the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

File Under: Things That Won’t Work

Posted by Jeff Id on September 15, 2009

Well liberal congressmen have successfully regulated their own free speech and congressmen can no longer call each other dishonest on the floor.  It should be called the freedom to lie act, did you know that 95% of the richest people in congress or liberal democrats.  Whatever, this blog is a global warming blog typically and today the mandate of 35.5 miles per gallon fleet average for cars must be met by 2016.

I considered calling this post – will you buy it?  I’ll answer it for you, hell no you won’t buy it.  There is no way you are going to stop using a four door car and there’s no way you can afford a hybrid, well most can’t anyway.  I bet you’ll still buy the 18 – 28 MPG beast you can with the money you make because that’s where your family goes.  In the car.

We’ll see though.  They call this a “smart car”, I’m not so sure.

Smart Car???

Smart Car???

From my understanding it’s not just a fleet average but rather a fleet sales average.  It’s a mechanism to add cost (tax) to low mileage cars and insure the poor cannot afford them.  Funny that the poor are often the voters of the richest.  Odd world for sure. Penalties are heaped on the companies not in compliance, how stiff and how steep will determine the prices of the cars they make.

We often hear from Europe that their cars are already small and we’re wasteful in the US.  We need to learn to buy smaller vehicles and limit ourselves to protect the world.  This view is of course woefully uninformed and quite common.  In the US we’ve got modern straight roads which can be driven at constant high speeds. In Europe the roads are old and narrow requiring constant stops and starts. Despite the ridiculous mousetraps many European’s drive, their net mileage is often not any better than our own and they have to do it crammed in a little box.  Unless they have money of course.

All this is is one more control on the auto industry and your lives, but here’s the question for you:

If you don’t want the rice burner, will you still buy it?


59 Responses to “File Under: Things That Won’t Work”

  1. curious said

    A few European 4 doors that might do the job?:

    http://www.whatcar.com/car-news/what-car-green-awards-2009/small-family-cars/240544

    Is there still a 55mph limit in the US? Or is it on a state by state basis?

  2. timetochooseagain said

    Looks like a dumb car to me. As in, Death Trap.

    Also, what ridiculous about all the referring to the remark as “unprecedented” etc. willfully ignores the many Democrats who were scolded, but not struck down with such a heavy hand, for calling the President a liar when it was BUSH.

    Friggin’ double standards.

  3. j ferguson said

    Jeff,
    You may not be old enough to remember the late ’50s BMW Isetta. If not, google it and have a look. It would do 60, supposedly got 60 mpg, sat 2 and was a player in the following story.

    It was January in Chicago, well before beginning of Global Warming. Couple arrives at parking garage near Chicago Theater in their Isetta. They get out by opening the front of the car which was the only door. They ask the attendant if he knows how to drive it.

    “Sure. No Sweat.”

    So they go the movie.

    When they get back, the guy in the booth takes their ticket but can’t find the keys. So he asks them what the attendant looked like – another urban challenge for the PC types, but they determine that he hasn’t been seen in quite a while. So another attendant and the couple start looking for the car.

    It is parked on the roof nosed into a rail. The attendant is inside and nearly frozen to death. The other attendant and the couple are able to push/pull the Isetta away from the guard-rail and extract the first guy.

    When they get him thawed enough to talk he tells them that he drove the car up to the rail and turned off the ignition, then he tried to get the door open but couldn’t because he hadn’t left enough room. Then he tried to start engine. He got it running but couldn’t get it into reverse, so he shut it off. Then he couldn’t restart it (anti-theft tricky ignition switch)

    So then he hoped that they would hate the movie.

  4. timetochooseagain said

    1-We haven’t had that for years!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limits_in_the_United_States

  5. stumpy said

    Fuel efficiency in cars is often misunderstood by the public and there is a perception that the smaller the car, the less fuel it uses, but a 1.0L engine will use more fuel on the motorway than a 2.0L engine as it has to work harder and run at higher revs. But around town sat in traffic the 1.0L wins. In the UK I had a 186BHP 1.8L honda, I found on the motorway it was very fuel efficient and often did more MPG than my 1.8L Diesal van when empty, but this was because the Honda was powerfull and need only a gentle touch of the accelerator whereas my van needed foot to floor treatment as it was slow!

