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Thread: How “Saving Gas” Costs a Fortune

  1. #1

    Exclamation How “Saving Gas” Costs a Fortune

    How “Saving Gas” Costs a Fortune

    https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2019...sts-a-fortune/

    By eric - February 9, 201911572

    If the government’s fuel economy fatwas “save” Americans so much money, how come it’s costing them billions?

    FiatChrysler just made the latest payment – $77 million – which was actually a fine for failing to make its cars “save” enough fuel . . . for Uncle’s tastes.

    Irrespective of FCA customers’ tastes.

    FiatChrysler’s model lineup – the ones that sell well – are big cars like the Dodge Charger and big SUVs like the Jeep Grand Cherokee – and Uncle is not happy about it.

    Similarly about Jaguars ($46.2 million in fines) and Mercedes ($28.2 million) and other car brands that don’t make cars “efficiently” enough to make Uncle happy. These get socked with fines as above, every year. It is not small change. And it will become even more change soon, if Orange Man doesn’t succeed in preventing the fatwas from doubling or even tripling the cost of “saving” all that money ($300 billion, in total, says the Hombre Naranja).

    But why should any of us care whether Uncle is happy?

    Wasn’t it supposed to be the reverse? Some may recall reading in school about the pursuit of happiness. That Uncle’s job, the very justification for his job – was to facilitate this, chiefly by leaving people free to pursue it. This would seem to at least imply the freedom to buy whatever vehicle suits them, no matter how much fuel it burns.

    Do they teach this in school anymore? Probably not in Uncle’s schools; it makes him look not so good. It might get people to thinking about what an obnoxious, insufferable bully he is.

    Someone who thwarts the pursuit of happiness.

    At any rate, American car buyers continue to buy vehicles that make them happy, Uncle be damned. And that makes Uncle mad.

    He therefore piles on the fatwas – and fines. In order to punish the car companies for attempting to make their customers happy.

    Note that nobody is being forced to buy a Hellcat Challenger – despite its 13 city, 22 highway rating (which is actually quite stupendous, given its 707 horsepower V8 engine).

    People beg to buy it anyway – at full sticker price. No need for “incentives,” much less mandates or subsidies.

    Clearly, the car’s ability to burn a great deal of gas is tremendously appealing. If it were not so, Hellcats would collect cobwebs on dealer’s lots. Like the Chevy Volt, for instance. Which – notwithstanding its “106 MPGe” (an inscrutable amalgamation of its combined combustion engine/electric drivetrain mileage) rating.

    You’d have thought (using Uncle’s argument) it would have sold like proverbial hotcakes, given how much it “saves” people. Instead, GM had to cancel it for lack of interest, even when it was made available at a tremendous discount.

    As it turns out, the highest-mileage cars are of the least interest to customers; they also make the least money for the car companies – typically just a few hundred bucks, net, each.

    Which explains the general reluctance to make them – and the need for the proverbial cattle prod, via the fuel economy fatwas, to force the car companies to make more of them.

    But why is the government even rating gas mileage – much less mandating it? If customers desire this information, car makers would certainly provide it – just as they eagerly tout the power made by their engines and other such information of interest to buyers.

    Italics added, to make the ought-to-be-obvious point that no one stays in business very long if what they’re selling isn’t of interest to buyers. Unless, of course, they can force “customers” to buy. Then it is possible to make a fortune.

    See, for example, the health insurance mafia.

    Or, Tesla. It doesn’t use the government to force people to buy its cars – yet. It is a more sophisticated mafia. It uses the government to force people who don’t buy Teslas to finance the purchase for those who do.

    This certainly “saves” the – the Tesla buyers – money.

    But what about those who had to pay in order for those others to “save”? It takes at least one $7,500 per car discount to convince people to buy an EV – that $7,500 coming out of the pockets of those who didn’t buy the car.

    It is quite something that hands are almost never raised when the subject of government decreeing how much gas our cars – which we pay for – will be permitted to use comes up. That almost no one ever asks the question: If gas mileage is of such paramount concern to the car buying public, why does the public seem to consistently prefer cars that emphasize attributes other than how little fuel they use?

    And: If fuel economy were such a desperate priority for car buyers, wouldn’t the car companies – in the interests of making money – build as many of them as possible? Wouldn’t they build fewer “gas guzzlers” like the Hellcat – without any need for coercion in the form of punishing fines?

    Crickets.

    For the very important reason that the subject does not bear discussion.

    The fatwas, you see, aren’t actually meant to “save” anything – including gas, which is merely the excuse.

    They are designed to get rid of the kinds of vehicles which Uncle does not want Americans to own. Or would, at least, prefer that only a very few can own.

    In order to make owning them exclusive again.

    For the elite.

