We Could Already Be Driving Cars that Get 37 MPG …

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25/41 mpg

… if we today were driving cars of the same size and power that were typical in 1980, concludes a new study by MIT economist Christopher Knittel. Of course, the Obama administration has set new corporate average fuel economy standards at 35.5 mpg for 2016. MIT News summarizes Knittel's findings:

Contrary to common perception, the major automakers have produced large increases in fuel efficiency through better technology in recent decades. There's just one catch: All those advances have barely increased the mileage per gallon that autos actually achieve on the road.

So what happened to the missing gas mileage?

…between 1980 and 2006, the average gas mileage of vehicles sold in the United States increased by slightly more than 15 percent — a relatively modest improvement. But during that time, Knittel has found, the average curb weight of those vehicles increased 26 percent, while their horsepower rose 107 percent. All factors being equal, fuel economy actually increased by 60 percent between 1980 and 2006, as Knittel shows in a new research paper, "Automobiles on Steroids," just published in the American Economic Review (download PDF).

Thus if Americans today were driving cars of the same size and power that were typical in 1980, the country's fleet of autos would have jumped from an average of about 23 miles per gallon (mpg) to roughly 37 mpg, well above the current average of around 27 mpg. Instead, Knittel says, "Most of that technological progress has gone into [compensating for] weight and horsepower."

This seems an example of the energy rebound effect in which increased energy efficiency encourages people to use even more energy; in this case to fuel bigger and peppier cars.

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  1. Look, driving without acceleration is no fun, end of story.

    1. I get 41 MPG in my standard transmission Honda Civic hybrid and it gets awesome acceleration.

      1. Same as my 1990 CRX. The technology has been there for years, just no one wants it.

        1. People will laugh at me if I show up at the soccer game without my H2.

          1. hell, i still laugh at you…..ya tool!!

  2. This seems an example of the energy rebound effect in which increased energy efficiency encourages people to use even more energy

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc FTL

    aka correlation != causation

    1. No it is not. Do a thought experiment. Suppose the government mandated that all cars get 5 MPH. So now rather getting twenty or thirty miles driving out of a gallon of gas, you got 5. Since you get less value from each gallon, you are going to buy less of it.

      1. Assuming you mean MPG not MPH, that’s still not necessarily true, even with the extremely contrived nature of your example (a fivefold reduction in fuel efficiency? come on!). If I drive a cab and make more per mile than gas costs per mile, I’m not going to reduce my gas consumption at all.

        1. You will too reduce it. You will raise your prices and fewer people will demand your services and thus you will drive a lot fewer miles and probably consume a lot less gas.

          1. Right, I’d intentionally put myself out of business by raising prices when I can still make a profit at current prices.

        2. This is pretty basic economics. With higher fuel efficiceny the marginal cost of having extra HP or weight goes down. All else being equal, you consume more HP or weight. All else being equal you also drive more miles.

          Similar thing is going to happen with these florecent light bulbs. The marginal cost of using a time period of light goes down, so you are going to keep the lights on more. The end result will be the partial mitigation of any aggrgate reduction in the use of electricity.

          Same thing here with the fuel efficiency.

          1. All else being equal, you consume more HP or weight. All else being equal you also drive more miles.

            My God people! Do you not see the hidden assumption here?

            Yeah, keep posturing about basic economics. Maybe you should go back to your textbooks and find out about marginal benefits being just as important as marginal costs.

            1. Lower marginal costs mean it takes less marginal benefit to justify doing it Tulpa. Sorry but I don’t know how to draw supply and demand curves on reason. But try drawing a few and working with varying marginal costs and you will see what we are talking about.

              It has been 20 years since took economics. I am not what I once was. But I do remember this much.

              1. Lower marginal costs mean it takes less marginal benefit to justify doing it Tulpa.

                This is correct. But you see that there has to be a marginal benefit larger than the reduced marginal cost for the consumption to increase, no? It doesn’t just happen automatically as everyone is assuming.

