are capable of nearl phenomenal acceleration with very heavy loads…In near silence ? What’s not to like from the propulsion side of it ? Many are drawn to sailing, kayaking, biking, ski diving etc. for similar reasons. I would love to see this technology transfer to boating. I’m tired of listening to traffic in both cars and jet skii from the thrill seekers and I’m tired of paying outrageous gas prices to participate myself. Boat propulsion follows car propulsion…go for it.

The status quo will continue to milk black gold from the ground at the expense of the air we breath unless forced to do otherwise. The regulations IMHO, DON’T DO ENOUGH, SOON ENOUGH.


No argument from me that a electric motor in comparison to a gas engine is a far superior propulsion devise. But the problem has been and still is battery energy storage (vehicle range), charging time, and the fact that everybody does not live in a house, with a driveway and garage to set up a charging station. For those without a garage and driveway. a electric car is not a option even if they so desired to have one.

A electric car maybe viable for those with a garage that can afford a expensive second car for in town commuting.

The lack of appropriate battery technology is largely overblown as is the problem of the lack of infrastructure. It is guided by a faith that techno development is driven by markets and limited only by the laws of nature. As with many of the “faiths” we live by it is a half truth at best. But, hey. You’re also hearing from someone who is quite certain that GM’s mid-90s EV1 with a range of 120 miles was a perfectly viable vehicle - both technologically and economically.

Aside from that, it sounded to me like dagosa was saying that movement toward potentially better systems will continue to go at a foot-dragging, snail’s pace unless some pushing gets done.

I am vary thankful for all the good CARB has done in making the air we breath cleaner. and also for setting the goals high to push new technology along. I am just pointing out the obstacles that need to be overcome.

I recall all the “sky falling” threats when environmental laws were first becoming “draconian” in the 70s. In retrospect it was laughable. In 1968 the smog was so bad in S California that the visibility was under 1/2 mile. Flying into L.A. looked like descending into a bowl of dirty water. Thankfully the EPA shoved it down the throats of their detractors. And I wonder if anyone has an old photograph of the HOLLYWOOD sign from the late 60s. I doubt if the sign was visible from the freeway. Smog was bad. It was real. And the ENVIRONMENTALISTS should be thanked for forcing Detroit to clean up the air.

And that REM video is puzzling. What is the significance of anything in that 4:04? But I am only of average intelligence so 50% of the world talks over my head.

It is a very good thing that automotive gasoline and diesel engines have been made to run much cleaner and more efficiently than in the past; being a former trucker, I’ve been to L.A. several times, and the last time was in late October of 2009; the big HOLLYWOOD sign is VERY VISIBLE from U.S. Highway 101. I also agree that electric cars and hybrids are better for the environment. However, unless there is a technological breakthrough that makes it possible for pure electric cars to have a greater range, they will only be good as short-distance commuter cars, which is fine if you live in an urban area; no contributing to pollution either. Hybrids are good since they combine gasoline and electric, so that when your charge runs low your gas engine will turn on and act as both propulsion and as a generator to recharge your electric supply. And public transportation should be trolley cars with overhead wires in ALL big cities, just like in the late 1800s and early 1900s; they got it right the first time, NO pollution.

Now, as for noise, my personal opinion is that today’s cars are TOO quiet; if you’re out walking or riding a bicycle in an area where there are no sidewalks, by the time you hear a modern car coming up from behind you it’s right up on you, which is VERY BAD if its driver is an idiot who’s not paying attention and runs you over. I’m not saying that regular street cars should all put out NASCAR-level decibels, but it would be nice if they’d be audible enough to be heard from a reasonably safe distance; glad I have a rearview mirror on my bike, otherwise I’d be looking over my left shoulder every few seconds to make sure some moron wasn’t about to run me down. A phrase that is known by motorcycle riders, “loud pipes save lives”, points out that loud motorcycles are much more likely to alert car and truck drivers of their presence; to a reasonable degree, that could also apply to cars so that people out walking or bicycling can hear them coming. One more thing, for us “Good Ol’ Boys” who like to watch NASCAR racing, there’s nothing like the sound of a stock car with a super-powerful, cammed-up V-8, and 43 of them making the ground shake as they go around a track is even better; just wouldn’t be the same with barely-audible electric motors humming around the track.:slight_smile:

The kneejerk reaction for against any new standards has always been; “It can’t be done”. This new reg is great news to the Chinese who already have a popular priced electric car on the m,arket. The car is made by a…BATTERY manufacturer. All it needs is some quality upgrades for the US market.

The time scale is such that enough electric cars will be available this time around, and manufacturers will juggle their prices so that some cars (electric) lose money and others make up for it, just like the Big Three did when they sold compacts at a loss and made themoney on SUVs and trucks.

It will mean that the average cost of a car will go up.

P.S. An article in the New York Times around 1900 about AIR Pollution dealt with the piles of horse manure on the streets and the fact there would “not be enough farm land to feed all the horses needed for an expanding US economy”.