    Fuel efficiency comes down to the type of driving you do and also very importantly how you drive!

    I recall a study that found in the UK the best all round performer was a 1.6L engine, which under the current car tax scheme there gets penalised for being a gas guzzler whilst the 1.0L cars which use more fuel in general driving get a huge reduction for being low fuel users. The public needs a little education on this matter.

    I recall on Top Gear (a UK motoring show) they raced a Prius and a 400BHP 5L V8 BMW sports car around a race track. Amazingly the BMW sports car did LESS miles per gallon!!! LOL! Just shows if our a fast driving heavy footed driver a Prius will use more fuel than a hugely powerfull luxuary sports car, now thats good for the environment. However, I suspect most Prius drivers drive around at 15mph half lost following their GPS from trendy cafe to farmers market and home again

  6. Jeff Id said

    I used to teach auto lab to engineering students as an undergrad to pay for classes. The peak efficiency of a gas engine is at about 60% load. When you design a hybrid, you need to try and size a small engine to charge batteries and drive the car such that you maximize the closeness to this point.

    Like stumpy said, normal driving requires different engines for different conditions. Variable timing, shutting down and disconnecting of cylinders also helps.

    There is a certain amount of convenience to 300 hp. hehe. I won’t be giving up my hp anytime soon. Corvettes are very high fuel mileage vehicles on the highway, I don’t have one.

  7. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    I have done a bit of driving in Europe (by myself and being driven around by business associates). While the Europeans may be more worthy, thoughtful, and generally better people than we wasteful Americans, I have found that they (for the most part) drive more fuel efficient cars because fuel is so damned expensive (like US$6+ per gallon in the UK). If fuel prices reach this level in the USA, I expect that people will “auto-matically” become better human beings, and start looking for smaller cars. I note however that many rich Europeans drive large and fuel thirsty cars…. just like lots of people in the States. I guess that means having money and/or being an American makes you a less virtuous and all-round worse person.

  8. MikeN said

    I posted along these lines on RealClimate a while back, and one of the responses was that a Honda Insight is similar in size to a Porsche 911.

  9. Mark T said

    Yeah, but will it get to 124 mph in 12.4 s and top out at 194 mph? 😉

    Mark

    PS: the 2010 GT3.

  10. Mark T said

    ^Steve Fitzpatrick: That’s actually how supply and demand works, contrary to the desires of the altruistic liberal mindset. They socialize everything and then create a situation in which only those that are wealthy can afford to play.

    Mark

  11. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L) said

    I would bet that a 2.8/2.9L V4 all in one 5sp transaxle with 14″ rims packed in a four door at about 2500lb could net 40mpg. (50+ for more money)….. it will not happen in my life time lol
    P.S. the 1980s skylark with a strait 4 2.5L (iron duke)
    got 35 mpg … yes that is right 35…..
    30 years later… lets strive for 35mpg. good grief .
    l e t social ism ring!

  12. Mark T said

    In defense of auto manufacturers, the way they define gas mileage has changed in recent years yielding lower readings than under old regulations. The Jetta diesel versions get 45+ on the highway, btw. I’m thinking about buying one for a pending loooong daily commute, actually.

    Mark

  13. Lynn Clark said

    #6 Jeff Id said:

    “Corvettes are very high fuel mileage vehicles on the highway, I don’t have one.”

    This is probably one of the best-kept secrets in automotive history. My stock 2002 Corvette Z06 (405 HP, 400 lb-ft torque, 0-60 in less than 4 seconds, top speed 186 MPH) routinely gets 30 MPG on the highway and 23-24 MPG driving around town. I don’t drive like a drunken teenager, and it helps that Chevrolet purposely designed Z06s to be capable of such gas mileage. Corvette Z06s are the only supercar-class cars that don’t incur the federal “gas guzzler” tax (including the 2005+ model year Z06s with their more powerful 505 HP engines).