    Not for you.

    Note that Uncle – as manifested by the pants-suited women and “beetle like” men Orwell wrote about, who hold the offices and issue the fuel economy fatwas – is not very concerned about his city/highway numbers.

    You will never see a motorcade of armored Priuses.

    Just as you will never see “gun control” applied to the government.


    The Priuses (and “gun control” and all the rest) are for us – including the several thousand dollars extra per Prius we must pay vs. an otherwise comparable non-hybrid car, in order to “save” all that money.

    Same goes for “features” such as ASS – automated start/stop, which has become de facto standard equipment in almost all new cars. And direct-injected, heavily turbocharged engines. All of these added to cars that would otherwise not pass fatwa muster, but which people still want – and so the car companies continue to try to build.

    All of it costs us plenty – ostensibly to “save” us.

    But the idea is to make it cost us so much that, eventually, we’ll be forced to “save” . . . by not driving at all.

    Note that EVs – which are being heavily pushed from the top down – promise to at least double the cost of driving for the average person as well as make driving more inconvenient.

    Cui bono?

    It isn’t us.



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  3. #2
    I'm determined to make my next car the biggest gas guzzler I can find. Going with either a Wrangler Rubicon or F-150 Raptor.

  4. #3
    My old 5-cilinder turbodiesel still runs nicely. 200k miles on it. Still does around 40-50mpg depending on my driving style.

    I wouldn't dare to get any of these 'efficient' cars.
    "I am a bird"

  5. #4
    Note that nobody is being forced to buy a Hellcat Challenger – despite its 13 city, 22 highway rating (which is actually quite stupendous, given its 707 horsepower V8 engine).

    People beg to buy it anyway – at full sticker price. No need for “incentives,” much less mandates or subsidies.
    They do sell about 70,000 units a year. The category has been seeing declining sales.

    During the first half of 2018, the Dodge Challenger moved 37,367 units, up 4% from the same period in 2017.When you compare the 2018 numbers to 2016, the Challenger is up 8%, and while 4-8% growth isn’t anything fantastic, we have to keep in mind that in the same period where the Dodge Challenger grew by 8%, both of its key competitors saw a decline in sales of more than 30%.
    Over the past few years, the muscle car segment has seen a steady decline in overall sales volume. For example, first quarter sales in 2016 of 64,756 dropped to 53,487 in 2017 and in the first three months of 2018, only 48,064 examples of these cars were sold in the US. The second quarter of the past three years follows a similar pattern, going from 69,650 in 2016 to 63,598 in 2017 to 56,571 in 2018.

    Some quick math reveals that first quarter muscle car sales have declined by about 25% over the past three years while second quarter sales have dropped by about 19%. In total, sales of the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger are down a combined 22% during the first half of 2018 when compared to the first half of 2016.
    https://www.torquenews.com/106/dodge...gment-declines

    Tesla model Three is currently doing about 20,000. A month. https://cleantechnica.com/2018/07/11...sales-in-2018/


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  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    They do sell about 70,000 units a year. The category has been seeing declining sales.





    https://www.torquenews.com/106/dodge...gment-declines

    Tesla model Three is currently doing about 20,000. A month. https://cleantechnica.com/2018/07/11...sales-in-2018/
    So it only takes $150 million a month in subsidies to encourage people to buy those? Isn’t that dropping to $3,500 or so soon?

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by kona View Post
    I'm determined to make my next car the biggest gas guzzler I can find. Going with either a Wrangler Rubicon or F-150 Raptor.

    Don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ghengis86 View Post
    So it only takes $150 million a month in subsidies to encourage people to buy those? Isn’t that dropping to $3,500 or so soon?
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technolo...00-sales-mark/

    Tesla loses US subsidies as it hits 200,000 sales mark

    Tesla has hit a speed bump that will cut subsidies for customers buying its electric vehicles in the US, after Elon Musk’s carmaker hit a milestone of 200,000 sales.

    The US government subsidises purchases of electric cars with tax credits of up to $7,500 (£5,700), which apply to all of Tesla’s cars.

    However, under changes to subsidies for electric cars introduced last year, the support is gradually phased out after a company has sold 200,000 vehicles. As of next January, subsidies will be cut in half before being phased out completely a year later.

    Tesla is the first car manufacturer to hit the threshold in the US, and the end of subsidies could slow sales as the company ramps up production of the Model 3, its mass-market vehicle.

    The company still has a backlog of hundreds of thousands of Model 3 orders, having struggled to hit production targets since the car went on sale a year ago. However, the company losing subsidies will make electric cars from rivals cheaper, at least until they hit the 200,000 mark.

    US subsidies for electric cars were introduced in 2009 but limited by the government last year, amid predictions that electric vehicles will become more cost efficient and not need intervention to support.

