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People "wouldn't even notice", the former GM executive claims

At the SAE World Congress "Action" Bob Lutz gave an entertaining keynote in which he slammed the effect that the CAFE standard is having on vehicle prices.  Mr. Lutz, former vice chairman of General Motors Comp. (GM), called CAFE "an absolute embarrassment to the United States" and suggested that the government should raise gas taxes by $0.25 USD/gallon a year for ten years instead.

The move comes on the heals of GM and Ford Motor Comp.'s (F) announcement that they were pairing to work on nine- and ten-speed transmissions to improve fuel economy.  GM and Chrysler are also looking to fuel efficient diesel imports to help boost its fuel economy, with GM's 2014 Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel and Chrysler's 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee (diesel).

Mr. Lutz acknowledged some customers want these vehicles, remarking, "People are buying these and paying a premium price because they want interesting technology."

But the former executive says that electric vehicles will ultimately drive the industry to higher fuel efficiencies.  Mr. Lutz is a key evangelist of the Chevy Volt; in fact he still drives one to this day.
 


Bob Lutz loves the Chevy Volt, despite its struggles.

The Obama administration says that its target of 54.5 mpg by 2025 will add $2,059 USD to the average price of a truck and $1,726 USD to the average car price, but argues that customers will recoup these gains by using less pricey gasoline. By Mr. Lutz's math, though, the cost increase will be much greater.  He commented, "We're on the way to my [previous prediction of] $5,000.  If the government says $1,800, it'll probably be about double that by the time the cars hit the road."

"As I've said for years, reducing fuel consumption by forcing automakers to sell smaller and more frugal vehicles is like fighting the nation's obesity epidemic by forcing clothing manufacturers to sell only in small sizes," he added.

In his speech he also restated his concern that CAFE was compromising safety by increasing the use of lightweight materials with less structural integrity.  He commented, "In order to maintain ... styling, performance, appeal and not turn into rolling suppository - shape aerodynamic appliances, the car companies will have to do a lot of lightweight materials."

Bob Lutz
Bob Lutz @ his keynote [Image Source: Autoblog Green]

Mr. Lutz contends that his gas tax strategy would be fine with the public, who "wouldn't even notice" the change.  His proposal mirrors that of others, including a former advisor to President George W. Bush and GM's former CEO.  He comments, "You don't want to punish people for driving.  You want to give people the incentive to buy vehicles that use less fuel.  You would take the money and spend it on things to make them happy, by dedicating it to the radical improvement of the unholy mess of this nation's highway infrastructure."

He says that the magic bullet for fuel efficiency would be a battery electric vehicle with an hour charge time, the price of a gasoline vehicle, a battery pack the size of a gas tank, and a 400 mile range.  Current models are far from that dream target, though.

Sources: The Detroit News, Autoblog Green



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Of course
By BRB29 on 4/19/2013 11:22:12 AM , Rating: 5
The guy who makes cars says "CAFE is crap. Just raise gas prices so we don't have to improve our vehicles"

*rolls eyes




RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/19/2013 11:29:52 AM , Rating: 2
and yes we actually do want lighter cars.

Lighter cars means better fuel economy, less waste and better safety for everyone(not just the driver)

2 light cars colliding is much less damaging than 2 heavy cars colliding. A light car hitting a pedestrian is much less likely to kill or severely injure.
The only problems with light cars is when colliding with heavy cars. But if we stop making heavy cars then we will all be much better off in the future.

I know people that will buy a suburban just because they know if they get in a crash, they will come out safe. That is a sick mentality to have. Instead of learning safe driving habits, they protect themselves and says "F*** everyone" when they crash. The fact that they anticipate crashing is scary.


RE: Of course
By scook9 on 4/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/19/2013 11:52:11 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't say every suburban driver. Some people actually need a vehicle of that size.

But you are just proving my point. If the bad driver is driving the lighter car then EVERYONE is better off.


RE: Of course
By Samus on 4/19/2013 12:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
True dat. How else am I going to drive 500 kilo's of premium Nicaragua across the border?


RE: Of course
By espaghetti on 4/19/2013 4:08:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I didn't say every suburban driver. Some people actually want a vehicle of that size.


Fixed that for ya.


RE: Of course
By FaaR on 4/20/2013 6:48:47 PM , Rating: 2
"I want" is not a valid argument when dealing with a reality that includes limited resources such as fuels, plastics, metals and other precious resources.


RE: Of course
By ebakke on 4/21/2013 2:42:31 AM , Rating: 1
Sure it is. Maybe not to you, but it is to me. And thanks to this wonderful concept called "liberty" I don't have to check with you before I choose to buy something.


RE: Of course
By Paj on 4/22/2013 8:24:42 AM , Rating: 2
Sometimes, what you want isn't compatible with the needs of the the larger group. Something most children learn from a young age.


RE: Of course
By ebakke on 4/22/2013 11:07:26 AM , Rating: 1
Surely, I can't just steal your property because I want it. But I most certainly can purchase a vehicle.

Unless my action is directly harming another, I'll be damned if you or anyone else is going to tell me it's forbidden "for the greater good".


RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/22/2013 12:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
No one is stopping you or taking your rights to purchase anything. We are just addressing the potential problems it could cause to other people. There's one earth and several billion people. Some of us cares about other people we live around.

It's cool if you don't but you don't need to rub it in. You can just admit "yea i know it's not the best thing for everyone but everyone has their own thing they can be selfish in"
We can all respect that.


RE: Of course
By ebakke on 4/22/2013 1:09:52 PM , Rating: 2
The implication from the original post I replied to (and the follow up to mine, for that matter) absolutely is "that choice is unacceptable, and it must be altered for the greater good."

If the OP wanted to say, "I believe it's important to consider the scarcity of resources and the impact on the rest of the planet and its inhabitants" he could've. But he didn't. He authoritatively stated that merely wanting something is "not a valid argument".

quote:
We can all respect that.
You might be able to. But there are plenty of folks who have no respect for people who make choices that conflict with their ideology. And the two posts I replied to offered no indication of their respect for someone else's beliefs.


RE: Of course
By Nfarce on 4/21/2013 2:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
Logic fail. There is no end in sight for materials to build vehicles (or labor for that matter as another "resource" as you refer to building materials as).

What is up with you people and your wishes to deny what others want and choose to have in freedom? That other companies freely manufacture and provide?

Look up the definition of fascism and get back to me.


RE: Of course
By Reclaimer77 on 4/21/2013 6:33:00 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
What is up with you people and your wishes to deny what others want and choose to have in freedom? That other companies freely manufacture and provide?


Anytime you hear someone say the stupid crap he did, you know he's a Collectivist moron and should be shut down.

Seriously the idea that you're some horrible person for "wanting" things, as if the resources of this planet belong to the collective of humanity, is so disillusioned and insane.

And, of course, he's a hypocrite. But that's par for the course when it comes to Collectivists and Liberals.


RE: Of course
By Paj on 4/22/2013 8:36:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Logic fail. There is no end in sight for materials to build vehicles (or labor for that matter as another "resource" as you refer to building materials as).


That's interesting - last time I checked the Earth was a planet of known dimensions with some elements being rarer than others, rather than a procedurally generated infinite utopia with all elements present in equal amounts - but I could be wrong.

quote:
Look up the definition of fascism and get back to me.


Sounds like you should brush up your definitions of 'strawman' and 'slippery slope'


RE: Of course
By Ringold on 4/21/2013 11:41:46 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
with a reality that includes limited resources such as fuels, plastics, metals and other precious resources.


I wondered how far I'd have to read before a communist started drooling Marxist nonsense. I was about right; didn't have to read far.

Follow your own advice and go recycle all your electronic devices, and don't replace them. There's not insignificant amounts of rare earth metals in every cell phone out there; the vibrate mode wouldn't work otherwise. Silicon of the grade used in chips isn't cheap, or easy to manufacture, either. In fact, huge parts of the global economy are tied up advancing technology that, mostly, goes to serve your (and everyone elses) narcissism in being able to post online.

In fact, even the food you eat is a limited resource, and someone I'm sure some kid is hungry in Africa, so follow your Marxist logic gravy train and stop eating. It worked in the USSR! ... For a while.

Next time you do ANYTHING not ENTIRELY necessary for the MINIMUM maintenance of your life, it is a "I want." Like a cup of coffee in the morning? You don't NEED it, you WANT it. Like your computer? You don't NEED that either. In fact, the desire to live is an "I want," put in us by nature to help continue the species. So keep that in mind, next time you buy.. well.. virtually anything, then reconsider if you should be a judgmental prick online when people buy things that differ from your own personal opinions of whats acceptable to want or not want.


RE: Of course
By Paj on 4/22/2013 8:44:08 AM , Rating: 2
Why do you thnk they removed lead from petrol? Its because the need of the many (everyone not getting lead poisoning from toxic fumes) outweighed the needs of the few (people with cars who wanted to drive faster).

According to your logic, it should be your 'choice' to have lead in your petrol because driving whatever car you like at whatever speed you choose is your 'right', irrespective of how these actions affect anyone else.


RE: Of course
By lelias2k on 4/19/2013 1:53:27 PM , Rating: 1
I'm sorry, but if somebody buys a Suburban for its safety, then that person understands very little of driving and/or cars. And without that, how can you consider he/she a good driver?

Those are usually the people who:
a) Drive under the minimum speed,
b) Step on their brakes for no reason,
c) Have difficulties merging/changing lanes,
d) Don't get out of the passing lane,
e) Have a hard time dealing with such a big vehicle,
f) etc.

If you want a safe car, you want a car that will allow you to AVOID a crash, not the one who will survive the crash better because it couldn't escape it.

Of course, since most people are more interested in day dreaming, phone talking, text messaging, book reading, make up retouching, eating, etc, driving is certainly not their primary focus when behind the wheel, so maybe they just know they won't be ready when the situation presents itself.


RE: Of course
By FITCamaro on 4/19/2013 1:58:04 PM , Rating: 3
And what happens when you're doing everything right and someone runs a redlight or a stop sign and slams into you?

