You nailed it here Flinn. This is a perfect example of government regulation gone crazy.
Tis will have to result in the elimination of larger vehicles, which may be far more efficient in that they can transport more. A family of six will have to drive in two cars instead of one, not to mention business vans and the like. This legislation is totally insane.
How about smaller cars, smaller engines ? European car manufacturers are already there - just look at the websites of Peugeot, Renault, Seat, Skoda, read the specs. 0-60 in 5 seconds isn't a "must-have" - it can happen in 12 seconds too. Nobody really needs 200 HP or cubic miles of space in the rear just to commute to work or visit Grandma. Know what a clutch is? manual transmission? How about diesel engines? Diesel powered private cars in Europe get better than 55mpg today. It's no good driving around in SUV's and Lexuses complaining about the fuel efficiency.
Given how many big trucks and souped up sedans drive on streets I don't see that consumers are willing to buy more fuel efficient vehicles. For that to change a gallon of gas needs to cost 6$ or 7$, which would be more in line with the overall damage gasoline fueled vehicles generate. Of course, the higher price could be achieved through higher taxes, which would never happen anyway, but I'd be in favor of it if the higher tax if that tax is exclusively used for creating and maintaining more energy saving alternative transportation. We got plenty of old railroad paths that can be used for bus lanes, bike paths, or light rail.
The policy needs to change, because the average mpg is counted across the entire fleet of a manufacturer. So they can build an excessively expensive electric plastic car that gets 80 mpg while still building the gas guzzling SUVs with 300 HP of which they want to sell thousands.
The policy needs to change and set a consumption maximum for any model. On top of that, any regular car with more than 150 HP should not even be allowed to get registered. So yes, bye bye Mercedes 500 and sports cars.
Also, add incentives that reward short commutes and punish long commutes. People that drive 80 miles to work each day should move closer to work.
I agree there is no lack of innovation, Nadine. There is a bounty of innovation around hybrids and EVs that will serve traditional cars well as the auto makers work to beef up MPG. We're already seeing a rush to innovate with lighter and stronger materials. In response to composites, the steel industry is making lighter, stronger steel.
Nadine's comment reminds me of the 70s, when smaller Japanese cars were first becoming available in the US, partly in response to the sky-high cost of gas during the "energy crisis." Driving one of them made me realize how big all the standard US cars were then--as well as commercial trucks--and I was concerned about what would happen in a crash. And that's when they were still mostly steel.
That makes perfect sense to me, Chuck. It will be interesting to see what happens to car prices as we get closer to the higher MPG standards. One thing that might happen is that hybrids and EVs will be less of a premium compared with traditional vehicles.
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