              2. I mean if gas is $0.10 a gallon, I’m going to do all the driving I want to do because it’s so cheap. At that point the limiting factor isn’t the price of gas but the time spent driving or wear and tear on the car or something else.

                Lowering the price to $0.05 a gallon isn’t going to make me double my driving.

                1. No it won’t make you double your driving. But if the cost of gas or drops you will drive more. Just because the relationship isn’t linear doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.

                  1. yeah Tupla – look up price elasticity. No one is saying the relationship is proportional. Its just if the cost of driving goes down, miles driven will go up by some amount.

                    1. But that’s not what Bailey is claiming. He’s claiming energy use itself goes up, which is bupkus.

                    2. which is bupkus.

                      Then demonstrate it with a citation and an argument.

                    3. Then demonstrate it with a citation and an argument.

                      Excuse me, he made the dubious contention, he’s got the burden of proof. I’ve laid out the argument all over this thread.

                    4. This is where Tulpa either 1) runs and hides pretedning not to be wrong or 2) moves the goalposts/changes the argument and claims victory.

                      You’ll notice neither of those include 3) admitted no one anywhere made the argument about doubling.

                      There’s a reason you’re roundly despised Tulpa. It’s because of petty shit like not being able to admit you were wrong.

                    5. “But that’s not what Bailey is claiming. He’s claiming energy use itself goes up, which is bupkus.”

                      Yeah, you said that 5 posts ago, and you were wrong then too.

                      Do you just not even pretend the things people write in response to you exist?

                    6. I also love the whining about how I don’t “admit when I’m wrong”.

                      You have to show I’m wrong (or at least show my argument fails to support my claim) first, bub.

                    7. You’ll notice neither of those include 3) admitted no one anywhere made the argument about doubling.

                      Yo dickwad, I’ve quoted the place where Bailey said energy use increases when energy efficiency increases.

                      For that to happen you need miles driven to rise by the same factor as efficiency does.

                      Of course I’m not sure why I’m bothering posting this, since you’re just a little turd who never makes an argument of your own and only show up when you sense it’s ripe time to insult someone. Unlike you I don’t pretend to know the opinion of the rest of the readers, but I hope this pattern is visible enough for your opinions to be discounted.

                  2. If the price of gas goes down, I will drive less…

                    but I will probably more than make it up in Jet fuel!

            2. Yeah, because if the price of groceries goes down, I’m going to eat more food and get fat since I can afford it now. The only thing that currently stands between me and being a contestant on the biggest loser is the cost of a loaf of bread!

              1. It would be more like saying, “If we make groceries cheaper, then people will buy more expensive healthy organic vegetables instead of cheap junk food”, but people in reality just buy steaks instead of frozen pizza.

                There may be no weight gain but the nudgers intended consequences have been thwarted.

                1. just like to butt in here and say there is NO peer reviewed, or even reasonably compelling evidence that organic vegetables have ANY statistically significant nutritional benefit over non organics

                2. That’s not the same thing at all. What is analogous to energy usage in your example?

                  And of course, I’m not concerned about anyone’s motivation here, just the fact that energy usage doesn’t go up.

              2. Or you will eat out more, eat higher quality food and make food decisions based on nutrition, or preference rather than affordability.

          2. but all else isn’t equal the real cost of fuel has gone down over the last 30 years so between new technology getting more energy out of a gallon of gas and lower process allowing consumers to buy vehicles that consume more fuel you can get a major increase in size and power.

          3. “The marginal cost of using a time period of light goes down, so you are going to keep the lights on more. The end result will be the partial mitigation of any aggregate reduction in the use of electricity.”