Thinking that because you're a careful driver, you'll never get in an accident is foolish.


RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/19/2013 2:56:52 PM , Rating: 2
yes exactly, there's no guarantee in real life. But if everyone drove lighter and safer cars then everyone is safer in general. The amount of energy involved is significantly reduced by reduction of mass.


RE: Of course
By FITCamaro on 4/19/2013 4:16:34 PM , Rating: 1
Some people have large families. Those large families don't fit into smaller, lighter cars.

Some people also have things like boats and trailers. Small, light vehicles don't pull those things very well. Or is your opinion more important than those people being able to own things they want and pay for?


RE: Of course
By blppt on 4/20/2013 6:10:03 PM , Rating: 2
Then they can fit that large family into a minivan. Oh, but then we have the "image" problem of driving a "rolling womb"---which is what it really comes do in the end.


RE: Of course
By mars2k on 4/22/2013 9:06:43 AM , Rating: 2
At the heart of all this discussion is too many people using too many resources. Not knowing when to quit having babies is no excuse. Do we all have to drive Suburbans to stisfy you?


RE: Of course
By Solandri on 4/19/2013 5:55:30 PM , Rating: 2
It's not as simple as "lighter is safer". There's a fixed amount of mass which is unavoidable (primarily the engine, or in EVs the battery pack). That mandates a minimum amount of passenger compartment stiffness, side panel strength, and crumple zone depth to withstand a collision with minimal intrusion into the passenger compartment.

If the CAFE standards force vehicle weight below that minimum, then the lighter vehicles become more dangerous.

Also, you'd have to move commercial trucks to a different road system since their mass is primarily in the cargo they're carrying and thus can't be reduced. Any reduction in passenger vehicle weight results in less survivability in a collision with a loaded commercial truck.


RE: Of course
By FITCamaro on 4/19/2013 6:31:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yup and it isn't just semis. You have work trucks for things like utility companies and lawn care services. You have dump trucks. You have box trucks for moving things around locally. You have passenger vans for churches and other organizations. All which will smash through small cars.


RE: Of course
By Jim Vanus on 4/20/2013 11:05:49 AM , Rating: 1
Then there is the cost of lightweight materials. It's possible to build very strong lightweight vehicles but wouldn't it require more expensive alloys?

Is it possible to build safe vehicles using these alloys at an affordable price ?


RE: Of course
By V-Money on 4/19/2013 8:37:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But if everyone drove lighter and safer cars then everyone is safer in general.


...and if everyone believed in peace there would be no wars, and if every ate healthy we would live longer and health care costs would go down, and if everyone had common sense we wouldn't need warning labels on everything, etc....

I know what you are saying, but as a motorcycle rider I think that if safety and saving the environment are the key issues then most people should switch to riding motorcycles. They are perfectly practical for most people in their normal every day lives, they get great mileage, and they are cheaper. In fact you could realistically produce a decent entry level motorcycle for the costs of all of these proposed CAFE changes. I know it wouldn't be practical for everyone but for most they would be. The thing is that people who don't want to ride one would consider this comment ridiculous, just like people who don't want to drive a small light car will see your comment as ridiculous. People are different and you have to realize that you have to look at the world as being bigger than your perspective.


RE: Of course
By Reclaimer77 on 4/20/2013 6:45:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But if everyone drove lighter and safer cars then everyone is safer in general.


"And if wishes were horses, we'd all be eatin' steak."


Jayne Cobb


RE: Of course
By mars2k on 4/22/2013 9:03:57 AM , Rating: 2
What if the other guys is driving a Hummer or a Semi? Your logic is flawed Fit


RE: Of course
By djdjohnson on 4/20/2013 7:43:30 PM , Rating: 2
It's a good thing that people don't over generalize or put people into stereotypes here. That would be dumb.


RE: Of course
By Dr of crap on 4/22/2013 12:53:12 PM , Rating: 2
YOU are so on thE MARK with that post.

Sorry you were voted down!!!!

AND I'd and to your list can't park that big vehicle at ALL!


RE: Of course
By Mint on 4/19/2013 5:07:22 PM , Rating: 4
No he isn't. It doesn't matter who is at fault for the accident.

If people buy a Suburban for being safe, they are doing so by making someone else less safe. A Suburban isn't any safer in a rollover or hitting a wall/tree/pillar. It's only safer hitting another car, because in a collision it will have less velocity change while other guy will have more.

In my book, that train of thought makes them a bit of a douche. If they're buying it for legit reasons, however, I can't hate on them.


RE: Of course
By 1prophet on 4/20/2013 2:43:34 PM , Rating: 2

quote:
If people buy a Suburban for being safe, they are doing so by making someone else less safe.

If they're buying it for legit reasons, however, I can't hate on them


So the intent of the purchase is what makes the someone else less safe, not the manner the vehicle is driven or the accident itself?


RE: Of course
By Mint on 4/24/2013 8:09:08 AM , Rating: 2
The intent is what determines whether or not he's a douche.

It doesn't matter how well they drive. Nobody has zero risk of accidents, whether they actually get in one or not. All his potential accidents with other cars put them at greater risk than if he drove a lighter car.


RE: Of course
By Spuke on 4/19/2013 12:07:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The fact that they anticipate crashing is scary.
I'd MUCH rather have someone anticipating a crash than driving around like that never happens. I'm not a buy a big truck/SUV to feel safe kind of person (the cars I drive primarily have always been small) but you have to be aware and self preservation is instinctively human.


RE: Of course
By Spuke on 4/19/13, Rating: -1
RE: Of course
By Flunk on 4/19/2013 12:20:23 PM , Rating: 2
Safety doesn't have to be compromised in the name of weight reduction. There are a lot of factors involved in vehicle safety. For example the old Ford Bronco weighed 10,000 tonnes (not really) and was horribly unsafe despite it. Prone to rollovers, gas tank explosions in collisions and flying off the road in icy conditions.

I know the idea that weight = safety is a popular one but it's not very accurate. Even if you look at crash ratings you're find that some models of small vehicle rank much higher than some huge vehicles.


RE: Of course
By Spuke on 4/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/22/2013 7:51:16 AM , Rating: 2
Our safety standards are higher because our cars are heavier and bigger. We are not at the right weight.

Look at Europe where much less safety regulations is needed since cars are generally much smaller and lighter.


RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/19/2013 2:54:02 PM , Rating: 2
Learn physics

Drop a bowling ball into the water and see how much energy is transferred.
Drop a basketball and see the difference.

Yes safer cars can be achieved by design but that is for that car only.

We can improve safety for everyone by good safety designs and lighter vehicles.

Holy crap, people are so locked into a fixed way of thinking.


RE: Of course
By Spuke on 4/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: Of course
By Solandri on 4/19/2013 6:09:50 PM , Rating: 2
A small car hitting a wall at 50 mph transfers exactly as much energy to the driver as a Suburban hitting a wall 50 mph. In both cases, the energy of the driver is 1/2 his mass times the velocity^2, and that's the energy the driver needs to shed to come to a stop.

Your bowling ball/basketball analogy only works for collisions with pedestrians. For all other types of collisions, the energy which needs to be dissipated is proportional to the mass. Yes the bowling ball carries more energy, but it also proportionately has exactly as much mass. So the amount of energy which needs to be dissipated per unit mass is the same for both balls.

The only other factor then is the time you have to dissipate that energy. More time = lower deceleration = less force. This favors the heavier car, since heavier tends to be bigger. Consequently, the Suburban will do more damage to the wall, but is also more likely to be safer for the driver as the increased size means there's more time to dissipate the energy during the collision.

It's worth pointing out though that according to NHTSA statistics, the increased safety of SUVs in collisions is almost exactly canceled out by their increased tendency to roll over. That is, SUVs help save lives in collisions, but pretty much give all those lives back as higher rollover fatalities.


RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/21/2013 10:16:51 PM , Rating: 2
If all accidents were hitting brick walls then I can care less what you drive. What you're saying is relevant only to a small % of accidents. The vast majority of accidents does not involve stationary objects.


RE: Of course
By Piiman on 4/20/2013 10:54:00 AM , Rating: 2
Learn the difference between a solid object and one filled with air and then learn how they react to being dropped in water. DUH


RE: Of course
By djdjohnson on 4/20/2013 7:46:04 PM , Rating: 3
I'd rather be riding inside the bowling ball because it takes longer to stop, and thus the forces on me are considerably lower.


RE: Of course
By Chadder007 on 4/19/2013 12:35:35 PM , Rating: 2
Driving a very large heavy vehicle didn't save my friend. :(


RE: Of course
By invidious on 4/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: Of course
By lelias2k on 4/19/2013 1:43:56 PM , Rating: 2
I see your point, as his post could have been taken as aggressive/arrogant. But you have to overlook the language and try to analyze the facts.

If you do that, you will see that he does have good points.


RE: Of course
By SunLord on 4/22/2013 2:29:25 AM , Rating: 2
The reason cars are getting heavy is to comply with safety standards which require more and stronger metals which adds a lot of weight. We trade weight for improved safety which impacts fuel economy you'd probably be able to hit 54 mpg with most current drivetrains in a car build to 70-80s safety standards.

Also a car that weighs 2000 lbs hitting someone at 60 mpg is going to do the same damage as hitting them with a car weighs 4500 lbs doing 60mph. About the only time weight matter is running some over which isn't the same as hitting them.

People buy Suburbans for lots of reasons and while people buy them for the protection it's usually for the opposite reason then you suggest they want the protection in case they get hit by someone else no incase they hit someones.


RE: Of course
By mars2k on 4/22/2013 9:00:56 AM , Rating: 2
From the land of Suburbans (and Expeditions) I have to say… ”Get those giant oxcarts off the road!!!” Nobody needs a car that big. Honestly I see 100s of little 98 lb women lumbering around in those behemoths all day long. They talk on their cell phones and mosey down the far left lane under the speed limit, obstructing traffic where ever they go. They don’t know how to drive, they are afraid of being on the road so they have to have a tank to protect them.

