×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

EPA Proposes Grading System For Car Fuel Economy

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the miles-per-gallon-per-dead-otter dept.

Transportation 272

suraj.sun writes with this snippet from CNET: "The EPA and Department of Transportation on Monday proposed a fuel economy label overhaul to reflect how electric and alternative fuel vehicles stack up against gasoline passenger vehicles. ... The changed label, mandated by the 2007 energy law, includes the same information on city and highway miles per gallon and estimated driving costs based on 15,000 miles a year now available. But the new labels add more comparative information, rating cars on mileage, greenhouse gas contribution, and other air pollutants from tailpipe emissions. That means that consumers can look at a label to see how one vehicle compares to all available vehicles, rather than only cars in a specific class. One label proposes grades, ranging from an A-plus to a D. There are no failing grades, since vehicles need to comply with the Clean Air Act."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

272 comments

Giant letter? (3, Insightful)

WalksOnDirt (704461) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422534)

Just how stupid do you have to be to need a giant letter grade on a car? I hope that version doesn't fly.

Re:Giant letter? (2, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422548)

Well both of the sheets shown are terrible. They're at information overload, for most people who only care about how far will it go on X type of fuel.

Re:Giant letter? (5, Insightful)

cappp (1822388) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422600)

I sometimes feel bad for the guys in charge, it's apparently impossible to please people. We're normally clamouring for more information, operate our markets with the assumption of perfectly informed agents, run democracies that were conceived presuming some degree of voter knowledge, and heap disdain on the apparently ignorant. But a government agency tries to help consumers make decent choices by undermining the ability of companies to easily obscure certain basic information and they're told people want less info of a specific type. We’re a capricious lot.

I had a look at the two proposed sheets and thought they were nicely thorough, explained the basic assumptions, and presented the info in an easily comparable fashion. Guess it takes all sorts.

Re:Giant letter? (3, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422660)

I sometimes feel bad for the guys in charge, it's apparently impossible to please people. We're normally clamouring for more information, operate our markets with the assumption of perfectly informed agents, run democracies that were conceived presuming some degree of voter knowledge, and heap disdain on the apparently ignorant.

If you walk into a dealership ready to spend >$10,000 based on a window sticker and some pamphlets, I've got a perpetual motion machine to sell you.

Re:Giant letter? (2, Insightful)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422928)

Oh? Where is this machine? Why aren't you selling them already to all the people that make their purchases based on sheer vanity?

Maybe you need new labeling.

Mah Cawk (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33423132)

my penis, o my penis! it is so big!

Re:Giant letter? (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422952)

If you walk into a dealership ready to spend >$10,000 based on a window sticker and some pamphlets, I've got a perpetual motion machine to sell you.

I built a perpetual motion machine [youtube.com] for way less $10,000.

Re:Giant letter? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422974)

Eh? Without government testing of fuel efficiency, there would be no reliable information to go by at all.

Re:Giant letter? (1)

jeaton (44965) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423070)

Because there are no third parties capable of performing MPG testing? It's a good thing the government tests every product on earth for you, otherwise how would you know anything about the products?

Maybe you should tell Underwriter Laboratories to close up shop and let the government do their job for them too.

Re:Giant letter? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423124)

Without government testing of fuel efficiency, there would be no reliable information to go by at all.

Eh? I've never found government testing of fuel efficiency to bear more than a vague resemblance to the real world. Which isn't surprising, because once there's a single 'gold benchmark' then any engineering company will work to get the best score at that benchmark rather than in the real world.

I'd sooner trust somewhere like Consumer Reports than any kind of government MPG testing.

Re:Giant letter? (2, Interesting)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422606)

All they need to do is make the mileage numbers bigger, so that the people who don't care about anything else don't go into that info overload mode. I like that they added the other numbers to the label, though.

Re:Giant letter? (3, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422672)

It gets worse: they rate electric cars in miles per gallon. "Yeah, just fill 'er up with five gallons of electricity. Premium, please!" The EPA gathered together some focus group of yokels and found that they didn't know what a kilowatt hour was, and so decided to put everything into "gallons", which is an absurd measure for electricity.

Re:Giant letter? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422878)

The EPA gathered together some focus group of yokels and found that they didn't know what a kilowatt hour was

But they know what a dollar is so vehicles should be ranked on cost per unit distance.

Re:Giant letter? (2, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422918)

Except that they'd need a separate sticker for each location/utility in the country and they'd be obsolete within months.