  14. Lynn Clark said

    BTW, adding ethanol to the fuel decreases gas mileage on all modern cars that have oxygen sensors as part of the emission-control systems. Which means every car built/sold in the U.S. since about 1982 or so. Putting more oxygen in the fuel (via the ethanol) fools the oxygen sensors into thinking the engine isn’t getting enough fuel, so more goes in. When adding ethanol (and MTBE in prior years) to the fuel was a seasonal thing, it was easy to tell when it was added and when it wasn’t, just by keeping track of gas mileage. Yet another shining example of government stupidity.

  15. curious said

    4 – thanks for that – about the same as European limits.

  16. MikeN said

    http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=677

    It’s way down after the talk of nuclear power, and one of the few threads where I didn’t get censored. They’re OK if you don’t get too technical and point out errors in their science.

  17. Larry Sheldon said

    I’m thinking a Great Plains headwind is going to flip that thing on its back like a rubbe4r ducky.

    And those little wheels and the wheel-wells are going to be huge laugh when the ice builds up in the wells.

    I wonder if I could buy a pair, put skis on them and wear them like skates.

  18. rephelan said

    To heck with the mileage. What’s the crash-test rating on that thing? Have they been around long enough to accumulate real-world statistics on survivability?

  19. Jeff Id said

    #18, Crash tests are a fantastic point. All of these high mileage vehicles pass the crash test into a wall, most are less successful than the larger vehicles for obvious reasons. However, when the small or lightweight thing gets hit by a big SUV the SUV always wins.

    The car Curious points to in #1 has 106 hp and is made to look bigger on the outside than it actually is.

    The whole problem with this crap is that regulation of CO2 won’t work anyway and adding cost creates poverty. Always. If the poverty isn’t immediately visible, it still exists. How many socialist nightmares is Americas buying power supporting? How many are we feeding using cheap food created primarily do to availability of low cost energy? Sure the bioengineering and pesticides are also required but none of it is possible without cheap energy.

    It’s a scam to create dependence on the government and give politicians one more lever to pull to get contributions. It has nothing to do with actually producing less emissions. It also has the effect of separating the poor and rich by an ever greater margin.

    In the case of the smart car, I’ve heard that actual fuel economy on the road isn’t that much better than a regular car. Wiki has it as Smart achieves 33 city and 41 highway. I guess that makes it the stupid!

  20. chris y said

    Depending on how EPA decides to measure MPG on hybrids or EV’s, it is possible for car manufacturers to game the system. For example, lets say EPA decides the combined city/highway MPG is the average of the two, and that the city MPG is measured on a test track with a length of 25 miles. If you provide a vehicle to EPA that runs on battery alone over that entire distance, and EPA continues to not include the energy stored in the fully charged battery prior to test, then the city MPG will be infinite, and so therefore also the combined MPG.

    This has interesting implications for fleet MPG. Car manufacturers could give away a few (or even just one!) hybrid that tests out at infinite combined MPG, and offset the entire remaining fleet of gas guzzlers. Presumably EPA would avoid this sort of nonsensical situation. On the other hand, EPA thinks CO2 is a pollutant that is endangering human health.

  21. Jeff Id said

    #20 The problem as I understand it is that the average has to be over all cars sold or there is a per vehicle penalty added. Basically it drives the price of the car you wanted up as a very heavy tax until the market balances with rice burners or personally modified vehicles. Buy the crap car and upgrade the engine.

  22. Larry Sheldon said

    MPG for hybrids is a lot like dividing by zero.

    How do you “define” MPG for energy freeloaded off of somebody’s power plug?

    Seems like it ought to include factor’s for “collusion” and “theft”.

  23. Jeremy said

    Note that I am not endorsing any legislation regulating MPGs on cars or anything of the sort, I’d rather gov’t stay out of most things….

    That said, there is a very easy way of meeting this standard, a route that I myself took.
    I bought a motorcycle. I realize it’s not realistic if you live in Montana and it’s early February, but it is a fantastic alternative if you live in a large southern city. This is doubly so in California which allows lane-sharing when cars are stopped. This has the effect of making horrible street traffic and stop-and-go freeway traffic a breeze while getting better than 50 mpg.