Did I mention obstructing traffic? Oh yeah, and what person driving a normal car can see past them? They make the road more dangerous for the rest of us. If the idea is to be safer in traffic why not learn to drive? These oversized Honey Wagons are not safer. They are far less responsive, far less nimble and far harder to see out of so avoiding an accident is far less possible. It’s all so passive aggressive, “I like to feel safe”, yeah at the expense of everyone else’s safety and convenience. You would feel safer if you would take a good class, bought a good modern sedan and got a clue about anyone else but yourself. Get out of my way and stop penalizing the rest of us for your misplaced understanding of what safety is.

Oh yeah, wasn’t Lutz the guy that shepparded GM into bankruptcy? Get with the program Lutz 1900 is over. Nothing but good came out of the government forcing automakers to get better at their jobs.


RE: Of course
By piroroadkill on 4/19/13, Rating: -1
RE: Of course
By Shig on 4/19/2013 11:57:04 AM , Rating: 5
I cannot stand this line of thinking. Cafe is giving us cars that are far superior to 'gas guzzlers', i.e. we're getting cars that are stronger, faster, lighter, more efficient, AND more technological. Thanks to Cafe you can get a car with a V6 that is superior to a V8 guzzler in every way, more power, more torque, better acceleration, and better fuel efficiency.

Try checking out Ecoboost technology or Bugatti technology. All of the super advanced tech is coming to small engines and the power to weight ratio is skyrocketing every year.

Then in a few years we'll be adding super hybrids to the market (These use electric drive + ICE *together*). These cars will be able to do 160+ MPH and get 100+ MPG. Americans will be driving the best cars on the planet BAR NONE.


RE: Of course
By Nutzo on 4/19/2013 12:56:08 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I cannot stand this line of thinking. Cafe is giving us cars that are far superior to 'gas guzzlers', i.e. we're getting cars that are stronger, faster, lighter, more efficient, AND more technological.


You actually think this is because of the cafe standards? You seem to have little faith in the free market.

The advancements have much more to do with high gas prices and competition between the manufactures than with any government regulation.

As for added costs, the government is way off as usually. His estimate of $5k per car is more likely, as the only way they are going to meet these new café standard is with Hybrid technology (along with plugin hybrids to boost the average). This already adds $3k to $10k more to the price based on the battery size.


RE: Of course
By bsd228 on 4/19/13, Rating: -1
RE: Of course
By hiscross on 4/19/2013 4:02:26 PM , Rating: 2
You don't understand the free market. Let me put it this way, take away capitalism and then you will learn what it was like to live in the stone age. Liberals are carried along by capitalist. maybe the capitalist should disappear and then watch people live, with their goat, camel, donkey, and feet.


RE: Of course
By WilcoD on 4/19/2013 4:24:49 PM , Rating: 2
You don't understand the free market. If it weren't for government, we'd still be driving gas guzzling highly polluting death traps like people did 30 years ago. Car makers didn't like seatbelts because it added a few dollars to the cost of a car... What is gives maximum profits to a car manufacturer does not equal the best solution for society as a whole. Did anyone mention Ford Pinto already? The one where they decided it was cheaper to let people burn to death than fixing a design fault at very little cost?

Ergo a truely free market is undesirable by definition. You always need constraints to get the best possible outcome for everyone. Without such constraints any externalities (such as pollution, deaths, health, environment) are not part of the equation.


RE: Of course
By Spuke on 4/19/2013 4:47:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You always need constraints to get the best possible outcome for everyone.
I agree and so do most people. CAFE regs stagnated for a LONG time and because of economics, 2008 fuel price spikes, people started demanding more fuel efficient cars. Ecoboost and the like wasn't created just before the new CAFE regs went into place, you know. Hell, those technologies weren't even created to meet the new regs. Those technologies were put into place as a direct response to consumer desire. CAFE was enacted to deal with an impending oil crises. Fast changes HAD to be made!! And no one is arguing the outcome back then. We got BETTER cars. Now better is par for the course in the automobile industry. But present day CAFE is just another self-serving, corrupt government organization.


RE: Of course
By WilcoD on 4/19/2013 5:19:33 PM , Rating: 2
I can't comment on whether CAFE is corrupt or not (most US politicians seem to be bought by big corporations, and it is even legal! Unthinkable in Europe...), however the drive for higher standards, whether safety or efficiency can only be a good thing.

The alternative is this: If you were living in the UK, you'd pay an extra tax on gas guzzlers when you buy a new car, you'd pay a yearly tax based on how much mpg your car does, you'd pay a daily congestion charge in London, and to top it off you'd pay $7.8 per gallon. The net result is huge consumer demand for energy efficient vehicles (small diesels and hybrids) that attract far lower or even zero tax rates. Without all those taxes most people wouldn't care about fuel efficiency (just like it was no issue at all 30 years ago).


RE: Of course
By Spuke on 4/19/2013 7:08:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The net result is huge consumer demand for energy efficient vehicles (small diesels and hybrids) that attract far lower or even zero tax rates. Without all those taxes most people wouldn't care about fuel efficiency (just like it was no issue at all 30 years ago).
We don't have any of that and we STILL have a high demand for fuel efficient cars because of high (to us) fuel prices. Then the government comes in and mandates changes that are going to happen anyways!! The automakers ALREADY met the regs (and then some in certain cases) before the recent change and they were STILL increasing fuel economy in their vehicles because of customer demand. That's my complaint, it's regulation for the sake of regulation. It's not required and only desired by the people that either share their belief system or those duped into thinking that the present fuel economy changes by automakers is SOLELY due to CAFE regs. If the automakers were stagnant on increasing fuel economy and customer demand for better fuel economy was there or there was a crisis like before (when CAFE was enacted) then I could understand but the new regs reek of political idealism.


RE: Of course
By FITCamaro on 4/20/2013 12:12:38 AM , Rating: 2
The point of CAFE standards was to get us off foreign oil dependence. They have done nothing towards that goal.


RE: Of course
By Solandri on 4/19/2013 6:27:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ergo a truely free market is undesirable by definition. You always need constraints to get the best possible outcome for everyone. Without such constraints any externalities (such as pollution, deaths, health, environment) are not part of the equation.

Actually, those constraints are only needed when externalities aren't taken into account by the market (prisoner's dilemma and tragedy of the commons situations). And they're only needed to the extent of the externalized damage (e.g. a regulation costing $10 to comply for a $5 externalized cost is harmful to the people). In all other cases, the optimal solution is a free market unfettered by regulation.

However, if we start with the premise that we're going to be regulating this market, CAFE is simply the wrong way to do it. It is literally, as the quoted guy says, like fighting obesity by requiring clothing manufacturers to make smaller sizes. If you look at sales of cars vs trucks (which have a different, more lenient CAFE standard), you'll see that for most of the 20th century, trucks were about 15% (give or take 5%) of all vehicle sales. But get to the 1970s when CAFE was implemented and suddenly truck sales start to pick up, to where they're about 50% of vehicle sales today.
http://wardsauto.com/keydata/historical/UsaSa01sum...

Ergo, CAFE is pretty much a failure. Yes it drove manufacturers to make more fuel efficient cars. But it also drove customers to buy more fuel-guzzling trucks.

This is the problem with supply-side manipulation of a free market. People don't have to buy what you're selling, so they'll gravitate to the next best alternative. In most cases this will counter what you're trying to accomplish. The whole thing is the brainchild of a flawed conspiracy theory that the manufacturers somehow control what it is the customers want to buy.

Higher fuel taxes is demand-side manipulation of the market. By making gas cost more, you create demand among customers for more fuel efficient vehicles. The manufacturers then follow suit and build more fuel efficient vehicles to meet that demand. This works because you're using the market to accomplish your desired goal, instead of fighting the market to enforce your desired goal.


RE: Of course
By Spuke on 4/19/2013 7:16:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But get to the 1970s when CAFE was implemented and suddenly truck sales start to pick up, to where they're about 50% of vehicle sales today.
Well that's very interesting.

quote:
The whole thing is the brainchild of a flawed conspiracy theory that the manufacturers somehow control what it is the customers want to buy.
BAM!!! It seems that the people that favor regulation always seems to think this is the case. You would think that looking at the recent history of the Big 3 would show them otherwise.


RE: Of course
By Sigma009 on 4/21/2013 7:16:18 PM , Rating: 2
Have you heard of "Voting with your wallet"? In this day and age there are few valid excuses on why you would not take the time and effort (and some cases even needed to-- [Toyota floor-mat fiasco was all over the news] to research your choices for your next vehicle so something like the Ford Pinto today would backlash hard on the company stupid enough to be that negligent... with today's economic climate it would likely to destroy them utterly before the law even got involved.

CAFE standards are an arbitrary fiat that ignores physics involved in a crash with the cost of thousands of lives in a year.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_Average_Fue...
Government intervention in the market beyond being an umpire/referee or bleeding edge pioneer (NASA before the current millennium [There wasn't a market and the liabilities weren't something a private company could accept.) invariably leads to disaster and if it doesn't cause the disaster it makes it far worse.


RE: Of course
By hubb1e on 4/19/13, Rating: -1
RE: Of course
By Mint on 4/19/2013 5:27:35 PM , Rating: 1
#1: Most people buy used cars. That's why there are 200M cars on the road but only 15M sales per year. Manufacturers only care about new car buyers, and have a small secondary concern about resale value.

~70% of new cars are bought by people with $50k income or above, ~30% have $100k or above. They don't care too much about a fuel bill going down from $2000/yr to $1800/yr, so these 10% incremental improvements get passed over unless they pay themselves back in a few years.

When that car is sold used for $5-10k, however, $200/yr fuel savings is more significant, but by then the free market feedback is mostly broken. It only affects resale values, which are never that certain to begin with, and the lag time is huge.

#3,#4: Wait, are you supporting Lutz' idea? Free marketers hate gas tax.