Re:Giant letter? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423196)

They'd be obsolete month to month, as rates change not only due to the season, but due to the tiered pricing commonly used.

Re:Giant letter? (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423006)

It gets worse: they rate electric cars in miles per gallon. "Yeah, just fill 'er up with five gallons of electricity. Premium, please!" The EPA gathered together some focus group of yokels and found that they didn't know what a kilowatt hour was, and so decided to put everything into "gallons", which is an absurd measure for electricity.

It's a shell game. Otherwise they'd do the only sensible thing, which is:
For a series hybrid ("EREV" in marketing-speak) like the Volt, "N mpkw on electric and N mpg on gas", and
For a parallel hybrid like the Prius, "N mpg when starting with a full charge, N mpg when starting with no charge". That way those of us who understand maths a bit will be informed. Nearly everyone else will misinformed anyway no matter what kind of rating they use.

Re:Giant letter? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423000)

If you're spending as much money as a new car costs, who wouldn't want a lot of extra information?

Re:Giant letter? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33422808)

That's for the Republicans who loudly support the troops yet drive gas guzzlers.

Re:Giant letter? (1)

Mspangler (770054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422824)

"Just how stupid do you have to be to need a giant letter grade on a car? "

Don't ask questions that you don't really want to know the answer to.

Re:Giant letter? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422906)

Just how stupid do you have to be to need a giant letter grade on a car? I hope that version doesn't fly.

Don't worry, flying cars are still 5-10 years from being ready.

Re:Giant letter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33422940)

Agree, that's the kind of thing that leads to a backlash. People proudly keeping their 'D' EPA stickers affixed to their cars, etc.

Re:Giant letter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33423082)

You're using miles and miles per gallon -- and you're worried about a letter?

Just answer me one thing: can you compare the fuel eficiency of an European car to that of an USA one?

Tonight, say a prayer for that letter to fly -- because for changing units to a less moronic system... all hope is lost!

Yeah, I know, just like smokers... you change units whenever you want, right?

Yeah, whatever.

Uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33422538)

One label proposes grades, ranging from an A-plus to a D

So is every car going to get re-graded every year, as technology progresses? Seems like a silly way to do it.

If you're going to have an arbitrary system, at least do it like FutureMark / 3Dmark... where you get a score which can be relatively compared to older and newer hardware.

Re:Uh (1)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422886)

Maybe. Or perhaps grade like they do in the bond ratings business, add more letters and pluses.

So instead of A+ being the top grade, it might become A++ or AA+, etc. And over time, add more .. heck, the grades could eventually resemble eBay positive feedback with lots of As and +s.

Ron

Re:Uh (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422958)

where you get a score which can be relatively compared to older and newer hardware.

I have a feeling that would spell disaster for auto makers/dealers. If people could compare their car's economy to vehicles from the 80's, they would plainly see just how inefficient their vehicles are. Not that I would be opposed to that, but still.

Re:Uh (2, Interesting)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423074)

No, once a car has been graded, the grade shouldn't need to change unless something is done to the car that makes it more fuel efficient somehow.

How is this any better? (3, Insightful)

pinqkandi (189618) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422576)

They already have a 1 to 10 scale on the stickers, how is that any more difficult than an A+ through D system?

Re:How is this any better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33423170)

Are you proposing a color-based [wikipedia.org] system?

Windows 7 anyone? (0, Troll)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422580)

Why don't they go with something like the Windows Experience Index? The scale is from 1 to 10, except you can't buy anything lower than 3 and nothing can be rated higher than 7.9 until we feel like changing it.

Re:Windows 7 anyone? (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422834)

Nibble, nibble. You can get Win7's experience index down as far as 1.0 if you've an old enough GPU that doesn't have a driver. I've seen ones with supported GPUs down as far as 2.9 because of their CPUs (Pentium-D 830 @ 3.0 GHz), and new Atom-powered netbooks can be lower yet because of the CPU.

Funnily enough, moving up to a real Win7 version from the Starter it was bundled with increased the experience index a fair bit, because Starter doesn't have a 3D accelerated interface. Starter gave 1.0, and Enterprise bumped it to something like 2.5.

Re:Windows 7 anyone? (1)

bell.colin (1720616) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422970)

Thus, Proving that the score is useless MS Marketing BS. The score should reflect your hardware capabilities regardless of which version you have licensed as it should be encouraging someone with starter to say upgrade to a higher version since it can support it, this is one of the reasons i don't like the whole Vista OS (yes 7 is just a patched version of Vista) - Still using XP for my win partition (Win7 Ultimate is just slower for most games)

Re:Windows 7 anyone? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33422990)

Congratulations, you're retarded.