    Tesla has recently boosted production of its Model 3 car, managing to finally hit a target of 5,000 vehicles a week at the end of June.
    More at link.

    January the subsidy was cut in half- by next January it will be gone. Article from 2018.
    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 02-11-2019 at 01:03 PM.


    Donald Trump: 'What you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening'

    "Truth isn't truth"- Rudy Giuliani

    "China has total respect for Donald Trump and for Donald Trump's very, very large brain," - Donald Trump.

    "Yeah, I have to say these guys(trolls) are pretty sharp. Sort of good to get a challenge and sharpen your thoughts." NorthCarolinaLiberty

    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.

  9. #8
    The company still has a backlog of hundreds of thousands of Model 3 orders, having struggled to hit production targets since the car went on sale a year ago. However, the company losing subsidies will make electric cars from rivals cheaper, at least until they hit the 200,000 mark.
    It's hard to cut through all the Musk-Hype, but am I reading this right?

    They are counting hundreds of thousands of orders for Model 3 cars as sales, even though they haven't been built or delivered yet?



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    It's hard to cut through all the Musk-Hype, but am I reading this right?

    They are counting hundreds of thousands of orders for Model 3 cars as sales, even though they haven't been built or delivered yet?
    According to this, almost 200,000 Model 3's had been produced. They do have $1000 deposits on thousands of more cars.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-tesla-tracker/

    This projection relies on Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs), unique strings of digits displayed on every new car sold in the U.S.

    Our best estimate is that Tesla has manufactured 192,176 Model 3s so far—or 36,513 in the current quarter—and is now building approximately 5,186 a week. Those figures, and the charts below, represent Bloomberg’s latest estimates and will automatically update to reflect changes in the data. An update to the model on Oct. 2 adopted a 13-week trailing average for our weekly estimate.
    Almost a half-million people with $1,000 reservations are waiting, in some cases with fraying patience, for their chance to buy a Model 3. As early cars began to trickle out in 2017, fans began reporting any chance encounter on roads and in parking lots.
    But that is an estimate and they admit there may be flaws in counting VIN numbers.

    There are limits to this method. Automakers register VINs in large batches that anticipate coming production, which means that numbers will be assigned before a new car starts its journey down the assembly line. There’s theoretically no limit to the number of VINs Tesla might register in a batch.
    Musk claimed they produced their 100,000th unit as of October.
    Last edited by Zippyjuan; 02-11-2019 at 02:06 PM.


    Donald Trump: 'What you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening'

    "Truth isn't truth"- Rudy Giuliani

    "China has total respect for Donald Trump and for Donald Trump's very, very large brain," - Donald Trump.

    "Yeah, I have to say these guys(trolls) are pretty sharp. Sort of good to get a challenge and sharpen your thoughts." NorthCarolinaLiberty

    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technolo...00-sales-mark/



    More at link.

    January the subsidy was cut in half- by next January it will be gone. Article from 2018.
    Tesla won't last long after it is gone.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
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    A Zero Hedge comment

  13. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Tesla won't last long after it is gone.
    300,000 have already paid a deposit and are still waiting on their cars.


    Donald Trump: 'What you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening'

    "Truth isn't truth"- Rudy Giuliani

    "China has total respect for Donald Trump and for Donald Trump's very, very large brain," - Donald Trump.

    "Yeah, I have to say these guys(trolls) are pretty sharp. Sort of good to get a challenge and sharpen your thoughts." NorthCarolinaLiberty

    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    300,000 have already paid a deposit and are still waiting on their cars.
    Most of them will probably never get one.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Most of them will probably never get one.
    Why? Is Tesla going out of business?


    Donald Trump: 'What you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening'

    "Truth isn't truth"- Rudy Giuliani

    "China has total respect for Donald Trump and for Donald Trump's very, very large brain," - Donald Trump.

    "Yeah, I have to say these guys(trolls) are pretty sharp. Sort of good to get a challenge and sharpen your thoughts." NorthCarolinaLiberty

    I am Zippy and I approve of this post. But you don't have to.

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Why? Is Tesla going out of business?
    Because it is an unsustainable scam that is losing its government subsidy.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  17. #15
    A Cold Breeze for EVs

    https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2019...reeze-for-evs/

    By eric - February 11, 2019

    There’s only so much lipstick you can put on a pig. Eventually, even Stevie Wonder can tell what it is – if only by feel.

    Well, some EV owners were feeling mighty cold last week. Nervous, too. About the effect of cold weather on their electric cars. Apparently, no one told them that using electrically powered accessories – like the heater – draws power from the battery which propels the electric car.

    Resulting in it being propelled less far.