#5: I support fracking because its letting us replace coal, but we can't just let companies pump whatever and wherever into the ground in search of higher gas yields. There needs to be some regulation and testing. Right now standards are all over the place from one state to the next.


RE: Of course
By Piiman on 4/20/2013 11:11:49 AM , Rating: 2
"Oil will never run out,"

Talk about stupid. It will run out someday period.


RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/22/2013 7:56:24 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, gas prices has not gone up if you have calculated inflation into it.
http://inflationdata.com/Inflation/Inflation_Rate/...

Also, if you calculate gas prices using CPI or unskilled labor then you will realize that the price of gas is actually lower than most other times in history.


RE: Of course
By superflex on 4/19/2013 1:02:23 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Try checking out Ecoboost technology or Bugatti technology. All of the super advanced tech is coming to small engines and the power to weight ratio is skyrocketing every year.

FYI, Audi has been doing forced injection with turbocharging since the 1980s. It's not some new development brought about by Cafe standards. It was introduced with the Quattro as a way to improve their rally cars performance. Not for mileage.


RE: Of course
By Spuke on 4/19/2013 4:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
FYI, Audi has been doing forced injection with turbocharging since the 1980s.
What's forced injection?


RE: Of course
By kmmatney on 4/19/2013 5:07:53 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think the UK has a CAFE standard or anything like yet. Yet, except for a few exceptions like the occasional Range Rover, people by and large by small cars with great fuel economy. That happens when gas is real expensive.


RE: Of course
By FITCamaro on 4/20/2013 1:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
Of course. However I don't think it's the government's job to force consumers to buy what they want them to buy through high taxation.


RE: Of course
By KFZ on 4/20/2013 10:27:23 PM , Rating: 2
And free people cannot stand your line of thinking, which is on the same levels of outlawing the sale of large fizzy drinks or tightly regulating what children eat in public schools in vain efforts to "improve public health".

What you are essentially an advocate for is government that tells businesses what to produce. You better be darn sure that this line of thinking is exactly what the United States is NOT supposed to be and it IS heavy-handed government, the likes of which nations largely do not prosper under.

There is a market for fuel efficiency with $4 gallon gasoline. There are providers. If people want to buy crappy gas guzzlers there is every right of a manufacturer to create one that there is for fast food places to sell trays of Type-2 diabetes.


RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/19/2013 11:57:23 AM , Rating: 1
please prove how CAFE is taking away your choices?

As far as I can tell, only the super rich have lost some choices. There are less V12 supercars now. That's it. There are still plenty of gas guzzler around. If people enough people demand any product, it will be made.

As for the value and mid range vehicles, they have turbo 4 to replace V6 and turbo 6 to replace V8. The performance has remained the same or better while fuel economy has increased.

You're just anti government. I'll bet if they government raised taxes of fuel like it did on cigarettes then you will have something to say also.


RE: Of course
By Spuke on 4/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: Of course
By mcnabney on 4/19/2013 12:42:08 PM , Rating: 5
I bet you feel like a dumbass now that you are being told that CAFE was setup by Congress in 1975 and that they have been behind it the whole time.


RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: Of course
By mcnabney on 4/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/19/2013 1:02:10 PM , Rating: 4
you're crazy. Let me keep it simple for you.

CAFE: force automakers to make the same vehicles people need but more fuel efficient. The cost of that goes into the vehicle and a slight bump in price negated by the decrease in fuel cost

Raise fuel tax: You are now paying more for fuel and demand fuel efficient vehicles. The automakers make more fuel efficient vehicles and a slight bump in price.

Guess what? now you are paying for expensive fuel and higher priced vehicles.

GM, Ford, Chrysler has been making any vehicle they want for decades and look what happened. They ended up making a lot of vehicles they wanted but consumers don't want. They were not competitive globally. I don't want the government to bail them out again.


RE: Of course
By Shig on 4/19/2013 1:18:44 PM , Rating: 3
Let's actually look at the facts shall we?

The original automobiles had over 25MPG, but people wanted bigger cars. MPG stayed around 13-15 until around 1970 when the first efficiency mandates were approved. Over the next 25 years efficiency increased to around 21MPG overall. There was significant stagnation in fuel efficiency during the Reagen and Bush presidencies. During those presidencies, people were encouraged to buy giant cars that guzzle gas, i.e. exactly the energy policy big oil wanted.

Now that we're adding 80+ MPGe cars to the fleet, the number is going to go up significantly and the CAFE standards will be relatively easy to meet. So by the mid 2020's we'll have cars that drive themselves, can park themselves, go fast, are super fuel efficient, and affordable.

Why are so many obsessed with shipping their dollars to the middle east and Russia? We can have our cake and eat it too. We could go oil positive and get other countries addicted to OUR oil. That would be so awful right?


RE: Of course
By StanO360 on 4/19/2013 1:28:24 PM , Rating: 2
Most of our oil does not come from the Middle East or Russia, it's primarily domestic and North American. Within a few years almost none of it will, when fracking and Brazil ramp up.

And no one ever "encouraged" buying anything except Liberals with an agenda.


RE: Of course
By Shig on 4/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/19/2013 1:35:05 PM , Rating: 4
The original automobiles got 25 mpg because it was a box on wheel. It weighed nothing, had like 20 hp, and skinny wheels(low rolling resistance). It also had horrible speed, unsafe, unstable, and riding a horse was faster. There was no regulation for emissions either.

what are you smoking?


RE: Of course
By Shig on 4/19/2013 1:40:50 PM , Rating: 4
Hey bro, don't hate on historical facts, I'm just tellin' it like it is. Of course people wanted better and bigger cars, the point was that MPG stagnated for DECADES with no CAFE type regulation, then after the regulation cars got immediately better.

Seatbelts - Everyone cried about how this is illegal, against the free market, would make cars unaffordable, etc etc The same old tired lines.

The same goes for Airbags, crumple zones, crash ratings, EPA ratings, catalytic converters.

Every time the same story, yet here we are, with the best cars in the world.


RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/19/2013 3:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
Im not hating on facts. The fact is that comparison is whacked.

A modern car that is 3X heavier, 10x more powerful, 8x faster, 100x more creature comfort, 1000x safer, etc... that gets 25mpg is vastly more efficient than the first automobiles.

If we had the best car i the world then we wouldn't be bringing cars from international markets and convert it to US standards.


RE: Of course
By Reclaimer77 on 4/20/2013 7:14:02 PM , Rating: 2
Wow I just deleted my entire post because, yet again, a Liberal is forcing me to argue from HIS false premise.

Instead of trying to prove your point about CAFE wrong, I'll just steer this back to the logical, and correct, point. That simply because you deem a regulation positive and of great benefit, doesn't mean it's justified or even Constitutional.

CAFE was born of the same Commerce Clause abuse of so many other bad regulations we're saddled with. It's clear the power to hold such sway over entire industries of the free market (it WAS intended to be free) was never granted to our policy makers. However with a clever six degrees of separation from the Constitution mentality, they've rationalized it with the claim that energy security has a profound impact on interstate commerce and that congress had a clear and compelling need to act to ensure energy security and that CAFE was absolutely a natural part of their powers under the commerce clause. And if they intention back in 1975 was for American to REALLY be "energy secure", well we in 2013 can only be forced to agree that it's failed. Dismally.

This type of hook or crook, do whatever it takes, grant the Federal Government all powers no matter what - legislative attitude is running us into the ground. It needs to be stopped.

quote:
Every time the same story, yet here we are, with the best cars in the world.


Because of some dunces up on the 'Hill who couldn't even so much as assemble a Pinewood Derby car if their lives depended on it? No, I really don't think so.


RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/22/2013 8:25:21 AM , Rating: 2
why do you make everything into a political Dem vs Rep argument. Who cares? don't we want what's best for everyone in this country?

What is constitutional? Our forefathers have laid a foundation and also methods to change it over time. If the constitution was so right then it wouldn't have been changed so many times. But it has been changed many times through a mechanism within it designed to change it. Why? because even people long ago knows different times calls for different legislation for our country to survive.

If you don't agree with that then you must not agree with changes made regarding womens rights, slavery, prohibition, etc...
If you're so unhappy with everything then you have 4 choices.
1. leave the country
2. Be a politician/supreme court judge
3. Run for president
4. Create your own organization and lobby for what you believe is right.


RE: Of course
By djdjohnson on 4/20/2013 7:52:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but more and more so at a price that normal people can't afford. Safety and fuel efficiency is great. But not if nobody can afford the vehicles.


RE: Of course
By Spuke on 4/19/2013 4:58:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
you're crazy. Let me keep it simple for you.
You're crazy. Let me make this simple for you.

CAFE: They don't need to be forced anymore. The market is doing that for them. CAFE stagnated and fuel economy STILL increased. Ecoboost, et al, were designed and created BEFORE these new regs went into place (or were even thought of for that matter). They were enacted DIRECTLY because of consumer demand. Fuel prices will continue to increase and people will continue to demand better fuel economy. This here sells itself.

Raise fuel tax: Why? People driving less fuel efficient cars ALREADY pay more. My $120 a week fuel cost for my diesel truck versus my $50 fuel cost for my car says it all. Owners of even more fuel efficient cars pay less.

quote:
Guess what? now you are paying for expensive fuel and higher priced vehicles.
Already doing that. What are saying here?

quote:
GM, Ford, Chrysler has been making any vehicle they want for decades and look what happened. They ended up making a lot of vehicles they wanted but consumers don't want. They were not competitive globally. I don't want the government to bail them out again.
And customers went elsewhere. And don't blame them for the bail out. Blame your government. THEY bailed them out. You know the same government you trust so dearly with CAFE.


RE: Of course
By Mint on 4/20/2013 11:52:12 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Fuel prices will continue to increase and people will continue to demand better fuel economy.
Consumer demand is very fickle. It took a long time for them to demand higher fuel economy, and there's no guarantee that it will continue.

Most consumers look for maybe 5 years payback time at most, and they're not very good at predicting future fuel costs. Cars last 15+ years, however.