            Agreed, but unless someone lives in a cave and absolutely must sleep with the light on, the length of the day and the human requirements for sleep will provide an upper limit on the aggregate amount of light that most people will consume, regardless of how cheap energy becomes or how efficient light bulbs become. Once that limit is reached, anything that makes bulbs more efficient or makes energy cheaper to produce will tend to lower one’s electricity bill. (Of course, this discussion is restricted to lighting; people are always coming up with new ways to use electricity, so once we are full-up with light, we’ll find other ways to increase our electrical consumption and the size of the utility bill — I have faith! 😉

            As far as fuel and horsepower go, I drive a car that is roughly the same size and has the same basic amenities as cars I drove in the 1980s. The engine has more horses, but I tend to drive much the same as I did back then — perhaps even slower and more carefully, by no means nearing the modern engine’s capacity most of the time, whereas I probably pushed the older cars a little harder to realize the same performance. Maybe my car today gets five or so miles per gallon more than the 1980s car. That’s no 60% improvement in MPG for me — maybe about 30-35%. So again, the question must be asked: If real (not theoretical) efficiency gains have been so substantial since the 1980s, where did all of my extra MPG go?

    2. Re: Tulpa,

      Post hoc ergo propter hoc FTL

      You’re talking about people’s preferences, Tulpa, not some random natural phenomenon. The same reasoning explains why people have been able to load their houses with appliances and electronics comapred to 30 years ago.

  3. A lot of the increased weight is due to mandated safety features.

    1. My beloved 1966 Dodge Dart (R.I.P.)with a Slant 6 got about 25 mpg. Of course it didn’t have power steering, power brakes, power windows, power seats, crumple zones, AC, CD player, and other modern features. The only safety system it had was lap belts. But goddamn was it fun to drive.

      1. Get outta town! I drove a beater ’66 slant 6 Dart when I was a pup, too! I loved the way I could actually stand on the ground inside the hood and work on the engine.

        1. My next car was a beater 73 Honda Civic. Quite a change. But I was getting 40 mpg, and paying for my own gas. So there’s that.

          1. The Civic was also easy to work on, though. It was like a Lego car. The parts practically snapped on and off. I could change a starter motor in three minutes.

            1. This is why I’m always surprised that “auto mechanic” typically doesn’t turn up in lists of “future secure jobs.” The machinery on them has gotten so complex, it seems like people who can become even marginally competent on them would be able to command quite a salary (even taking the traditional costs of labor on car repairs into account).

              1. From what I’ve been told, cars are now black boxes that the mechanics know little about. They hook up a computer to it, computer tells them what black box to replace, they replace it.

                Not sure if that’s true, though.

                1. Diagnostics have improved. You don’t have to put the tip of a screwdriver to a cylinder and the other to your ear to see if that’s the bad one.

            2. I knew a lot of people who got (and worked on) Civics for this reason.

        2. Yep. Easy to work on. I wouldn’t even know how to deal with a modern, fuel injected engine. Cars used to be alot funnerer.

    2. Define “a lot”. Because I disagree that “a lot” of the weight of a Suburban or Land Rover LR3 is “due to mandated safety features.” The weight of seatbelts is negligible. Airbags weigh a few pounds. The heaviest thing would be the bumpers and side impact door beams.

    3. If by a lot, you mean 25 pounds to cars and 86 pounds to light trucks since 1968*; then, yes, a lot of weight is due to safety features. However, I think the average passenger has put on more than 25 pounds since 1968.

      * Actual weight of safety features according to NTHSA.

      1. What about the frames that doesn’t crumple like tin foil on impact? Those stiffer frames, roof pillars, beams, and crumple zones do add weight.

        That 59 versus 2009 Chevy collision video was all about better construction.

        1. The 09 Chevy crumples, not the 59 one. Modern cars crumple more than old cars do. This controls and transfers the impact energy to the outer parts of a vehicle rather than to the passengers and limiting deforming the passenger cabin. It’s the old cars that were stiff, rigit steel beams, which are a lot less safe than cars that crumple because there is less control over where the energy is sent.

          Crumple zones also tend to be lighter than rigid structures as materials like plastic are both less rigid and weigh less than stiff materials.

          1. Right – the crumple zones are light – but where they end has to be very stiff and strong to resist any intrusion into the passenger area.

