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Experts Split on New 54.5MPG Rule

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Rigby5
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Re: Free Market solutions
Rigby5   9/17/2012 5:15:52 PM
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KO Steinke,

We don't really disagree much it would seem, but remember that Roe vs Wade is based on the right of privacy, one of those unenumerated individual rights.  Another word the SCOTUS uses for oblique is penumbra.

KOSteinke
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Silver
Re: Free Market solutions
KOSteinke   9/17/2012 4:23:25 PM
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I'm speaking from an engineering/pragmatic standpoint.  The constitution does, indeed, attempt to set forth the responsibilities and limits on the government and the people.  As I understand it (obviously I wasn't there), there was some debate about including the ammendments.  Some drafters felt it would limit our rights (anything not covered would become government regulatable), and some felt it would preserve them by assuring things wouldn't be assumed to be regulatable beyond the defined limits (ergo the IX & X ammendments).  For those of you wondering, the certain inalienable rights endowed by our creator, life, liberty... etc. is from the Declaration of Independence, not the constitution. 

From a pragmatic standpoint, if a right you want to claim is not specifically or obliquely identified in the constitution, the Supreme Court has been generally unreceptive to recognizing it.  The supreme court has gotten pretty good at shoe horning in whatever complaint is brought before them to fit into a pidgeon hole of existing verbiage.  You can argue about how generous they have been with oblique references.

Rigby5
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Re: Free Market solutions
Rigby5   9/17/2012 3:38:25 PM
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KOSteinke,

I don't necessarily disagree with your point in government being authorized to regulate transportation.

But I totally disagree with your mistaken idea that the Constitution is the source of rights.  The 9th and 10th amendments specifically say it is not, and that rights are inherent and pre-existing of the Constitution.  Laws then are merely implementations of protections and restrictions on those inherent rights, and can not grant or deny rights at all.  The justification for restriction of rights is entirely from the need to protect the rights of other individuals from conflicts.  Government by itself has no authority at all, and is not a source of authority.

KOSteinke
User Rank
Silver
Re: Free Market solutions
KOSteinke   9/17/2012 2:31:54 PM
The initial high wages paid, reputedly not Fords idea, was also balanced to some degree by Ford policing the personal lives of his employees.  Both eventually abandoned.

The improvements in standard of living in the 1800's is generally credited to the industrial revolution.  The "progressive" movement tended to be a response to perceived predatory practices of industrialists.  Rockefeller's "crimes" were controlling freight rates, and predatory pricing (among others) to drive his competitors out of business.  Had the playing field been level, it's possible other companies would have risen to preeminence and, the price of kerosene could have gone lower.  We'll never know. 

By definition a monopoly is exclusive control of a commodity or service.  A monopoly can be granted by a government or king, but in an unregulated "free" economy it is the natural result of competition.  Eventually someone will end up holding all the marbles.  At which point they can prevent others from entering the business to compete, charge whatever they want, control by regulating supply, and depending on the commodity controlled, influence legislation outside of a democratic format.

UL is accredited by OSHA, my conversations with Europeans (Spanish, German, French, UK) indicate that our postal system (cheaper, more reliable) is the envy of the world, SAE includes government agencies (US and Foreign) in their forum.

Your rights in the US, are granted by the US constitution.  You have a right to due process, a certain freedom to travel would likely be considered a right, but method, traveling, by driving a car, is not.  Laws don't grant you rights, they define limits of behavior within the constitutional framework.  (Jeeze, your making me despair of your private education.)  If you believe you have a right to drive, don't renew your license, get pulled over and ticketed for driving without a license and take it to the supreme court.  They will let you know if you have the right.  Even a blind person has the right to own a gun, they don't have a right to operate a motor vehicle (but they can ride the bus or be a passenger in a motor vehicle).  Before the laws were sorted out there was a fair amount of pandemonium with a lack of standardization, safety equipment, and rudimentary skills associated with owning and operating automobiles.  Municipalities, states and the federal government eventually imposed standards for training, navigation, condition, and safety equipment to keep people from killing and maiming themselves or each other on the road.  Believe it or not, there is a legitimate societal interest in keeping you alive and healthy.  Keeping you an alive wage earner/tax payer, keeping your kids out of orphanages, and you (or other drivers) out of rest homes or cemeteries is generally good for society.  It seems goofy to whine about safety equipment, or laws mandated to keep you and your fellow drivers alive and healthy.  The cost of advertizing and "destination charges" etc. probably adds more to the cost of your car than the safety equipment, and does less for your general wellfare.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Are some of the costs one-time investments?
Rob Spiegel   9/17/2012 2:31:04 PM
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Good detail, Rigby5. I would think these changes would affect the sticker price of these cars. Or perhaps -- like the Volt -- the carmaker will absorb the costs until consumer acceptance reaches a critical mass. At any rate, a slightly higher sticker price could be justified if the MPG is high.