Consumer demand is therefore quite poor at driving the market to optimal fuel economy. You can be damn sure that a lot of people buying used cars today built before 2007 made purchase decisions looking at fuel costs of $4/gal for 10+ years instead of $2/gal for 5 years. 4 cylinder cars often have higher resale value than 6 cylinder.


RE: Of course
By Rukkian on 4/19/2013 1:39:09 PM , Rating: 2
As mentioned above, a gas tax would be an immediate negative for the economy, and for anybody that voted it in. This will not happen, mainly due to the bad publicity, but on top of that the detriment to the economy would be bad across the board.

While on paper, I think more choice would be nice, and originally thought that the tax was a good idea, once I did some research and saw some differing opinions, it does not sound so good.

There are checkpoints built into the cafe numbers that the future numbers can be tweaked if need be. If the price for the tech is going to truly add $5k to each vehicle, it can be scaled back. Several cars are either meeting the 2025 standard now, or are very close right now. AS the technology comes out of experimental stages and starts being mass produced, the prices will come down.

Where choice does come in, is you have a choice on whether to buy a new car, or stick with an older one with crappier gas mileage, or use public transit, or walk, bike, etc. Nobody is forcing anybody to buy a new car. I would also be willing to bet that large vehicles will still be produced if they are still selling, but the price will be higher to accomodate the drop in average gas mileage and the increased tech to get the gas mileage up.


RE: Of course
By Shig on 4/19/2013 1:45:07 PM , Rating: 2
A gas tax is a GOOD idea, but our retarded congress would never implement it correctly. It needs to be based on a formula that takes into account the affordability of EVs, hybrids, natural gas cars, etc., crossed with global oil trade info, how the economy is doing, + tons of other variables.

I mean you should start by increasing it by .01 cents per gallon, then *slowly* increase it over time.

All we here is

Right = NO TAXES

Left = INCREASE IT 2.50$ YEAHHHHHHHH

Then they blame each other, nothing gets done, and they go home to their luxurious lives.

It's either all or nothing with this stupid country and I'm sick of it, compromise motherfuckers.


RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/19/2013 3:36:28 PM , Rating: 1
lol GTFO of this stupid country then.


RE: Of course
By Spuke on 4/19/2013 4:59:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
lol GTFO of this stupid country then.
What does this mean? You think they're actually doing a good job right now?


RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/22/2013 9:36:15 AM , Rating: 2
No but your life here is still much better than almost all places in the world. The places that are subjectively better(like switzerland) usually takes most of your income and the government regulates businesses much more. Like for example, extremely high minimum wage.


RE: Of course
By BRB29 on 4/19/2013 1:42:25 PM , Rating: 2
Europe has space limits where really small smart cars make sense. The US is much bigger and spread out with the most extensive highway system in the world. those cars wouldn't make sense and those gas prices wouldn't make sense.


RE: Of course
By Shig on 4/19/2013 1:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
That's the scary part. There is no fast way to get across the United States without heavy oil use. Using an electric car would take double the time with recharging.


RE: Of course
By marvdmartian on 4/19/2013 2:30:35 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention the fact that he wouldn't notice such a price hike, with the money he has in the bank, would he?


RE: Of course
By therealgras on 4/19/2013 6:15:28 PM , Rating: 2
Government should stop trying to central plan with CAFE and the tax code. The market will tell the manufacturers what type of vehicles to make. And I'm sure Mr Lutz doesn't take in to account the overall impact to our economy that the increase to gas taxes will have. We should be looking for ways to get the cost of fuel down not increase it, especially when the increase is arbitrary from a non-market force. If there truly was a market for hybrid and electric vehicles then they would be able to be sold without the tax breaks and special treatment. All the tax breaks say is that the cost is not what the consumer is willing to pay, so the manufacturer needs to find a way to lower the price to a point where the consumer is willing to buy it, not have the government subsidize the purchase.


RE: Of course
By Shig on 4/19/2013 6:33:34 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you understand the global oil markets very well. China's economy can now afford to buy oil at a price that our economy cannot support. This is what is happening now, the world cannot produce enough oil and it is now a scarce and declining resource. The media will tell you there is plenty of oil left, that's true, but they don't tell you to get it, the price of oil will need to be 200$ a barrel if not higher.

I don't see the free market providing many transportation options besides oil. It's because it's not a free market, it's a corrupted and heavily $$$$$$$ influenced system that benefits the people who own the oil stocks at the expense of all others.

You see solar is a democratic energy resource while oil is totalitarian, the power blocks that be will fight tooth and nail to prevent alternatives even if it means ruining the country.

We are under central planning, that of the fossil fuel lobby, that's who plans the US's energy. If you think otherwise you're only fooling yourself.


RE: Of course
By Spuke on 4/19/2013 7:24:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We are under central planning, that of the fossil fuel lobby, that's who plans the US's energy. If you think otherwise you're only fooling yourself.
Wow. LOL! You just made my whack job list. Pirks and Tony Swash aren't even on there.


RE: Of course
By Shig on 4/20/2013 5:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
Well we're using mostly oil and renewable energy has over 65% approval across democrats and republicans, so what's holding it back? It's cheaper in any sunny or windy region, what's holding us back?

If you say intermittency, you're already working for the oil lobby through false information.


RE: Of course
By faust67 on 4/21/2013 12:14:13 AM , Rating: 2
Raise the gallon of gas to $9-10 (it might come soon with production not meeting increasing demand around the world) and you will see a big change in car efficiency. If car manufacturers want to sell, they will have no choice. Another side effect of high gas prices: I will have to ride my bike to work, do some exercise, lose weight, improve my health, go less to the doctor, miss less work, ... Crap! Keep gas prices low! I want to stay laying in my sofa watching TV, drinking beer, eating doritos, scratching my big belly, and clogging my arteries!


RE: Of course
By phxfreddy on 4/25/2013 6:34:13 AM , Rating: 2
WTF bob..... get F'd.


Avast!
By Motoman on 4/19/2013 11:18:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
He says that the magic bullet for fuel efficiency would be a battery electric vehicle with an hour charge time, the price of a gasoline vehicle, a battery pack the size of a gas tank, and a 400 mile range. Current models are far from that dream target, though.


No...an hour charge time wouldn't do it. You have to match the time it takes to refuel a real car.

And, it has to be available as a competent replacement for any category of vehicle - not just econoboxes that can't fit lifesize people in them and have no cargo space. And, it would have to be accompanied by a nationwide overhaul of the electrical grid to an actual smart grid, prolly a trillion dollars there, and however many additional nuke plants we'd need to generate all that electricity.

Make no mistake: I'm all in favor of a smart grid and more nuke plants. But all this has to happen in lockstep for any real change to EVs happen.

The part that keeps getting ignored is biofuels. Yes, any of the ethanol-from-crops ideas are pretty f%cking awful, but there are other options for biofuels too - like algae that poops diesel. In the long run I see biodiesel becoming a much more viable option.




RE: Avast!
By Ammohunt on 4/19/2013 11:27:00 AM , Rating: 1
I agree biodiesel via algae i could get behind as long as they can scale it properly which doesn't seem to be possible right this minute. Pig crap has a lot of phosphate in it which they could use as fertilizer which would help clean up our water ways.


RE: Avast!
By Shig on 4/19/2013 11:37:43 AM , Rating: 2
If we had affordable cars like that...no one would use gas ever again.

When an electric vehicle will be able to easily connect to your house and trade electricity with it, you'll have two assets for the price of one. I mean you got a 25k $ battery (if not more) pack, we need to be able to use that for more things. Or an electric car that you could run 120V and 240V rails off and run power tools and equipment.

But I still can't get over the fact that when Tesla has superchargers all over you'll be able to recharge for free forever. I can't imagine other car companies not doing this too, like free electricity if you charge at the dealer.


RE: Avast!
By Motoman on 4/19/2013 11:43:36 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing's free. If buying a car gets you "Free" electricity for life, the cost of the electricity was factored into the price of the car.


RE: Avast!
By Shig on 4/19/2013 11:46:24 AM , Rating: 2
That's true, but solar keeps getting cheaper and is becoming much easier to finance. It's a trade-off really, you're trading time driving to the super-charger instead of charging at your house.

It seems counter-intuitive to buy a 100k car and then spend time saving 25$ worth of electricity, but those old guys didn't get rich by wasting money either.


RE: Avast!
By AssBall on 4/19/2013 1:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
Speaking of getting something for free.... I counter Lutz plan with mine. Tax every Chevy Volt buyer the $15,000 we owners subsidized so that rich folks could have their "toy", and use it to subsidize truck buyers gasoline. :D


RE: Avast!
By Ammohunt on 4/19/2013 12:14:44 PM , Rating: 2
Biodiesel is better that EV mainly because its fuel that can be used on many existing vehicle with little or no modification as motoman pointed out to fully support EV's properly you need just as much tech and innovation to go into the nations energy grid and frankly it needs to be completely rebuilt(it needs rebuilt EV's or no) something i don't see happening anytime soon. Biodiesel is here already


RE: Avast!
By mcnabney on 4/19/2013 12:45:40 PM , Rating: 2
Biodiesel (frequently from soybeans) fall under the same category as ethanol. We are turning food into fuel - and it is only economical with the assistance of subsidies and credits.

Wind turbines can be deployed with minimal impact to farmland. Transmission lines and expensive slow charging batteries are the key barriers for EV.


RE: Avast!
By Shig on 4/19/2013 1:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
Well it's pretty obvious any liquid fuel beats batteries at the moment. But most of our biofuel is all food based, the amount of cellulostic style biofuel is incredibly low.

I'm hopeful, but with food growth shortages happening every year it seems like. We need that land for food, or we have to start growing most food inside in our cities.

@EV's, solar panels and smart phones are dragging it forward no matter what. (Cheap way to charge your car + 10+ billion dollar+ companies vying for smartphone supremacy will yield guaranteed sustained Li-ion and other battery improvements.) Of course this will bleed over to the grid albeit slowly for utilities.