Stop the madness (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422582)

Stop with the dumbing-down idiocy. Give the people some god damn credit. If I give a rat's ass about fuel efficiency, I can do the basic, I mean BASIC, algebra.

Give us a reasonable set of numbers. This A-D is a bullshit, a marketers' dream, but it's a pure, unadulterated insult to the people of the US.

Keep this up, it won't be long before our children start migrating to Asia and Europe for better life.

I call BS.kg (2, Interesting)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422596)

'Greenhouse gas emmisions'?
Does this include the source power generation? Of course not, because some regions use wind/solar/nuclear, which have a vastly different greenhouse gas emmsiions then others.

Why not use SIMPLE standard units. It's up to the buyers to know the source of the fuel.
N/m@0-10km/h, 11-50km/h, 51-80km/h, 81-100km/h

All cars can compete on this scale. If a 3000kg SUV takes 40kN/m to go from 0-10km/h, and an all electric 1000kg Prius takes 5kN to achieve the same task, we can figure out what is better.

They should also mandate the energy density be displayed at all fuel pumps/charging stations.

e.g.
diesel: 1000N/L
gasoline: 300N/L
natural gas: 200N/L
(my mind is fuzzy on how to apply this to all-electric, but plenty of the folks on here are smarter then I am), but my point still stands.

Label everything based on the one common denominator: energy.

It's all BS (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33422654)

I'm generally in the "fuck copying Europe" camp, but they've got something with the liters/100 km approach. Gas and Diesel cars should be rated in gallons/100 miles, and electric/hybrid cars should be given an equivalent assuming that the power comes from a modern coal plant delivered to San Diego, and that CO2 emissions are measured in gallons of gasoline. Of course, the activists won't go for that, because they'll be forced to admit that their precious cars pollute arizona instead of socal. However, it'll give a fair comparison for everyone else. Nobody knows what a newton or erg is, so Newtons are absolutely useless. However, we know how much energy is in a gallon of gasoline ... roughly a gallon of gasoline.

Re:It's all BS (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422812)

I thought you were on to something....right up until you converted the smart idea to imperial. :p

Although you can't assume with electricity. Too many alternative power sources so Coal becomes irrelevant then.

Re:It's all BS (4, Interesting)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422832)

Honest question here. Why is gallons/100 miles preferable? It's always seemed backwards and clumsy to me.

With gal/100mi, it's more complicated to figure out how much gas you need to go X miles (with miles/gallon, it's simply X/mileage), and it also provides a more useful number when comparing cars. Sure, Car A might need 2.5 gallons/100mi and Car B needs 3 gallons/100mi, but that tells you less about the actual mileage (40 vs. 33.33).

Re:It's all BS (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422902)

A might need 2.5 gallons/100mi and Car B needs 3 gallons/100mi, but that tells you less about the actual mileage (40 vs. 33.33).

Only because you are used to thinking in terms of distance / fuel volume.

Re:It's all BS (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423036)

Only because you are used to thinking in terms of distance / fuel volume.

Fair enough, but it doesn't answer the fact that the math with GPM is easier.

Re:It's all BS (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423058)

Only because you are used to thinking in terms of distance / fuel volume.

Fair enough, but it doesn't answer the fact that the math with GPM is easier.

Do you mean this bit?

With gal/100mi, it's more complicated to figure out how much gas you need to go X miles

If I want to go 200 km and my car uses 10 litre/100km then I need 20 litre. Seems simple to me.

Re:It's all BS (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423118)

There's still technically an extra step. Dividing the distance by 100, then multiplying the volume by the result is longer than simply distance/mileage.

I'll grant I'm being obnoxious and pedantic, so I'll drop the point and agree it depends on what you're used to.

I'm still curious why the parent thinks it's a better system.

Re:It's all BS (4, Informative)

rnelsonee (98732) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422986)

Most people argue GPM is better for exactly those reasons - it's easier to compare. For example, you have two cars - one that gets 10 mpg and one that gets 33 mpg. You can replace the 10 mpg with one that gets 11 mpg, or replace the 33 mpg car with one that gets 45 mpg. Quick, which saves more gas?:

A) replace the 10 mpg with 11 mpg
B) replace the 33 mpg with 45 mpg

The answer is A. The first changes from 10 gallons per 100 miles to 9 gallons per 100 miles - 1 gallon saved every hundred miles. Option B changes from 3 gallons per 100 miles to 2.2 gallons per 100 miles - less than a gallon saved (per 100 miles). It's completely non-intuitive if you use the backwards "mpg" measurement.