            Here’s the crash I was talking about.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joMK1WZjP7g

            1. Yes, they do have to be very stiff and strong – but with modern materials and computer-aided design and modeling, they can make those very strong, rigid components that actually are lighter than the old-fashioned heavy steel ladder-frame chassis.

              You can buy a Smart car or a Mazda Miata that weigh around 2,000 – 2,500 lbs. that will meet federal safety standards.

              The federal safety standards really have not added all that much weight to cars. The other thing that has pushed manufacturers to make cars safer is the public perception and demand for safer cars.

              1. It might pass federal safety standards, but conservation of momentum tells me I don’t want to be in that Smart car.
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he6TL15pJtw
                I’m going to go with a larger vehicle and live with 22MPG

      2. Those figures are laughable on their faces. Look at all of the lightweight materials being used in cars today to OFFSET the weight increase. That drives up expense as well. If you had to outfit a 1968 model car to meet today’s safety standards it would barely be able to move under its own power.

        It’s not just airbags and door beams. There are THOUSANDS of features that add an ounce or two. All required by the government. That shit adds up. Tire pressure monitoring system, useless 3rd brake light, airbags, and soon to be stability control.

        And new features get added every year.

        Instead of just letting any dipshit with a pulse have a license, which would solve the problem much more cheaply.

        If you want to see a demonstration of this, look at the curb weights of stripped down econoboxes….say a 2011 model and a 1990 model. It’ll be a hell of a lot more than 25 pounds, similarly equipped.

        1. I think a lot of the weight is that they are fairly big mini-vans and SUVs. Bumpers and the skins of cars are lighter than they us to be and some engine components are aluminum, etc.

          1. one major set back in car design was fuel efficiency ratings that made SUv’s more affordable than large sedans and station wagons.

          2. It’s not even truck v econobox. If you want some laughs, compare the 2012 version of a car with, say, the 1965 version. Like the Mustang. The ’65 one looks like a tonka toy next to the 2011 version.

        2. We shouldn’t be required to have licenses…why the hell should my right to travel be at the discretion of a bunch of limp-dick bureaucrats?

          1. You can travel all you want. Ride a fucking bicycle.

        3. Yeah, because those 1960s American cars were so svelte and light weight.

    4. Word. I hammer this point every time I get to talk about cars.

  4. It is not a rebound effect. It is called marginal decision making. If the marginal cost of a mile driven is lower, you will drive more miles and use more gas.

    This was entirely expected by anyone but an idiot green. Cars are more efficient. People took that efficiency and used it to have more powerful larger cars rather than higher gas mileage. Why? Because at the margin they valued the size and power more than the did the mileage. The bastards.

    1. If the marginal cost of a mile driven is lower, you will drive more miles and use more gas.

      Not necessarily. That holds only if there is a marginal benefit to driving more miles, which for most people is very questionable.

      Most people would probably rather use the money saved on gas to buy a nicer TV or something.

      1. I certainly would rather use the money to buy a better TV, etc, but I know some people who enjoy driving around (for no reason). They don’t need a place to go.

        1. This, and That.

      2. Some people use the money saved on gas to buy a larger, nicer car.

        1. And some people would spend it on Snuggies, lapdances, etc. What matters is that it’s not automatically going to be spent on more gas.

          1. Not automatically. But **SOME** of it will, and that is a rebound effect.

            1. Well it depends. It’s not hard to imagine a use case in which it has no effect on miles driven and the savings is entirely spent on something else.

              1. NOT AVERAGED OVER THE ENTIRE FUCKING POPULATION OF PEOPLE.

                1. Tulpa.
                  Will.
                  Never.
                  Admit.
                  Being.
                  Wrong.

                  Just learn to live with it.

                  1. Epi
                    Will
                    Never
                    Make
                    An
                    Argument.

                    It’s much easier to swoop in and insult an unpopular figure then to actually make a claim and back it up.

      3. “Not necessarily. That holds only if there is a marginal benefit to driving more miles, which for most people is very questionable.”

        It is questionable in each individual case but not in the aggregate. In the aggregate the more marginal value something brings, the more people will consume of it.