RE: Avast!
By Shig on 4/19/2013 1:32:23 PM , Rating: 2
@Assball, kind of like how Bush's 2003 tax credit for SUVs were subsidized by people like me with a fuel efficient car. So you could act like you were bigger and better because you had a huge car.

Nice try bro.


RE: Avast!
By StanO360 on 4/19/2013 1:46:37 PM , Rating: 2
That was not a subsidy of any kind! Commercial vehicles have never been and probably still aren't taxed the same as regular passenger trucks and cars. The lack of tax is because it was because these vehicles are used for farms, businesses, shipping etc. So manufacturer's carefully built truck and SUV's to be in that category, and people that own businesses bought big SUV's to avoid paying taxes.


RE: Avast!
By Shig on 4/19/2013 2:03:49 PM , Rating: 2
Nice try stan, I knew a guy who had 3 luxury SUVs for 'business'. Then you could also write off the mileage too.

It was a free ticket to drive a car you shouldn't be able to afford and get out of paying for gas. Sweet for everyone who loves big cars and knew how to purely exploit the system.


RE: Avast!
By Shig on 4/19/2013 2:04:46 PM , Rating: 2
Do you really think that loophole was an accident? Grow up.


RE: Avast!
By espaghetti on 4/19/2013 4:14:45 PM , Rating: 2
If everyone paid the same percentage of tax, there wouldn't need to have 80,000 pages of loopholes for people to go around. Then again, the progressive tax structure we have wasn't developed by honest people.


RE: Avast!
By StanO360 on 4/19/2013 1:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
at absurdly expensive and worthless without huge tax breaks and subsidies


RE: Avast!
By Shig on 4/19/2013 1:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
Also for the record, Tesla Model S outsold the BMW 7 series, the Mercedes S class, and the Audi A8 premium sedans.

People no longer need subsidies for *premium* electric cars. I'm for cutting EV subsidies for cars over 70,000$. The subsidy is still good on the low end.


RE: Avast!
By Mint on 4/19/2013 4:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
Why do you think the Model S can just raise prices without any effect on sales? BMW, Mercedes, and Audi can't, because if they could, they would.

Or do you think Tesla can lower profit without any effect on viability? Tesla lost $1B to get to this point. Even with the subsidy, it's going to take years to recoup that.

High end EVs actually save more gas over vs gas equivalents than low end ones. The top end Model S, for example, is as fast and bigger than a CLS550 or M5. They get 17-20 MPG. Over the car's lifetime, that'll be maybe $40k of gas savings.


RE: Avast!
By Spuke on 4/19/2013 5:01:56 PM , Rating: 2
The M5 is not the target vehicle for the Model S. The 550i would be more accurate.


RE: Avast!
By Shig on 4/19/2013 6:25:53 PM , Rating: 2
I just see a synergy that is forming between Tesla and Solar City that will offer soon offer value that an ICE car will never be able to match.

Tesla's next car could give you 5 series performance for 3 series price, and oh btw, free charging over the entire US.

It's just like Elon Musk has this formula that no one else knows about. Also the factory they produce at could go to 200,000 without a sweat.


RE: Avast!
By Shig on 4/19/2013 6:27:43 PM , Rating: 2
woops, many typos, sry


RE: Avast!
By SunLord on 4/22/2013 2:49:52 AM , Rating: 2
Tesla's secret is they patented a lot of tech for using and managing thousands of standard lithium ion batteries that are mass produced for all sorts of things which means the battery pack in a Tesla is about half the cost of the two hundred or so custom built and designed cells used in every other EV.


RE: Avast!
By djdjohnson on 4/20/2013 7:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
You make a good argument for CNG conversions of gasoline-powered vehicles.


Sorry Bob
By FITCamaro on 4/19/2013 1:57:06 PM , Rating: 2
I generally like you. But I guarantee you I will definitely notice even a $.25 rise in gas prices. $2.50 more a gallon would mean the cost of my fillups today goes from about $35-40 to $50-55. That's about $70 a month more out of my pocket. And that's just in gas. It would also raise the price of every good and service out there. It would likely cost the American economy hundreds of billions of dollars to do that.

How about we just let the free market decide? People are already more conscious about fuel economy. I went from a GTO to a Cruze because of the cost of gas. Granted I'll some day own another muscle car regardless of the cost of gas.




RE: Sorry Bob
By Shig on 4/19/2013 2:35:38 PM , Rating: 1
I've talked about this. You need a gas tax that is based on regional economics, economic factors, global factors, weather factors, I mean there are so many variables.

I agree that jerking the price up is an awful idea. You have to increase it slowly over time. As gas goes up tiny bit by tiny bit, then people will have the necessary time to make intelligent choices.

For example, 5 cents per year, however it cannot be decreased by more than 2.5 cents per year at any time. A temporary decrease would act like a short stimulus if needed.

But in the end your goal has to be to quit using oil as the de facto option for getting around. People need choices, and the non-oil choices aren't good enough and are not supported enough.


RE: Sorry Bob
By BRB29 on 4/19/2013 3:16:42 PM , Rating: 2
wow now there's more things for people to spin their heads aorund.


RE: Sorry Bob
By superflex on 4/19/2013 3:31:29 PM , Rating: 1
You sound like the spawn of Ben Bernanke and Karl Marx. Propping up the economy by nationalization of the oil companies and price fixing.
No thanks Comrade.


RE: Sorry Bob
By FITCamaro on 4/19/2013 4:14:07 PM , Rating: 1
The point of gas taxes now are to pay for the interstate system. If the tax doesn't support the spending, raise the tax. Now that doesn't mean they should be able to raise it any time they want to do something new. It should have to go through the legislative process. And that money shouldn't be able to be used for anything but interstates. It also shouldn't be used to fund state road or rail projects. Period.

But thanks to our Democrat "friends", it's just part of the general fund while still treated like a separate fund. And they don't see a limit to what it can be spent on.


RE: Sorry Bob
By Shig on 4/20/2013 5:01:49 PM , Rating: 2
I live in Chicago, I know that feel FITCamaro. All Cook Country does is raise taxes on parking, cigarettes, and beer to solve it's problems, then shifts that money over to pork.

The whole country can see that only the top 6-10% of the country is prospering at the moment.

A new business model now exists, one that exists by profiting off of dysfunction. Notice how the worse the country gets, the better it gets for the guys at the top, the lawyers, the politicians, the lobbyists, and sensationalist media. All of those guys are doing the best they've ever done, with wage raises coming every single year + bonuses.


RE: Sorry Bob
By Shig on 4/20/2013 5:03:46 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone else notice that even the very mention of a gas tax gets you a negative mark?

It's like you can't even say the words gas and tax together without someone freaking out. It doesn't even matter if what you're saying is perfectly logical and correct, just immediate down rank.


RE: Sorry Bob
By BRB29 on 4/22/2013 9:30:32 AM , Rating: 2
Because this idea is stupid. You are paying the government more to do nothing. You are putting the burden of cost on the people to force the entire auto industry to improve mpg. Something which they will do at their own pace and charge you extra for.

Wow, I wish I can open up a business and put up signs that says "pay 2 get 1 deals" Maybe enough idiots would come by and make me rich like Lulz.


RE: Sorry Bob
By Wererat on 4/22/2013 10:23:51 AM , Rating: 2
Bob isn't interested in how this impacts *you*.

He's really interested in how it might impact *him* -- and since he and his buddies could easily absorb a $5/gal gas tax increase, $0.25/year is nothing if it gets him off the hook.

The fact that it will curtail *your* driving or make less $ available for the other things in your life is meaningless to him. Well, except he would like you to consider buying a shiny new electric vehicle from him.

All he's doing is substituting one Federal social control for another. This isn't even tax as means to fund a government program - this is purely tax as a means to compel behavior.

So is CAFE, of course. However people don't like being controlled, which is why in the gap between 'car' standards and 'truck' standards the mini-van withered and the SUV prospered. Joe Public said "I don't want a Ford Pinto or Honda CVCC, 'cause I have 3 kids and their stuff and friends to haul around" and Ford/GM/etc. said "well, I can't sell you many minivans thanks to the Feds, but here's this new thing on a truck body. And (marketing), you'll be cool and outdoorsy and climb to the top of mountaintops with it! Gals, you can be in a big car and safe. Your children will be safe. Guys, you'll be in a big, tough, powerful beast. You can crack jokes about driving over other cars and brag about what you towed or hauled from A to B."

So people do whatever's in their power to avoid these big government controls. That tells me that no matter how many internet or media voices tell me how everyone wants to be 'green' and loves government acting for us, we all really don't.

Unfortunately, lots of lots of people of both major parties are under the delusion that a big government can be 'good' and go after the behaviors we don't like. They're continually surprised when the other team gets in and points the Big Government Bully at *them.*


All about the Benjamins
By Newspapercrane on 4/19/2013 12:11:59 PM , Rating: 2
Of course the auto industry would support this. The effect of this would be of two fold for them:
They wouldn't have to spend money to increase the fuel efficiency of their vehicles, at least not through forced government means.
Increased gas prices will promote people who drive older vehicles to purchase newer ones. The prices of CAFE wouldn't be included in vehicles people already own, so if the price of the vehicles go up with CAFE, they have less of an incentive to purchase a new car.




RE: All about the Benjamins
By Spuke on 4/19/2013 12:22:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Of course the auto industry would support this.
A raise in gas taxes effectively increases the cost of cars. People don't ignore gas prices otherwise there wouldn't be a shift to more fuel efficient cars. The car companies would still be building the same kinds of cars it would just be at the behest of the customer (as it should be) instead of the government.


RE: All about the Benjamins
By Newspapercrane on 4/19/2013 4:17:46 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't effectively increase the price a new car, it increases the price driving a new car. That price increase is across the board, whether you have a new Chevy Volt, or an 86 Suburban. However, the burden is lessened if you have a more fuel efficient vehicle.

I agree that consumers should be the ones pushing for higher fuel economy, however I was pointing my take on how that potential legislation would benefit the car companies.