  24. Andrew said

    23-Motorcycles are way to dangerous IMAO, and besides, what will the soccer moms do?

  25. MikeN said

    #21, but if one of the cars can measure out at 10,000 mpg, then you can have another 249 cars and the average is 40 mpg.

  26. chris y said

    #22, Larry- Yes indeed. Ask yourself how the Chevy volt can get an estimated 230 mpg in city, while getting 50 mpg on highway.

    I think it was the VW CEO who drove a concept diesel car to work a few years ago. It actually achieved over 230 mpg on the highway. Its being reincarnated now. Looks a lot like a motorcycle with a wind shell…

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/autoshows/frankfurt/2009/volkswagenl1.html

    Of course, the Tesla Roadster gets infinite mpg, city or highway! No wonder they received half a billion in government funds…

  27. Larry Sheldon said

    I wonder how long it will be before all the places that provided free block-heater-plug-ins will start sprouting coin-operated meters.

    And buildings will put lock-boxes on electrical outlets withing 1000 feet of a parking place.

  28. MikeN said

    So how long before a car company just forms shell companies to buy their electrics, then sells them back to their main company so they can take them apart and sell them again?

  29. curious said

    Anybody know if this Wiki entry is anywhere near correct?:

    “U.S. oil consumption is approximately 21 million barrels/day, yet domestic production is only 6 million barrels per day (950,000 m³/d). Cost to import oil is approximately $630 billion dollars a year (at $115/barrel).”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_the_United_States#Oil_consumption

    One version of the UK picture is here:

  30. Larry Sheldon said

    This from the government, so probably not as trustworthy as wiki…..

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/basics/quickoil.html

  31. Jeff Id said

    #29 I know the usage is close. The production likely is also although it probably just represents what the govt. allows companies to do.

  32. curious said

    30 – thanks Larry. Those stats give 56% US oil is imports and of that 71% is for transport. So to my simple way of thinking improving the national fleet’s fuel efficiency should be a good thing for the balance of payments?

    31 – “probably just represents what the govt. allows companies to do” – are the govt. throttling production? Do you have any sources for the numbers involved? Or are you refering to untapped potential resources?

  33. Larry Sheldon said

    What would help out balance of payments would be to pump our own oil isteatd of letting China and others pump it out from under us then sell it to us.

    No the government is not throttling production except in the sense that two hand around a throat is throttling somebody.

  34. Jeff Id said

    #33 You are so right about other countries pumping it out from under us, I could do a whole post. Why let other countries keep the money? It’s a good question.

  35. Geoff Sherrington said

    Same in Australia. Huge tankers take natural gas from West Australia to China but you cannot buy it in Australia because our 20 million people consume too little gas to make freight, conversion of engines and use of natural/LPG worthwhile. So we import high sulphur oil from Indonesia and refine it to petrol.

    That’s not the whole story. It is just parts of the silliness. Nanny.

  36. Adam Gallon said

    Smart cars have been nipping around the UK for years now. They’re ideal for city driving, easy to park and economical.
    As for crashing, “Top Gear” crashed one into an angle concrete barrier at 70mph, its structure remained intact.
    http://www.topgear.com/uk/smart/fortwo?gclid=CP_S75XV-JwCFd0B4woduRwAcA
    (Not crashing is probably a good idea with any vehicle, even a Hummer would come off poorly if smacked into head on by a large lorry.)
    They aren’t hybrids, they’ve got 3-cyclinder petrol (Or diesel) engines.
    If you’re either single, or just a couple, live in a city & don’t drive miles around the countryside, then they’re an ideal car.
    Probably not being obese is also a factor in owning one, which might cut down the number of potential American owners somewhat! 😉

  37. Duncan said

    Yo, I will TOTALLY drive a smart car if they come in other colors besides yellow.
    You don’t think that thing looks cool?

  38. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: #14 Lynn Clark,

    Putting more oxygen in the fuel (via the ethanol) fools the oxygen sensors into thinking the engine isn’t getting enough fuel, so more goes in.