Rigby5
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Let the free market decide.
Rigby5   9/17/2012 12:49:26 PM
dkatrms,


I agree and disagree at the same time.  Consumers don't have a choice in the US because car makers simply are not building low mpg cars in this country.  But I agree governerment mandate is not working well either, because in Europe the Smartcar gets 90 mpg, and it is only the US government mandates that forces it back down to 50 mpg.

It is clear the current government DEQ standards are heavily slanted to favor large cars, because they don't at all take into account the total amount of pollution.

They instead only measure parts per million, so all a car makes has to do is add an air pump to dillute the pollution, and they can easily pass.  Even though they produce 4 times as much total pollution, they can beat a Smartcar in the defective DEQ tests we currently perform.

The government mandates also deliberately try to preclude diesels by claiming particulates are overly harmful, when in reality they are heavy and settle out much more quickly than the formalins, cyanates, monoxide, sulfites, CO2, etc., of gasoline engines.

But the Volt is an example of not enough government mandates.  Clearly all electric could be extremely successful if there were a batter module standard that allowed easy battery exchange to extend range.  Recharging takes too long, and hybrid weighs too much.  Some simple madates could easily make all electric extemely competitive and appealing.

Rigby5
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Platinum
Re: Are some of the costs one-time investments?
Rigby5   9/17/2012 12:37:50 PM
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Rob,

I don't know very much about the switch to aluminum at Rover other than that they built a whole new plant in order to make it work.  I would assume aluminum required heliarc welding robots that are more expensive.  It probably also is easier to go all aluminum with off road or 4WD because they tend to have a separate frame beneath the body, that would allow for inherently stronger I-beam shapes.  Aluminum would have to be much thicker than steel in order to have the same strength.  Although there are many parts like suspension arms on Porsche, that are well suited to cast aluminum/magnesium alloys.  Perhaps a cast, ribbed, aluminum alloy pan shaped like the stamped steel pan of the old air cooled VW could be done cheaply enough?  Then if you ran a thick aluminum arch from the front, through the windshield pillars, over the doors, and down the back window pillars, it could be a nice rigid shape, and not weigh nearly as much as cars do now.

I would also suspect we will see more 3 wheel cars, to eliminate differentials.  With direct fuel injection, 2 stroke engines could also make a comeback, because there would not be a pollution hit as long as the fuel and lubrication were no longer mixed.  That would allow engines to be half the weight and size, for the same hp. 

Future cars will be more like motorcycle technology than it is today.  The way to cut weight is to increase rpm, go alloy and fiberglass, add gears, and make engines more disposable.

dkatrms
User Rank
Bronze
Let the free market decide.
dkatrms   9/17/2012 12:30:29 PM
Let the consumers and free market dictate.  High gas prices and environmental concerns will drive the designs of the future, not government mandates.

I wanted an economical everyday driver.  Several folks I work with own Smart cars, seat 2, and barely get over 40 to 50 mpg.   I found it not practical.  I also considered a VW Jetta Diesel.  But I purchased a 2011 Ford Fiesta, thats getting me over 40 mpg in town, seats 5 and it can handle highway speeds and pass safely.  I feel my car is far more practical.  I made my choice as a consumer, without being influenced by government wants.

As consumers in a free market, we decide.  See what happened to the Chevy Volt?

Rigby5
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Diesel and .....Bikes
Rigby5   9/17/2012 12:17:19 PM
Remember that diesel fuel does not have to be petrochemical.  Diesel fuel can come from lots of oils, ranging from lard to nuts oils.  And biofuels are automatically carbon neutral.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Are some of the costs one-time investments?
Rob Spiegel   9/17/2012 10:12:50 AM
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That's an impressive gain, Rigby5. Do you know if there was any downside to the shift to aluminum? Did they lose strength? Was it more expensive?

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