RE: All about the Benjamins
By Spuke on 4/19/2013 5:03:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I agree that consumers should be the ones pushing for higher fuel economy, however I was pointing my take on how that potential legislation would benefit the car companies.
Gotcha. Thanks for the clarification.


RE: All about the Benjamins
By Reclaimer77 on 4/20/13, Rating: 0
RE: All about the Benjamins
By Newspapercrane on 4/21/2013 1:29:54 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure you love bashing Obama, and while I'm not necessarily sure he's the greatest president, I'm going to for a moment set aside just how off topic your argument was, at least on the comment you were replying to.

See, Gas may have been $1.85 on the day Obama took office, but I've always kind of taken issue with that number. I'm not sure how old you are, but there were times during the Bush presidency, When Gas around here (Chicagoish) was $4+ per gallon. In fact, I remember a drastic price drop just before the election. I've always kind of been suspicious about that. The conspiracy theorist in me wants to think that the oil companies who, at the end of the day control the price of gas, dropped it in order make it a non-issue during the election. It was potentially a hot issue, and by lowering the gas prices the republicans had one less thing to answer for.

But I'm not a conspiracy theorist, so I'll say this: You can't judge the gas price increase by comparing the number to the first day the man took office. You have to look at how the price fluctuated throughout their presidency, and as far as I can tell, Obama and Bush are about the same on that metric, especially accounting for the ridiculous rate of Inflation (though that's another issue.)

I will agree with you that cash for clunkers was a terrible idea. There were a lot of cars that were destroyed that really could have gone on the market, or gone to help out individuals who really needed transportation to improve their lives. Instead Perfectly good used vehicles were destroyed.

I agree that these prices should be left to their own devices, there are many things that artificially raise the prices of gasoline... whether that be collusion from the oil companies, OPEC, or some government conspiracy, gasoline shouldn't be nearly as expensive as it is. What I can say is, that if you purchase a more fuel efficient vehicle, you're going to save money on fuel. Now, I love driving my pickup truck as much as the next guy, but if we can get technology to the point where I can have power and fuel efficiency, that would be the best case scenario. I also think that that is something that should be demanded from consumers, not because of government legislation, or increased taxes on gasoline, but because car companies should be striving to make their vehicles the best engineered machines they can.


RE: All about the Benjamins
By Reclaimer77 on 4/21/2013 8:10:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
See, Gas may have been $1.85 on the day Obama took office, but I've always kind of taken issue with that number. I'm not sure how old you are, but there were times during the Bush presidency, When Gas around here (Chicagoish) was $4+ per gallon.


Of course I remember that. I remember that being caused by several natural disasters, the main one being Katrina that wrecked about 60% of the regions oil platforms as well as taking some of our few remaining oil refineries offline for an extended period of time.

What's Obama's excuse? The "war" in the Middle East is over, and there's been no disasters causing supply issues.

See when you nominate someone like Steven Chu who says "gas should be $10 a gallon", then claim you have nothing to do with rising gas prices, it looks suspicious. When you claim you have no impact on oil prices, then put a Presidential "moratorium" on offshore drilling because of the BP spill, well, it doesn't add up does it?

quote:
The conspiracy theorist in me wants to think that the oil companies who, at the end of the day control the price of gas


And that WOULD be a conspiracy. Because oil is a publicly traded commodity. The price is more or less set by the open market and prospectors.

quote:
I will agree with you that cash for clunkers was a terrible idea. There were a lot of cars that were destroyed that really could have gone on the market, or gone to help out individuals who really needed transportation to improve their lives. Instead Perfectly good used vehicles were destroyed.


Good man.

quote:
I also think that that is something that should be demanded from consumers, not because of government legislation, or increased taxes on gasoline, but because car companies should be striving to make their vehicles the best engineered machines they can.


Splendid. I think we have a like-minded view of all this then.

And the fact is, for the most part, the manufacturers have been doing that. The idea that, without CAFE, we would have 1970's fuel economy is an absurd Leftist fantasy.

Take hybrids, what regulation or CAFE standard forced them to the market? None, it was a 100% privately researched and developed technology, and brought to the market as such.


Recoup Costs
By btc909 on 4/19/2013 1:34:49 PM , Rating: 2
That math never works. If you factor in the cost of fuel creeping up plus the endless push to subsidize Ethanol in your fuel which reduces performance, see upcoming E15 the math just doesn't work. California just bumped up the gas tax again, Lutz ehhhh just tack on a quarter every year for the next 10 years, well plus whatever the states decide to tack on as well during the same 10 year period, hey the public won't know it's us, Lutz did it! The cost savings of producing oil in the US will get passed onto the consumer. Wait until the "road tax" gets pushed down everyone's throat.




RE: Recoup Costs
By Shig on 4/19/2013 1:51:21 PM , Rating: 2
Get used to it. The United States is AWFUL when it comes to GDP per barrel of oil used.

Smart countries hedge their bets with high speed electric trains and public transportation. Two things the oil lobby immediately kill and/or slander.

The more your life is based on oil the more you will suffer. The longer our leadership continues basing all energy off fossil fuels, the more everyone is going to suffer.


RE: Recoup Costs
By BRB29 on 4/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: Recoup Costs
By Shig on 4/20/2013 5:52:49 PM , Rating: 4
You have a very warped perception of what America actually needs. The US looks like it has a low population density, but it actually does not. About 65% of US citizens live in 1 of 11 Mega Regions of the US. (Source http://www.america2050.org/images/2050_Map_Megareg... The trending of growth in these regions projects 80% of US citizens living there by 2050.

Many of these Megaregions are almost completely all sprawl. Meaning that the ONLY effective way to get around is by car, there aren't any other as effective means. You don't even have a choice whether to drive or not.

VERY few cities in the US have effective regional rail and/or subways. The bus systems in the US are almost all terrible.

Your perception of the US is coming from 1960 or something, wake up man.


RE: Recoup Costs
By Shig on 4/20/2013 5:54:56 PM , Rating: 2
America 2050 is worthless with links.

http://www.america2050.org/megaregions.html


RE: Recoup Costs
By BRB29 on 4/22/2013 8:11:28 AM , Rating: 1
No I don't have a warped perception. I already know we will need mass transit systems in the future. Even Warren Buffet had laid billions to invest in it.

I was talking about why we don't have an effective train system now. The reality is most cities still don't need it . By 2050? yes absolutely. By 2020 you will see more development for most densely populated cities. It will take a long time to convince the American culture they only need one or 0 vehicle per household.
The new generation looks like they are accepting mass transit quite well but still end up getting a vehicle after a few years of working for convenience and weekends. I don't see a large % adoption until ~15 years later when the kids in kindergarten are in the main work force.


about 40 years too late...
By inperfectdarkness on 4/19/2013 11:48:49 AM , Rating: 2
Great idea, Bob. Only it should have been done back in '74. The number of presidents we've had who have passed the buck on energy deficits can no longer be counted on 1 hand. Enough is enough. What's the quickest route to 100% internally self-sufficient? Let's do that.




RE: about 40 years too late...
By Shig on 4/19/2013 11:52:21 AM , Rating: 2
We're on that route, it's just that certain folks are slowing it down. Dat free market and it's cheap solar panels.


RE: about 40 years too late...
By StanO360 on 4/19/2013 1:51:23 PM , Rating: 2
Cheap solar panels? First off you surely understand that solar panels break even for some folks because they are subsidized here and in China right? The actual cost of solar is double or triple the cost of electricity with natural gas.

Which also brings up the fact that oil is rarely used to generate electricity.


RE: about 40 years too late...
By Shig on 4/19/2013 1:55:40 PM , Rating: 1
Not if you're an electrician and install them yourself :)

The panels and inverters are quite cheap, I assure you. Once you know how the electricity market functions in your area, it's easy to make money off it.


RE: about 40 years too late...
By Shig on 4/19/2013 2:37:26 PM , Rating: 2
Just let me know when you get a mailer that says you now have the option of going solar and paying less for your electric bill.

All that evil renewable energy is coming after you.


Key operating word
By Ammohunt on 4/19/2013 11:22:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Mr. Lutz, former vice chairman of General Motors Comp.


There is no mystery as to why....




RE: Key operating word
By superflex on 4/19/2013 1:07:41 PM , Rating: 3
Bob,
The man who lead the once mighty GM to bankruptcy.
I'd listen to him.


RE: Key operating word
By TSS on 4/19/2013 8:19:29 PM , Rating: 1
As far as cars go, no. When it comes to making money, i'd listen to him.

Not only did he run a multi-billion company into the ground while still being a wealthy man himself, not only didn't he go to jail, you can bet your ass he still got a fat check for speaking at that congress. No matter what he had said.

It'll be at the expense of everybody else, but goddamn, he knows how to make money.


RE: Key operating word
By BRB29 on 4/22/2013 8:32:35 AM , Rating: 2
He knew how to make money. He is now obsolete and irrelevant. People are just using to speak regarding specific matters because he still have some influence.

I wouldn't call his ability to make money anything worthwhile since he only knows to make himself money. How do you run a company that owned 50% of global vehicle market to the ground?


bring on the diesel/electric hybrids
By laststop311 on 4/20/2013 5:35:15 AM , Rating: 2
What I would love to see chevy do with the cruze turbo diesel is turn it in to a diesel electric hybrid but only use the electric motor to power the drivetrain. The diesel engine will basically just be an electric generator charging the batteries. With gasoline this already gives a nice boost into the mid 40's mpg. Diesel stores more power and is better suited for an electric generating application. I could see something like that getting anywhere from mid 50's to low 60's mpg. Yea it still might not get the crazy efficiency of pure plug in electrics but it also doesnt have to be plugged in charged and all the other hazards that come with pure electric. And hitting into the 60's for mpg is not to shabby at all. And it should be wayyy cheaper than pure electric to buy.