    No, the oxygen sensor is doing the right thing. Putting oxygenates in the fuel decreases the energy content of the fuel per unit volume (in a nutshell, it’s already partially oxidized) so more is required to generate the same power. E85, for example, will get you something like 60% of the mpg of gasoline. The drop is smaller for E10, but it’s there. Part of the reason that diesels get better mileage than gas engines is that diesel is denser than gasoline.

  39. curious said

    Larry – please can you explain this:

    “What would help out balance of payments would be to pump our own oil isteatd of letting China and others pump it out from under us then sell it to us.”

    China is physically a fair distance from the US so I imagine the only way they are “pumping it from under you” would be through corporate ownership of the drilling and pumping on US territory? Is that what you mean or am I missing something? – sorry if this is a dumb question.

    Geoff – isn’t this a bit of a circular argument?:

    “Huge tankers take natural gas from West Australia to China but you cannot buy it in Australia because our 20 million people consume too little gas to make freight, conversion of engines and use of natural/LPG worthwhile.”

    Is the situation simply a result of free market global economics? Or are there policies which are creating/reinforcing the situation? If it is the latter presumably there would be policy interventions which could stimulate natural/LPG demand and pump prime a domestic market for a domestic product?

  40. Larry Sheldon said

    Yes, china is a ways away. But off-shore, where the drilling rigs are going not so much. And each platform supports wells some distance away.

    Some indications that the Russians are heading for the North Slope oil from off-shore rigs.

    I haven’t read up on it recently but last I remember, the Cubans and our President’s good friend Hugo is too.

    For extra credit: What is our nearest OPEC nation?

  41. curious said

    On my globe I’d say Venezuala?

  42. Larry Sheldon said

    You’d be right.

    And they are among the ones talking (last I read) about platforms off of Florida or in the Gulf off of Texas, I forget which.

  43. Jeff Id said

    #32 Curious,

    I wanted to address your point about fuel efficiency improvements being a good thing. Of course people would agree with that point, however there are physical limits to the practicality of fuel efficiency. These are quite confusing to people when some gas cars claim 60mpg. You have to realize that there is a lot of reduction in comfort, weight, safety and usefulness of these vehicles in exchange for increased cost.

    The cost is a load on the economy as surely as a tax is. This does lead to increased poverty especially to the already poor.

    The main point I wanted to make is, mandating increased fuel economy does not bring about increased fuel economy. It also does nothing to accelerate technologies which might bring about the increased economy. Car manufacturers already want that.

    What it does is mandate increased economic load, poor vehicle performance and reduced safety for the middle and lower classes and will in the end do very little to stop CO2 production which is the intent of the mandate.

    By every estimate I’ve read we’re going to release the CO2 required to cross the evil threshold of doom no matter what mandate we adopt. Since slow economies don’t make new technologies that would replace these evil CO2 monsters we’re shooting ourselves in the foot (which is what the left really wants). Only technology can change the outcome.

    Therefore adding massive load to the economy (it is massive) makes absolutely zero sense unless you’re a leftist like Tamino who believes slow economic growth and government regulated lifestyles are the answer to everything. It’s completely incorrect to say, doing something is better than nothing.

    It’s not better, it slows development so it’s worse.

    If a car manufacturer can make a useful cost effective vehicle that people want to drive at 60 MPG, the people would buy it- end of story. Hell, even a slightly more efficient 10MPG would save a ton of money. They would buy it over the SUV’s and 4 door sedans all the time. Unfortunately, physics won’t allow it.

    All that for a theory about a couple of deg C due to CO2, which by their numbers will occur with or without the regulation.

    It’s a scam.

  44. curious said

    Hi Jeff –

    Putting aside the CO2 argument – over here in the UK our cities are congestion choked. Average London traffic speed is about 12mph and point to point push bikes beat everything. We don’t have the room or need for 400bhp beasts. As far as “load” goes we spend £bns on roads and that all comes from taxation. We have used our North Sea oil up with little to show for it and we don’t have any option but imports. Better fuel efficiency and lower car use will have benefits for health as well as our urban environments and, if the Peak Oil views are right, will help ease the shift to a future with less abundant and more costly oil. Sure the laws of physics puts limits on what is possible but they also dictate that less weight and less drag equals less fuel consumption. With good engineering this can be achieved without sacrificing safety and comfort.