If we just used consumption instead of MPG, we wouldn't have this problem. [mpgillusion.com]

Re:It's all BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33423102)

Most people argue GPM is better for exactly those reasons - it's easier to compare.

For comparison purposes at the time of purchase, it doesn't matter whether distance or fuel volume is the numerator or denominator. If it's MPG, pick the bigger number. If it's GPM, pick the smaller unit.

A) replace the 10 mpg with 11 mpg
B) replace the 33 mpg with 45 mpg

(I will grant that your setup makes it easier if you're comparing an arbitrary car with a car of constant mileage, but only if you're trying to compare the number of gallons consumed over the car's life. That's going to be a function of things that have nothing to do with mileage, though - the car that falls apart first gets replaced way earlier than the one that lasts forever, and reliability/maintenance isn't correlated with mileage. If you're ultimately getting down to the carbon cost of the vehicle over its life, you have to take into account its manufacturing process, as well as (if there's electric power involved) whether the power in your area comes from hydroelectric, nuclear, or coal-fired plants, etc...)

When you're XYZ units of distance from the next fueling station and running low, you need to be able to compute range based on the amount of fuel in the tanks. Distance per megajoule/Kwh, volume-of-diesel, or volume-of-gasoline, or volume-of-ethanol are the only measurements that facilitate computing range in one's head.

Long story short, when the fueling station dispenses kilometers, it'll be worth thinking in terms of fuel volume required for unit distance. My fueling stations dispense volumes of liquid fuel and kWh of electricity, because they don't know what kind of vehicle I drive. They could when I plug in a standardized connector to an electrical recharging station, but even if they did, they can't know how efficiently I drive it.

Re:It's all BS (2, Informative)

KTheorem (999253) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423122)

I have to call BS on that. Yes, there is a bigger increase with A, but the only time this matters at all is if I have 2 vehicles in need of replacement at the same time, money for only one of them, and no pressing preference for utility between them; and then you would have to figure out which you drive more often to get a reasonable determination of which to get.

In reality, it works like this: you have a 20 mpg car in need of replacement. You can replace it with a 25 mpg car, or a 32 mpg car. Quick, which saves more gas?:

A) Replace the 20 mpg with 25 mpg
B) Replace the 20 mpg with 32 mpg.

For direct comparison of savings coming from two completely different situations, yes, gal/100 miles is better. But the combination of events and requirements needed for such a comparison to be at all useful is completely absurd. For nearly all situations the "which number is bigger" method of determining mileage superiority is perfectly adequate.

Re:It's all BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33423144)

If using the relative difference than yes. Once the previous car is replaced, the relative number is useless and bottom line, you are still getting 11 MPG no matter how you look at it. Why don't we all just assume we have a 1970 Chrysler Newport getting 4 MPG, getting a newer car that gets 5MPG would blow all other choices away and seem like the best choice using your method.
The one that gets 45 saves the most gas relative to how much fuel you are using to go 100 miles AND how many miles per gallon it gets.

Here's an idea... Who is getting a bigger raise? Someone going from $10/HR to $11/HR or someone going from $33/HR to $45/HR? The guy making $1/HR more is not the one claiming that victory.

Re:It's all BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33423090)

really, because you think a 50 mpg v.s. 25 mpg is the same improvement as 10 mpg to 20 mpg. However ...

2 gphm v.s. 4 gphm is a 2 gphm saving, while 10 gphm to 5 gphm generates 5 times the saving. So, with my 200 mile/week commute, the difference between the two comparisons is a $12 v.s. $30 a week.

So if my choices are a 10 gphm truck, a 5 gphm truck, a 4 gphm sedan and a 2 gphm hybrid, and we assume that gas is $3/gallon for my 200 mile weekly commute, then we can compare to the baseline superhuge american truck.
The smaller truck saves me $30 a week
getting a sedan saves me $36 a week
getting the hybrid saves me $48 a week.
Now I can compare, easily and on honest terms, the cost of getting the small truck v.s. the prius. It'll save me only $18/week to drive a hybrid, and I've only multiplied by 2's and 3's. No division, and no emotional "This hybrid is 5 times better then the truck" when it's really a much smaller difference.