Don't get me wrong I do believe pure electric is the future. And with all this money obama is pushing into electric vehicles, if we stay the course, I think we can work through all the downsides of electric and make it viable. We need to advance battery tech at all costs. Once the batteries can reach a high enough energy density coupled with a minimum guarantee 15 year lifespan but made to last 20. And can tolerate a larger temp span reliably from say -20F degrees in the alaskan ice roads to extremely hot 120F degree death valley temps. And can give enough range to drive it 8 hours straight at a time on the highway with enough 240/480 volt superchargers at motels so you can still cross country with them. And of course the price comes down to a more reasonable 16-20k for the economy class version 20k-28k for mid size 28-40k for lower end luxury class full electric. Right now we have crazy 40k prices for a little economy class volt.

When these attributes start aligning up electric cars are going to explode and take a large share of the market. Of course there will still be die hard diesel and gas heads out there (until the government eventually mandates that only electric cars may be driven by common citizens, freight shipping will be the only exception)




RE: bring on the diesel/electric hybrids
By laststop311 on 4/20/2013 5:45:40 AM , Rating: 2
And I do have experience with diesel cars. I own a 2009 VW jetta TDI (fully paid for unlike all these A holes that borrowed what they couldnt pay for and threw our country into a recession) and get well over 40 MPG. Even though diesel is on average 25-30 cents more a gallon where I live (its currently 3.65 a gallon) gotta love mid west gas prices. This car was the best purchase I ever made. I go above and beyond the maitenence schedule and I plan on having this car running in tip top shape for the next 350-400k miles or 25-30 years.

Won't have another car payment for a looooong time and I'm quite happy about that. Only 38,000 miles on it so far.


By Shig on 4/20/2013 5:46:42 PM , Rating: 2
I would like to see CNG and LNG hybrids instead. 1.50$ a gallon + electric drive, gg


a question
By diggernash on 4/20/2013 8:08:46 AM , Rating: 2
Will someone please explain to me, using quantitative data only, why our personal freedom should be limited in an effort to force us to use less petroleum based fuel? Specifically, I would like to know what benefit (in quantitative terms) society derives from the reduction of my fuel consumption.

Data:

My vehicle's actual gas mileage is 16 city 20 hwy
I commute 24 miles to work each way, 5 are hwy
I drive an additional 200 miles per week beyond work. Approx. 15% hwy.
I use approx. 300 gallons of fuel annually in my boat.
I use another 50 gallons annually in an assortment of gasoline powered devices.




RE: a question
By Reclaimer77 on 4/20/2013 10:05:05 AM , Rating: 1
Like everything else these days, it's been politicized and polarized. One side wants to view it as an almost moral issue that gives them a moral imperative to do whatever it takes to force everyone's lifestyle to their way of thinking.

They've cloaked themselves in fax-intellectuallism, as if trying to convince themselves as much as the rest of us. You see the common talking points. The peak oil myth, the global warming hoax, the alternative energy 'solutions' that haven't come close to meeting demands. But it all comes down to the same thing, the 'cure' for these ills always involves less freedom and liberty, and more taxation and regulations for you and me. In other words, they'll just keep squeezing us in their fists until we come around. Or have no choice.

Of course typical of Leftist-leaning ideology, it's based on forcing everyone else to do something, not them. I've never seen a Senator/politician drive a hybrid or ride a bike to work. They travel the country, and often the world, in private planes and giant fuel-guzzling luxury cars and limousines. And they damn sure wouldn't notice a $.25 per year increase on fuel tax, because they don't pay for it anyway. WE DO.

They're hypocrites who look down from their enlightened Ivory Towers and proclaim to the rest of us "Let them eat cake".


RE: a question
By diggernash on 4/20/2013 2:08:25 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, they would like me to pay a higher price for a car that I do not like and for the fuel to power that car; in order to support their "the planet is dying" religion.

Two groups that I see benefiting from the nonsense are the oil industry and urban property owners. I am neither.


Battery pack
By kamk44 on 4/19/2013 12:21:24 PM , Rating: 2
Why not an interchangeable battery pack? You pull up to a battery station, hit an unlock/panel open switch inside the car and a robotic arm takes out the used battery and inserts a fully charged one. Off you go and the station charges up the battery for reuse in another car.




RE: Battery pack
By djdjohnson on 4/20/2013 8:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
Cost. Who could run a fuel station when they have to maintain a huge inventory of batteries?

And who do you blame when a battery pack goes bad, or doesn't hold a charge any longer?

Or what do you do when you run out of fuel in the middle of nowhere?


This guy is nuts.
By BRB29 on 4/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: This guy is nuts.
By Shig on 4/19/2013 1:49:00 PM , Rating: 1
You started off so strong then you went and did this...


RE: This guy is nuts.
By StanO360 on 4/19/2013 1:54:34 PM , Rating: 2
It's worse for the poor and businesses too.


RE: This guy is nuts.
By Shig on 4/19/2013 1:59:56 PM , Rating: 1
Advocating more public transportation, well said.


Reality
By thurston2 on 4/19/2013 11:45:34 PM , Rating: 2
You can tell when someone is completely out of touch with how the average person lives when they think people wont notice a $.25 increase in the price of gas every year.




RE: Reality
By BRB29 on 4/22/2013 9:43:51 AM , Rating: 2
That idiot is speaking for everyone else based on his experience. His experience is $5 per fill up won't matter to the $300mil in his bank account. He is sorry he did not realize that most people under 30 usually have more debt than assets.He forgot that most people in their lifetime makes less than what he makes a year.


alternative
By DockScience on 4/20/2013 4:08:20 PM , Rating: 2
How about this, ditch the progressive idea of central management of our lives and let people buy whatever they want, whenever they want, without the "nudges" of regulatory micromanagement, taxes and subsidies and subject only to the market laws of supply and demand?

If you have 6 kids, get the full size van that gets 20 mpg instead of 2 minivans that get 30 mpg each.




RE: alternative
By BRB29 on 4/22/2013 9:41:01 AM , Rating: 2
We did do that. Look at what happened in history. Workers were treated like crap. Stock markets were full of scams. Everything was whacked and caused a bubble. Then it bursted into a great depression.


Really?
By fredgiblet on 4/20/2013 5:31:15 PM , Rating: 2
"The move comes on the heals"

"heals"

Am I actually the first to notice this?




RE: Really?
By cmart on 4/22/2013 9:21:56 AM , Rating: 2
I thought it was funny, considering the use of Scrabble tiles as the author's avatar. "Heels" would be the correct one here. It's a heterograph, for anyone interested.


By SAN-Man on 4/19/2013 4:26:23 PM , Rating: 3
Of course this doesn't matter to him but middle class people will take it up the arse.




You need both
By Shig on 4/19/2013 11:28:54 AM , Rating: 2
The obvious end goal should be to get Americans off oil so we can become Saudi Arabia and get China addicted to OUR oil.

We're pumping more than we've pumped in decades, but that's pretty much wasted if we keep throwing it away like we do now.




By bebimbap on 4/19/2013 1:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
I agree higher gas prices would create a better and more competitive climate for vehicle makers even if CAFE didn't exist. I'm not guessing what is better, look all around the world, especially at Japan. The cost of gas there is about $6/gal used to be $10/gal before the yen fell... What do Japanese/euro citizens do? buy 600cc tiny cars or 20cc motorcycles. They don't even try to sell those in the US, they are "too small" and performance is "not enough." And have you seen Euro suvs and cars? even their largest and most luxurious vehicles are smaller/lighter than US cars. No other country makes a suburban/Yukon/Tahoe/Escalade/Expedition size vehicle. Why? $10/gal. You could argue the Toyota Sequoia and Infiniti QX56 exist but they are made for non-euro/asian countries.

Next when you look at Canada/USA/Saudi Arabia especially Saudi Arabia at $0.61 a gal for premium, cars are very big or non-economical compared to euro/asian counter parts even if the people remain about the same size. So there seems to be a direct relation of gas price vs vehicle size/economy.

Countries with the highest gas prices have the smallest more economic vehicle, while countries with the lowest prices have the largest vehicles. Just going by that relationship raising gas prices is the way to go and not raising car prices. Not that I want to pay more, but if the government wants to influence how efficient cars are, they should do it at the pump and not at the car show.




The weak dollar.
By drycrust3 on 4/19/2013 4:24:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
and suggested that the government should raise gas taxes by $0.25 USD/gallon a year for ten years instead

I'm not sure how strong the American dollar is, but if it continues to weaken then the price of petrol at the pump in America will increase. It may well be the price of petrol will increase by more than 25 cents per annum anyway.
One point to note is that a lot of vehicles start off being purchased by those that can afford the higher cost of fuel, and then are subsequently sold on to those who have less money to spend. Lutz's ideas won't actually help America reduce their buying of foreign oil because all they mean is the resold new cars will have a higher rate of depreciation than they should have, which means people are more likely to hang on to these cars than sell them, which is actually bad for car manufacturers.
By the government demanding better fuel economy, the resale price of those cars is higher because there is more demand for them, so purchasers of new cars are more likely to sell them early and buy a newer model, which actually benefits the manufacturer, and the amount of fuel that needs to be imported is reduced which helps reduce the weakening of the American dollar.




It makes sense
By BifurcatedBoat on 4/22/2013 7:24:50 PM , Rating: 2
What he is saying is that fuel prices are not high enough to create actual demand for high MPG vehicles. So you have the government demanding 50 MPG, while what customers want to buy is a 450 HP beast of a car that's lucky to get 20.

So as a net result, auto manufacturers have to figure out a way to bait some people into buying higher MPG cars, so they can turn a profit selling the lower MPG desirable models.

If you raised the price of gasoline instead, eventually most people would get to a point where it matters to them and they naturally want the higher MPG car to save money. Those few who don't care would end up paying a lot more and subsidizing highway development.

I can't say I'm enthusiastic about the idea of paying even more for gas, but it does make sense.




gas price increases
By wallijonn on 4/25/2013 5:05:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
the government should raise gas taxes by $0.25 USD/gallon a year for ten years instead.


The only problem with that idea is that local and state governments may end up also increasing the cost of gasoline. The oil companies probably would like an immediate increase to $10 a gallon but it will cut into the standard of living.




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