    C

  45. Jeff Id said

    #44 there is no way we will reach an average fuel economy of 35 mpg by 2016 without sacrificing safety and comfort. The difference is too great. I also don’t agree that lower car use will benefit health because lower car use means a stifled economy which cannot support the poorest in other nations. Communist countries in Africa and South America where poverty is already rampant will get hit first as the increases in food costs cannot be supported. Don’t forget that higher cost of your vehicle makes you spend less on goods.

    Policies designed to limit will not alleviate the problem and they will slow the timeframe to a real solution. Even the electric cars make no sense. Perfect gas mileage with energy pumped from a coal plant. hmmm…

    All I see is load when we should be popin’ every hole we can in the ground to drive oil costs down, consumption up and lift this world out of poverty, smog has working solutions CO2 doesn’t. If CO2 can do it, two deg C up in temp will be awfully nice when the ice age starts.

  46. John F. Pittman said

    Jeff Id said September 17, 2009 at 6:59 pm said “”#44 there is no way we will reach an average fuel economy of 35 mpg by 2016 without sacrificing safety and comfort.””

    Jeff, this is not true. I average 35.5 MPG city and highway in a vehicle that seats five, can go well over 90 MPH, with A/C, heat, CD and other perks. With 5, luggage and highway, I still get 34.5 to 35.5 MPG. Most families average 2.6 per the US Census. With that and highway, mine will get between 35.5 and 36.5. I have gotten close to 37.5, but never have made the 38 MPG that it MAY be capable of meeting. It will not meet the 35 with 5 luggage and city. It does have a good safety rating.

    It is not as useful as a SUV or truck, but it is close. The seats fold down and it is actually a 5-door. It is a Honda Fit. If I had a smaller setup designed for the 3 person family with attendant compromises, it would be possible to average close to 40 MPG or more.

    The fleets that they propose are family/individual, not commercial, IIRC.

    As you pointed out, it is a matter of the design and the constraints. One can have a fleet that meets the 35 MPG and by making good design constraints, NOT have vehicles that fit (pun intended) your right foot like your left shoe.

    As someone who has pointed out the efficiencies of the market, and the necessity of good reasearch, Jeff, I find it disappointing you have posted as you have. Especially as in post Jeff Id said September 15, 2009 at 9:23 pm “”The peak efficiency of a gas engine is at about 60% load.””

    The question becomes what can we get for 60% of the load, as determined by what the load is. Not that it is a Corvette or 900CC 3 wheeler.

    As someone who sees big “”dualies”” going around town with the gate down and no load, and 1 person, over and over again, I dare say that a vehicle running at 40% load or less is going to be inefficient as will a “sewing machine” motor going 80% load or more.

    The other part of the equation as has been stated in court, driving is a privilege, not a right. Roads are public conveyances and come under the rules of such. One is free to walk. Just as one dislikes the public telling the individual to give up individual rights to the public, one should be consistant and dislike individuals telling the public to give up public rights to the individual. We do not support criminals with such a claim. We should not support “conservatives” with such a claim.

  47. Jeff Id said

    The peak efficiency of a gas engine is at about 60% of it’s total power output (load). If you ran a gas engine at that level you would maximize efficiency. Low load on the engine is as bad as high. Really low is really bad. The curve is not quadratic yet still similar to an upside down parabola with load on the X and efficiency on the Y.

    The reason Vett’s are efficient is due to their shape. They displace little air at highway speed. Air is something like 80% of the 11HP required to maintain highway speed on a typical car.

    A honda fit is a lot smaller vehicle than would be convenient for me. I drive a town and country minivan with the family lately, it gets a respectable 23mpg and has room to carry anything I need and will cruise comfortably at 80. Its shape gives it the ability to have good economy at highway speed.

    If a small honda fit gets in an accident with an suv or minivan, you would rather be in the minivan. They are just realities of the physics involved.