Re:It's all BS (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423104)

your commute to work is how many miles? so it makes it easy to compare based on how far you drive. if you commute is 20 miles, and car 1 gets 4gallons/100mile, you can make 5 trips on 4 gallons of gas, Car 2 gets 2 gallons/100 miles, 5 trips is 2 gallons of gas. If gas is currently 3.50/gallon, it makes it very easy to figure out cost per trip to work. Most trips you make are a fixed distance. You rarely think, "ohh hey i'm going to go drive 4 gallons of gas away."

Re:It's all BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33423026)

I'm generally in the "fuck copying Europe" camp, but they've got something with the liters/100 km approach.

I'm generally in the "Europe does a lot of things right", camp, but fuck their measurement of fuel economy.

Fuel isn't dispensed in kilometers. You buy gallons or liters.

Give me miles per gallon. Or better yet, kilometers per liter. How far can I go per unit of fuel. I know how much was in my tank when I filled it. The engine knows how much I've burned and what my current mileage is. It's a lot easier to multiply "6 gallons left, 30 miles per gallon" to know that you have at most 200 miles of range if you're very careful about going light on the pedal.

By contrast, if you have a similar car with "25 liters left, 8L/100km", it's not quite as easy to do the mental gymnastics to realize you've got, umm. 25/8... OK, 3 and an eighth... right, at least 300km, maybe 350 tops." And I'm being generous by picking "8". Good luck if you get a car with 7L/100km (33mpg) or 9L/100km (26mpg).

If you want to account for electrical cars, assume that gasoline is around 32MJ/L, Diesel is around 36.4 MJ/L, and electricity is 3.6MJ/kWh. And standardize everything in kilometers per megajoule, and offer MPG(km/L) for liquid fuels, and km/kWh for electrical fuels.

But L/100km? Fuck that unit.

Re:I call BS.kg (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422704)

For the most part, people buying SUVs aren't comparing them to a Prius.

I suppose some people are, but I don't see how it could possibly be the majority, just the ones trying to decide which one projects a better image, and I don't think they really give a shit about how much fuel each one uses.

Re:I call BS.kg (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422790)

Really? I actually stuffed 2 single kayaks inside my prius. There was even room for a sammich!

Re:I call BS.kg (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423140)

can I put 2 adults, 3 car seats (with kids), a dog, and a weeks worth of stuff (clothes, diapers, dog food, etc) to take to the inlaws in a prius?

If so i may reconsider....

Re:I call BS.kg (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423172)

Well...that depends.

Is it okay if the dogs are wearing the diapers?

Do you have any hot in-laws?

Re:I call BS.kg (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422734)

Woah, woah, You're not going to get a 1000kg all-electric Prius.

Furthermore, the cost of acceleration doesn't hurt the Prius nearly as much as the SUV, because the Prius can recover some of that when slowing back down, so it's still an unfair comparison.

Further, furthermore, You're using the wrong units anyway.

You need to know: kJ to accelerate through the different ranges (say, 0-25, 25-35, 35-55, 55-75 mph) as those are typical limits. Tweak the ranges so that you can interpolate the rest without being too bad. And you also need to know how much of that you can expect to recover (0% for the SUV, some higher number for the prius), and you need to know the the ongoing energy cost (in either kW, or kJ/decameter) at several reference speeds (depending on where the shift points are, perhaps, in cars with discrete gear ratios)

Then, it does make a lot of sense to bill fuel by the kJ rather than the gallon (which offloads doing the thermal expansion calculations to the purchaser, who almost certainly has no freakin' clue how do that, in order to make proper comparisons.)

If you have those numbers, you can plug them into your typical driving scenarios (or directly into your GPS....) and get a real good estimate as to your expected efficiency.

Re:I call BS.kg (2, Interesting)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422954)

Sure, they have an excuse for leaving off the upstream greenhouse gas emissions, due to varying sources. That omission also makes the car seem more environmentally friendly.
Another convenient omission from the sticker is recharge time. Of all the different metrics they're using on these cars, recharge time would be the easiest to calculate and/or test. And yet it is left off.

Re:I call BS.kg (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423164)

120VAC@7.5amp,120VAC@15 amp, 120VAC@45amp, 240VAC@15amp, 460VAC@45amp, or 240VDC@45amp? see it's still a problem, all but the 460V is likely in the home, but most could have 240V in the USA. clothes dryers and some ovens use 240V.

Re:I call BS.kg (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423158)

Newtons is force. Joules is energy. Although those bastard units, kWh, calories, and BTU, are also energy.