        People really are not buying gas. They are buying miles driven. When cars get more efficient the cost of driving a mile goes down (assuming the price of gas is constant). That means the cost of driving on that vacation rather than staying home goes down. The cost of having a long commute goes down. When the price of driving a mile goes down, people will buy more of it and thus more gas. If all cars got five miles to the gallon, people would use more public transportation and drive less and consume less gas. Making cars less efficient has the same effect as taxing gas. Making them more efficient has the same effect as lowering the price of gas. That is why we keep driving more and consuming more fuel every year despite the CAFE standards. It is because of the CAFE standards.

        1. But John, you’re assuming that driving on that vacation and moving far away from work confers a benefit to most people.

          I mean, if the cost of mattresses went down by 50%, that doesn’t mean I’d buy two mattresses instead of one. An extra mattress only does good for people with kids or a proclivity to excretory mishaps.

          1. “But John, you’re assuming that driving on that vacation and moving far away from work confers a benefit to most people.”

            Of course it does. People love to drive. And living far from work can often mean cheaper home prices and better schools.

            You are presuming that just because you can think of anecdote where people won’t buy more gas that that is true in the aggregate. And it is just not.

            1. Totally with John here. This is econ 101. Holding all else constant if you make the cost of something less (driving a mile) you will do more of it. How much more depends on the added value of driving those miles. But it will be more.

              1. So if the price of mattresses goes down by 50%, people will buy twice as many of them?

                1. No they will not buy twice as many mattresses – they will just buy more. How much more depends on the price elastcity of demand. You may not buy a second mattress but you might replace your old one sooner. Or at least on average in the market people will.

                  1. But you see, in this case for energy usage to increase, as Bailey claims, we need miles driven to increase by the same factor that fuel efficiency does. A piddling little increase is unlikely to make that happen.

                    1. Rebound effect occurs even if energy usage doesnt increase.

                    2. robc, your argument is with Bailey, not me:

                      This seems an example of the energy rebound effect in which increased energy efficiency encourages people to use even more energy

                    3. Even more than what?

                      The original baseline of the new baseline?

                      Also, see my comment below. (Threaded comments suck hard)

                    4. your argument is with Bailey, not me

                      I have plenty of arguments with Bailey, especially involving baselines in his monthly global temperature graph.

                    5. “robc, your argument is with Bailey, not me:

                      This seems an example of the energy rebound effect in which increased energy efficiency encourages people to use even more energy”

                      Nowhere in there is the claim that an increase “by the same factor ” is necessary.

                      Which you know, which makes you wrong, which you hate and won’t admit.

                    6. Epi, you may be a pro at address parsing, but algebra appears not to be your thing.

                      efficiency = miles driven / energy used

                      If efficiency goes up by a factor of X and energy use increase, what has to happen to miles driven?

                    7. Over time there has also been an income effect – people drive mnroe because they are richer. No one is saying that the increase in miles driven since 1980 is all due to higher efficiency. We are just saying that all else being equal higher efficiency means driving mroe miles. So some of the icnrease can indeed be explained by higher efficiency. To get an estimate of how much you need to either observe some price shocks to see how people respond to estimate the relationship or you need to figure out the income elasticity and see how many of the miles are left over after controlling for increased incomes.

                2. Some people in the country will buy more mattresses. They will replace their old ones.

                  My wife keeps trying to replace ours every few years. If they were cheaper it would be harder for me to stop her. We would not have more in the house, just newer ones.

                  Not every person would do this but some would.

              2. “marginal benefit”

                Look it up in your Econ 101 text before you presume to lecture me.

                1. I did, it said, “when everyone else is discussing the aggregate, which proves the case, and Tulpa is arguing some fucking stupidity, in a sad attempt to save internet face, then just get on with your life and find something productive to do.”

          2. But John, you’re assuming that driving on that vacation and moving far away from work confers a benefit to most people.

            No, he’s assuming that it confers a benefit to some.