    I didn’t expect my views to be popular but I write what I believe rather than what I think will be popular. If conservation is so popular with people, perhaps having one less child should make up the difference and then drive a hummer. Isn’t that saving more resources than anything we might do with fuel economy, thermostats or water regulation?

    BTW, I chose to start several companies which design and produce green products. Due to the scale and widespread implementation of the products I’ve worked on I’ve probably saved more energy and CO2 than all of my readers combined, probably RC’s also. Odd world for a guy who says drill some damn holes and get the oil. There’s nothing wrong with conservation, as long as it’s convenient and cost effective enough to be voluntary.

    Nobody wants to buy gas. Us Americans are often mischaracterized by Europe as ignorant, fat and wasteful. As an example, the media there makes it sound like health care is currently unavailable to people -Which is 100% FALSE. I assure you, nobody here wakes up and says damn I wish my car used more gas. What happens in America (at least 3rd gen America) is we wake up and say, how can I improve my own life. What can I do today to get it done? Many of us want the comfort, safety and convenience of larger and more powerful vehicles. We can afford them because of our ability to freely improve our lives. It has nothing to do with luck or history or government. It only has to do with the freedom to do what we want. On average the system works better than any other on earth. Now were working to F… it all up and make it more like Europe.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Europe, and enjoy the food and the people immensely but I don’t want to live there.

  48. Mark T said

    Nobody in Europe has to drive across Kansas in August on I-70, either. Nor do they have to do battle on the beltway in DC. We simply have a different society, and that irks the hell out of the euroweenies.

    Mark

  49. Jeff Id said

    #48, They don’t understand that we can’t get food without a car. There isn’t even an option. You can’t live on a bike here.

    I’ve been thinking that it’s time to invite some posts which disagree with my viewpoint. Everyone can post here without being snipped so why not. It won’t settle anything but it would be entertaining.

  50. Larry Sheldon said

    The nearest C-store is about 4 miles away. The nearest major store is about 7 miles away. The place we buy bales of hay, 50-lb bags of feed, and 25-lb salt blocks and such is about 30 miles away.

    Our polling place is 12 miles away, church (the nearest church) is 7 miles away.

    Good lot of the year is below freezing, below zero even, with drifting snow and high winds.

    Did I mention thurnderstorms with torrential rains?

    yeah, a bike. Good idea. Or the little toy. Both with no way to keep warm.

  51. Mark T said

    #49. Yup. I just accepted a job (literally 20 minutes ago) down in Pueblo West, nearly 50 miles to the south of my home, most of it down I-25, a 75 mph interstate. There’s no other way to get there other than the highway, and being in a “smart car” is a bad idea. Many people in CO Springs work in Denver, which is even further (anywhere from 60 to 80 miles).

    Mark

  52. Jeff Id said

    I can’t even imagine a smart car in the winter.

  53. Mark T said

    Oh my, or up in the mountains. At the very least, if it is not gas it won’t have a problem with the altitude. But still, I rolled into Crested Butte last Christmas and the snow was piled up over 5 feet on top of the parked cars. That little thing would be a goner.

    Mark

  54. Larry Sheldon said

    Heh. And if you parked it over night, the snowplow would put it in the next county.

    If if it doesn’t you will still need a “treasure” detector to find it.

  55. crosspatch said

    It was funny. I was driving down the freeway on a hot, crystal clear afternoon. Must have been near 100F. The car in front of me had the rear wiper going … back and forth, back and forth … just kept going for miles. Then just under the wiper I finally noticed the logo SMART. I think they should change it to “SMART”.

  56. curious said

    ^…. are you sure that wasn’t the propellor? 😉

  57. o2 sensor said

    there are plenty of smaller sedans that Americans could buy but don’t, and those are the ones Europeans refer to. Not smart cars or minis. They’re referring to cars like my taurus, the impala, malibu, etc that are needlessly big

  58. Jeff Id said

    I don’t much care that you consider a larger vehicle needless, I don’t. Reports show the US is getting better mileage than europe on average because of the stop and go of the narrow roads in European towns.

    The way they calculate mileage is different and the actual mileage being achieved is different than the calculation.

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