Re:I call BS.kg (1)

Americium (1343605) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423204)

If a 3000 kg takes 40 kN/m to go from 0-10km/h... 1000kn Pruis takes 5KN

Wow... at least now the physics classes I TA don't seem so bad.

I really have no idea where to start to tell you how horrible this post was, Newton per meter is surface tension.. even if it's just Newtons (or Newton meters) it has nothing to do with going from 0-10 km/h, you need ENERGY to do that!

In any event a 1000kg prius would take 1/3 the energy of 3000kg SUV, especially at 0-10km/h where friction has little do to with anything. Then you want gasoline to be displayed as N/L, I assume you mean Joules per Liter, not Newtons, since that is not a unit of energy. Still we obviously can't get all the energy, so different octanes would still need different energy ratings, reflecting their realistic efficiencies in a combustion engine.

This is exactly the reason for making a grading system. If a grading system is implemented it will not reflect the emissions from our coal electric plants, therefore making electric cars seem very green. In any event, if we did do energy comparisons, at least it would be obvious the electric company charges less than a dollar for the same amount of energy as from a gallon of gas.

Furthermore, are you really using liters and Newtons in America, AND expecting that to be a reasonable thing to do, regardless of your apparent assumption that diesel is more than three times efficient than gasoline.

A+ thru D = No Car Left Behind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33422604)

Think of the SUVs!

Re:A+ thru D = No Car Left Behind? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33422662)

think of the people who make 20k/year and can't replace their aging clunkers, but they still need to get to work.

Re:A+ thru D = No Car Left Behind? (0, Troll)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422840)

Those people aren't covered by this. This is for new cars.

Kill yourself.

Re:A+ thru D = No Car Left Behind? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423208)

or their clunkers were too good to get a hand out... because they made a decent decision 15 years ago...

So, how many people does it carry? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33422674)

A van that carries 15 people at 15 mpg is not worse for the environment than someone driving a 50mpg vehicle by themselves, but I'm guessing the same ratings will apply. Have they given up on the concept of multi-passenger vehicles and just assume everyone drives alone?

Re:So, how many people does it carry? (2, Interesting)

east coast (590680) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422786)

The person who's buying the vehicle is likely to have the same number of passengers regardless of the fuel economy so that's kind of a moot point.

Re:So, how many people does it carry? (1, Insightful)

GreatDrok (684119) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422814)

Most people do drive alone, even when their car can hold 7 or more people. I ride my motorcycle in to work every day and every day I drive past cars that could carry five or more people and if they were they would be as economical as my bike but the most they ever have is two people and that is rare. If people really wanted to be environmentally friendly they would stop driving around in big tin boxes (and fewer of those around would make the roads a lot safer for those of us on two wheels anyway).

Re:So, how many people does it carry? (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422924)

and fewer of those around would make the roads a lot safer for those of us on two wheels anyway

Bicycle commuter here. To be honest I am not sure it would be safer. Cars (and trucks, etc) keep people driving in lanes. With fewer cars on the road there will be more vehicles behaving like a swarm, and less safety over all. I know its a behavioral issue and it should be addressed with education and enforcement, but I would hate to see the roads I ride on turn into the roads I see in Asia.

Re:So, how many people does it carry? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423182)

if 90% of the traffic was motorcycles, we would simply divide the lanes up with a secondary stripe for the "bike" lanes.

Re:So, how many people does it carry? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423174)

How's your bike(motor or pedal) handle in the snow? let alone when we get 2-5 inches an hour sometimes.

Re:So, how many people does it carry? (1)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423198)

Have they given up on the concept of multi-passenger vehicles and just assume everyone drives alone?

No, it's just that in our Idiocracy, people can't think of person*miles/gallon as it varies with the number of people you have in the car at any given time. It's not a simple number you can apply to a vehicle because it completely depends on how it's used, and the most common use-case (single occupant) isn't flattering to the car manufacturers.

I don't think this will make a difference (1)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422676)

I don't think this will make a difference. 99% of the car buying public goes after features first: they may be looking for a pickup to haul stuff, a minivan to move people, something inexpensive but fun, or even just looks and the need to express masculine virility. It's a very rare person who goes specifically after emissions, and they're all driving a Prius. The rest will be going after price they can afford versus the features they want. There is also the fact that most people know the cost of fuel is small compared to the cost of a new vehicle, so it often makes sense to buy something cheaper and pay more in gas. So the whole idea of grading cars is next to useless.

