@FinnickyFinn. I, personally, don't think that limiting the consumption of any item to a fixed amount is going to help anybody. Government control (looking at history) has only made problems worse. The low end cars (MPG-wise) might start being sold for a premium because people will feel that they are safer and then peple will start buying used cars. This, then puts the auto makers back in the same boat where they are bankrupt again because nobody wants to buy nor can afford the cars that they are offering. This is a policy of failure unless you raise the wages of the worker comparatively and in this economy it isn't going to happen.
Also, why force people to move closer to work if they don't want too? This sounds like too much the strategy (I cannot remember it's formal name) where the govt. wants to put people into cities and remove their cars because it is easier to control people when they are all together in cities instead of when they are separated by distance.
Both of these policies that you are suggesting smells like too much government control. Russia in the 50's did this and look at what their government was like back then. I don't think that we really want that here in the US.
In the insuing half-dozen-plus posts since my initial message, I've seen more cliche's and the exact politically-correct references to which I referred, such that I really fear for our future. From the anti-big business rants, the "cut the defense budget" insanity (the ONLY budget that has actually seen ACTUAL cuts - not the bogus reductions in planned increases), to the expected GHG and sea-level rise rationalizations, and the "petroleum is finite" argument (of course it is, and especially when you put 80% of your DOMESTIC supply off limits), this illustrates just how far the brainwashing and indoctrination, courtesy of the left has taken us.
We really need to demonstrate some common sense and logic, if we truly hope to make the progress we need in the arena of energy production and use. You can't use it if you don't produce it; and THAT is exactly what I see as the mind set, sadly.
Back to the actual subject at hand, if the promoters of EV's and PHEV's want to actually do something useful, how about actual research to illustrate just how much an average user would see his monthly bill change with the daily use of such a vehicle. Nowhere has this info been gathered or reported, to my knowledge. If these vehicles are such a massive improvement over the ICE in terms of cost, etc.... let's see it!
Different countries have different ways of calculating fuel economy numbers. Also, CAFE MPG is different than advertized US MPG. Example: 2012 Honda Fit CAFE MPG might be 36 while advertized MPG might be 27. It may very well be that the European Audi can get better gas mileage than the US version, but I doubt the difference would be that significant if they were calculated the same way.
One factor that affects fuel economy is speed. Different countries have different highway speed limits. Cars need to be optimized for the speed they will be driven. Highway speeds also affect accelleration requirements. Cars must be able to accellerate from 0 to highway speed in a reasonable amount of time to prevent accidents when merging onto the freeway. Cheers!
President Regan said of the economy: If it moves: Tax it!; If it continues to move: Regulate it!; If it stops moving: Subsidize it!. The same can be said of the automotive industry. Automotive design is so constrained by EPA and other governmental regulations that manufacturers are no longer able to persue many of the truely innovative approaches to fuel economy because of over regulaton.
We are forced by regulation down a path where gasoline is the primary fuel with a mandated content of ethanol. This year has been very tough on the corn based ethanol industry because of the poor growing season. Ethanol is costly to produce, takes away from edible crops and produces a product which cost more in energy to produce than it can supply.
Why does Europe have so many diesel vehicles and the US so few? The answer is regulation. I could buy a Ford Kuga (Escape) with a 2.0 l diesel and a six speed manual transmission that achieves high 40's MPG but it is not available in the US because of regulation. There is about 20% thermodynamic efficiency advantage to using diesel and biodiesel can be manufactured from a lot more waste and secondary products than ethanol.
The primary driver of the fuel economy push is America's dependence on imported oil. Ditch the constraining regulations, move towards diesel engines and eliminate the dependence while improving the fuel economy. Simple: Government regulation is the problem not the solution.
We know this: Even if they could produce cars that make 200 MPG, there will be no savings for the consumer. Since the price of gas is controlled by corrupt government regulations, the price of gas will always be -> As much as the consumer can afford and a little bit more.
So all economic discussions are moot.
This means that lowering the price of gas is the same as increasing the MPG - except for the pollution issue.
It saddens me to see how most comments suggest that what we need is more policies or a tweak on how a policy is managed. This is not a matter of changes in degree; the whole concept is flawed! A wall of separation is required between the market and government. Their role is to protect intellectual property and arguably to prevent monopolies.
Artificial and arbitrary rules - no matter how well-meaning - have both opportunity costs and unintended consequences. Instead of the market being able to fluidly react by way of consumer choices, we are left to march in lock-step with quotas and mandates. Who among us would be putting corn ethanol in our gas tanks in a drought year?
There is a real cost to adding engineering effort to innovating solutions to artificial rules. The subsequently increased product cost automatically detracts from some other economic decision (food, medicine, charity, or even simple frivolities). Am I to believe that these policy overseers are smart enough to make my economic decisions 13 years out ... based on their overall record of financial stewardship?
First - you dont know me or how I live. I do not drive a hummer. My car gets a mid-range 30-35mpg... And I utilize solar heat. I just prefer not to be pushed into a Stalinist high-rise at the center of some rat-and-crime infested city.
So - Let's start by saving money by not pouring it into things places like Solyndra. And let's not bail out failed car companies like GM and their unions who made bad choices. Let's allow for more domestic oil production to save on that "11 aircraft carrier" group cost. Let's quit the subsidies and mandates for ethanol that degrade fuel efficiency and eat at the heart of very basic environmental concerns - namely the stupidity of having the governent fund the production of food so it can be burned as fuel.
As someone who is currently unemployed, I must say that I do not WANT to drive any distance to work. I never did. I WANT to work from home. That said, the real world insists that I must travel to where my job is. How can I consider carpooling to work at a new employer? That implies getting to know my coworkers on a level that exceeds my comfort. I mean, my coworkers do not necessarily live in my neighborhood, or even in my town, so why should I want to have them drive anywhere near my house? As for parking my car somewhere and riding to work with others, my driing is bad enough. Getting into a car with someone else is giving up control. Plus, when you carpool, you need to rely on others to be able to ride home. You can't get out of work early or work late when needed. You also are stuck at work during lunch. It is less hassle though when your employer does not provide parking.
"The Prius has half the fatal accident rate..." Ever known anyone under the age of 35 buy a Prius? Do you think anyone who uses a car as a personal status symbol ould drive a Prius? That explains it. It's the type of driver, not the type of car thats influencing the statistic.
For a vast majority of the vehicle owning and operating population, cost is the largest factor when choosing a vehicle. This is not just operating cost, but initial purchase, maintenance, and repair costs. These cost should be investigated 5 and 10 years down the road when the vehicles are most likely under their second, third, or fourth owner. Can the person who buys a 10 year old used car afford to maintain and repair a hybrid or a SCR diesel, or a fuel cell? Most likely they will bypass the systems if possible or just continue to drive older, less efficient vehicles.
About a decade ago, I saw an article suggesting for the amount of money spent trying to meet the California mandate for zero emission vehicles, they could crush a majority of the 15 plus year old cars in the state and give the owner a new luxury vehicle and have a greater impact on emissions.
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