    Nor that batteries suffer a kind of erectile dysfunction in cold weather. They become flaccid, sooner.

    Less range, again.

    But – for the very first time – the general press actually reported this.

    CNBC headlined their story with the news that “Electric car owners have discovered cold weather saps batteries faster.” This being news right up there with the Flash bell-ringer that running the air conditioner in July will increase your power bill.

    The CNBC story quotes a study done by the American Automobile Association on the effect of cold weather on electric car performance. Several models were tested, including the Tesla 3, Nissan Leaf, Chevy Bolt, VW eGolf and BMW i3.

    AAA found that, on average, when the outside air temperature falls to 20 degrees, the advertised best-case range of these EVs fell by 41 percent.

    Some by half.

    Extra! Extra! Read all about it (here).

    This is even worse than it sounds, actually – because EVs start out with best-case ranges that are far less than those of almost any non-electric car.

    Especially the lower-cost models.

    For example, the Nissan Leaf – at $30,000, it’s the lowest priced EV on the market – touts a best-case range of 150 miles.

    This is already less than half the range of any non-electric car. For an economy car, it’s pitiful. The Nissan Versa – similar to the Leaf in size but about half the price – averages 34 MPG and has a 10.8 gallon tank. Thus, it can travel about 340 miles before it runs dry – no matter how cold it is outside.

    The Leaf’s range less 41 percent is about a fourth the range of almost any non-electric car.

    Which is a problem compounded by the recharge problem.

    An EV like the Leaf that’s had its range almost cut in half by cold weather can only recover a portion of that range at a “fast” charger – so about 80 percent of the 40-something percent. This because of the way EV batteries charge; or rather, the precautions during recharging at a “fast” charger, which are necessary to avoid damaging the battery, or shortening its useful life.

    There is a rough analogy, if you’re familiar with propane gas tanks – such as used by people in the country to power house heaters and such. The tanks can only be refilled to 80 percent, too. So, a tank that could physically hold 100 gallons actually only holds 80.

    The difference is the propane truck can refill the tank to 80 percent full in just a few minutes, regardless of the weather.

    Recharging the electric car at a “fast” charger requires cooling your heels for at least 30-45 minutes.

    In the cold, remember.

    Most “fast” chargers are not located inside.

    And because the charge/range of other EVs will also have been gimped by the cold, there are likely to be lines at these “fast” chargers (see my piece here about the issue of EV charging station throughput).

    There are nowhere near enough “fast” chargers in existence to accommodate the number of EVs already out there under “best case” conditions. The ratio of cars needing to charge up vs. the number of available places to charge up will increase in cold weather.

    So, just think:

    Your electric car – which has had its best-case range of 150 miles reduced by cold weather to 70 or 80 miles (better turn down the heat) will need to find a place to recharge 40-50 percent sooner – and when you do find it, you’ll wait at least 30-45 minutes (assuming you find a spot not already in use by another EV) to recover about 80 percent of the 70-80 miles’ cold-gimped range.

    Which means you can go about 50 miles before you’ll need to plug in . . . again.

    This isn’t just a hassle. It’s potentially lethal.

    What if you find yourself stuck in gridlocked traffic because of weather – or an accident? It’s true EVs use less power when not moving, but the heater is an energy hog. It’s also essential to life when it’s minus 10 degrees outside. What do you do? Turn off the heat to preserve battery charge – at the expense of preserving your life?

    You can use an IC car as a life preserver if you find yourself immobilized by a blizzard; even with a half-full tank, you can stay warm for a day or more. And you can also creep/crawl in gridlocked traffic for hours without worrying about the car leaving you – literally – out in the cold.

    AAA found that “just turning on” an EV when the air temperature is 20 degrees reduced the range of the EVs they studied by 12 percent on average. Use of the heater – and defroster – compounded that. These cars often have heated seats, but best not to use them much, if it’s cold out. Which rather defeats the purpose of having them in the first place.

    These are things people ought to be told about.

    AAA’s director of automotive engineering Greg Bannon agrees. He says these inconvenient truths may “surprise” people who buy an EV without having been told about them prior to their purchase.

    They may also be “surprised” to discover that hot is also a battery-range gimper. Use of the air conditioner in the summer has the same effect as using the heater in winter.

    Because AC (like the heater and defroster) uses electricity in an EV. Lots of it.

    Of course, you could always just do without. For most people, sweating is just miserable – not lethal.

    America is being gulled into electrified Yugos – which haven’t even got the upside of being cheap to buy. And while the Yugo itself may not have worked that well, at least the heater usually did.

    Still, it’s nice that the inconvenient truth about EVs – some of them at least – are finally getting a little traction in the general press.

    Maybe it’s not be too late to stop this crazy train.



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