I'll use myself as an example. I went car shopping 3 years ago, after my old car died. I wanted something cheap as I had to finance, I wanted enough room to be comfortable, and I wanted enough power to make the car fun and able to tow a trailer. I ended up getting a Chevy Optra hatchback (sold as a Suzuki Reno, Buick Excel, Lacetti, etc., in other parts of the world). And you know what? It's bad on gas (~30 mpg). But it's roomy enough that a full size adults are comfortable in the back, and the 120 hp engine/manual transmission can handle a 2000 lb trailer plus 1000 lb of cargo in the car. It'll do 0 to 60 in under 10, and with the right tires it handles great (Yokohama Avid Envigor). I could have gotten something 20% or even 50% better on fuel (diesel), but it made no economic sense.

Re:I don't think this will make a difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33422742)

they may be looking for a pickup to haul stuff

No, they buy a pick up because their favorite country star drives one. The number of pick ups that I've seen that clearly have never hauled more than a case of beer in the bed is astounding. You can really tell the babied pick ups when they have the telescoping side mirror mounts... if the mirrors are out and they're not pulling a trailer that means the person who owns it bought it for show. No respectable person who owns one for the utility of the vehicle pulls their mirrors out just to look like some kind of bad ass in their big dumb truck.

If you're still laughing at the same joke after 20 years? You might be a redneck.

Re:I don't think this will make a difference (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422882)

Or maybe they tow so often that they don't bother retracting the mirrors when they aren't towing?

Re:I don't think this will make a difference (1)

barfy (256323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422912)

And you represent 99% of the experience? That is pretty bold of you to think that. There are tons of things that people do, and I know a bunch of people that will juggle the range of cars and features and price that they want with the current ratings. The newer ratings provide even more information like comparison to class.

It may or may not make a difference in their decision, but to say that it won't is naive. Just like believing everyone is like you.

Misleading CO2 (5, Insightful)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422710)

The CO2 emission numbers would be misleading for battery electric and plug-in hybrids because it only states the tailpipe emissions.

Example... A battery-electric vehicle may use 34 KW/h of electricity per 100 miles. According to official data, in the USA, about 0.6 Kg of CO2 is emitted for every KW/h of electricity consumed. So for every 100 miles, about 20 Kg of CO2 is released into the atmosphere. So the data should state that 200g of CO2 is emitted per mile, not the 0g it currently states.

Ignoring other sources of CO2 emission and only looking at tailpipe emissions are misleading for technology which does not have a tailpipe. For example, a battery electric vehicle which uses 40 KW/h of electricity per 100 miles would release more CO2 into the atmosphere than many small gasoline vehicles.

Re:Misleading CO2 (1)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422816)

Spot on. Interesting how the labels state the external cost of charging (ie. 12 cents per kwh) and yet neglect to state the external environmental costs. Another example of greenwashing.

There's no free lunch - energy use always involve a trade off, even geothermal (ie. earthquakes) and solar (ie. less energy available to organisms, such as plants). For the labels to claim CO2 emissions of zero, even with the "tailpipe only" disclaimer, is disingenuous and deceptive.

Ron

Re:Misleading CO2 (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423192)

well, whats the CO2/KWatt for your local utility? Good luck asking them that...

That IS bad (4, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422858)

battery-electric vehicle may use 34 KW/h of electricity

That IS bad. After only 3 years of engine-time, you'll need a full Nuke plant to power just *one* of those.

per 100 miles

Criminey! Assuming it averages about 50mph, that means it'll only take 23 hours to require a 1GW dedicated power plant, and it only gets worse from there!

QR Block information / an app for that? (1)

$pace6host (865145) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422746)

Anyone know what's going to be in the "Smart Phone" QR block? I'd love to see it have enough data so an app could take that info, plus a the data from a week/month/year of GPS &/or accelerometer data (recorded by my GPS or smart phone) and give me a better estimate of how much a car would cost me to operate, if my driving habits remained roughly the same. At the very least, it could probably factor in my true mix of city/highway, and it might even be able to tweak that if I've got a heavy left foot, and insist on 1G starts at every stop sign.

environmental cost of manufacture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33422750)

Hopefully they factor the environmental cost of manufacturing the car into the grading system, so that consumers can make a fully informed decision about the environmental impact of their purchase, instead of one based only on the post-purchase impact.

Re:environmental cost of manufacture (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422880)

What are we at right now for a fleet average -- ~25mpg? Average 12,000 mi/year, average vehicle age 9.5 yrs and growing (implying average lifespan of about 20 years). 20 * 12000 / 25 = 9,600 gallons of gasoline. So your 2 ton vehicle -- most of which will be recycled -- contrasts with 33.6 tons of gasoline, all of which ends up burned and straight into the atmosphere.

I know it's trendy to pretend that production energy consumption being left out reverses the equation (because people often used to leave production costs out), but that doesn't mean it's the case.

Re:environmental cost of manufacture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33423010)

It's not about reversing equations, or being trendy, or keeping old cars on or off the road, or whatever else you're post is meant to apply; it's simply a hope that there would be sufficient information available for people to actually make an informed purchase decision. Otherwise we might as well all just check our horoscope as consult the grading system.

Re:environmental cost of manufacture (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422896)

Unlikely, as this would make it harder for smug retards to complain about me driving a 14 year old car.

No failing grades... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33422758)

"There are no failing grades, since vehicles need to comply with the Clean Air Act"

Likely rather closer to the truth that there are no failing grades because the manufacturers' lobbies would never have allowed it.

Proof that the Clean Air act is too weak (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422818)

No failing grades? Have we already forgotten "No child left behind" and how that worked out?

Suggestions to EPA (4, Interesting)

wildsurf (535389) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422876)

I submitted a comment to the EPA suggesting that the "Gallons / 100 Miles" number be more prominent relative to MPG. (Converting to metric is a lost cause, unfortunately.)

I also suggested that they add "Gallons SAVED per 100 miles" relative to an average car in its class. This statistic can be surprising: switching from a 33mpg Corolla to a 50mpg Prius saves one gallon per 100 miles, but switching from a 10mpg Hummer to a 14mpg Land Rover saves three gallons per 100 miles driven.

Re:Suggestions to EPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33422960)

If they post Gal/100 Miles, then isn't "Gallons saved per 100 miles" just simple subtraction. Also your "saved" statistic could be very misleading and confusing since it would have to be periodically re-calibrated to the current "average car" every year and it makes comparing two non-average cares to each other just as obfuscated as with mpg.

Ok, all of the negative stuff is... (1)

barfy (256323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33422900)

It won't make any difference. Then why the complaint?

I suspect it will indeed make a difference. People will get a story going forward. There is already experience in the marketplace that labels like this work. Energy Star being the biggest example.

The fact is, that the labels do provide a wide variety of information. This along with features, price and lust will make a difference (If we were all about features and price we would all be driving Kia Amanti's but very very few people do).

There are a universe of new cars out there, and the car industry cannot be trusted to provide much objective information that can be compared to other cars. Information that may or may not be useful to all customers, but for some and I would propose a significant number of customers, they will look and understand the information. If presented in a way that makes sense.

I think the comparisons between all cars, like cars, and cars in its class pretty much provide the information that is most likely to be valuable.

If you don't think it will work, who cares? If you think it will cause harm, by all means speak up.

But I really do not think that you should limit the information about cars to that just limited by the manufacturer or the car dealer. To do so, actually does provide harm to the customers. And to expect them to all go to some third party doesn't make sense either. Only a small amount of consumers do that. That is why were are not all driving Ford Taurus's.

Good clear information is important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33422914)

You know, no matter how much some of the Slashdot crowd will complain about how this is a guide for stupid people, and that they don't see why this is a bother...well, it's because people aren't all math geniuses with nothing better to do with their time than crunch numbers.

But you know what? It does help to have information on what you're buying. A test drive will tell you something. People on the internet will too. But some things you can't learn on your own. Given how terrible corporations tend to be about giving out information, I don't mind the government coming up with some useful standards. Whether or not these standards are good enough, well, that's open for debate, but when you are derogatory to the idea of having them?

It makes me cringe.

accuracy? (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423100)

Is there any reason for us to think this new system will be any more meaningful and less arbitrary than the last? Case in point: my twenty year old Audi was rated 18 city, 24 highway... but I actually get well over 30mpg on the highway (closer to 40, even, if I stick to 55). Granted, she's extremely aerodynamic with a rather tiny, multi-valve, turbo-charged engine and very tall gearing... but that's beside the point: the fact is, if we couldn't rely on the EPA for fair and accurate info back in '91 (when corporations generally had far less control and influence over the regulatory bureaucracy than they do today), how likely is it that this new system will be a worth a goddamn thing?

Problem with that.... (5, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#33423190)

If a car performs really well, it might get an A...

But then a few years down the road, improved technology could make that A rating in 2010 look like a C- or D in 2015, and other "A" rated cars come out that perform far better. Yet the 2010 car still has the "A" rating... so it isn't fairly compared to newer cars.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...