          3. If the price of matresses went down 50%, people would buy more matress. Instead of buying a a queen, people would buy kings or California kings. All of the sudden, the market for twins would evaporat and there would be a lot more full and queens being purchased.

            1. Yes, but overall mattress revenue would probably not go up. That’s the analogue of Bailey’s claim.

              1. “Yes, but overall mattress revenue would probably not go up. That’s the analogue of Bailey’s claim.”

                NO it isn’t asshole.

                Revenue is not total usage.

                You’re making shit up.

                1. In this analogy it is you dumb shit.

                  energy use = distance driven / efficiency

                  mattress revenue = mattresses bought * mattress price

                  we’re talking about efficiency going up and mattress price going down. So the left hand sides are analogous

      4. It depends on what the consumer values. I don’t pay any fucking attention to gas prices — if I want to go somewhere on the tiny little island I live on, I go there, and fuel costs be damned.

        But, not everyone is as well-to-do as me, so if you’re making tradeoffs in where you drive on marginal trips because of gas costs, and then suddenly the gas costs are lower, you will make more marginal trips that you would have otherwise foregone.

        The net effect of more fuel-efficient vehicles should be somewhat lower expenditures for gas, somewhat higher miles driven, somewhat heavier cars with more powerful engines, and so on, as each person tries to optimize overall the various things they value.

        For example, if you subjectively value an optional road trip at $20 in enjoyment created, but it will cost you $25 in gas, you won’t make the trip. Lower the cost to $15 in gas, you will go on the trip.

        If you subjectively value the enjoyment of the increased power of a V6 engine over a four banger engine at $6,000 over the life of the car, and the cost of the upgraded engine plus higher fuel consumption over the life of the car is $6,500, you get the four banger. Cut the cost difference to $5,500 due to greater fuel economy, you get the V6.

        1. ^what he said ^

        2. I’ve heard of it, but I always assumed Rainbow Puppy Island was a myth. Is it true there is a fashion district devoted to top hats, capes, and monocles?

          1. Its where the residents of Galt valley summer.

      5. “Not necessarily. That holds only if there is a marginal benefit to driving more miles, which for most people is very questionable.”

        How did you get that conclusion?

        There are strong correlations between the (relative) price of gasoline and miles driven. Which would buttress what Ronald and John said.

        1. For what RB said about energy usage increasing to be true, it has to be a superlinear correlation, which it probably isn’t.

          1. Even if the cars did consume less energy per mile, total usage can still be equal or greater if more miles are driven (which they are).

            For Ronald’s case it is even easier, as the more efficient automobiles may not get much better mileage due to extra weight, more power, larger size, etc…

            So the extra miles driven factor just reinforces the greater point of extra energy use.

      6. Or a bigger house. Out farther in the metro. So you have to drive more.

      7. “marginal benefit to driving more miles”

        Cheaper land. Bigger house. (Of course, also brought to you by “free” roads)

  5. BRING BACK THE AMC PACER!!!!!!11!11!1

    1. Excellent!

  6. This seems an example of the energy rebound effect in which increased energy efficiency encourages people to use even more energy

    I would phrase it like this: “People value other things than just maximum fuel economy. More fuel-efficient drivetrains and car designs allow people to optimize the various things they value, even some people in government want to force people to go for the sub-optimal solution of just maximizing fuel economy.”

    1. should read “… even though some people in government …”

    2. Exactly.

      There are 3 (probably more, but lets simplify) factors: fuel mileage, weight, and power.

      People want more power, more weight and greater fuel efficiency, but the first two are tradeoffs with the third. As the price of fuel efficiency drops (as cars become more efficient), people shift some of their butter funds into guns…errr, I mean shift some fuel efficiency funds into power and weight.

      1. People don’t want weight — they want luxury and sometimes space, which just happens to usually increase weight.

        I recently upgraded from a 4 banger Camry to a V6 Avalon. The Avalon is about 500 pounds heavier due to the bigger engine and much bigger backseat legroom and more luxury items. My fuel costs are now higher, but I subjectively place a much higher value on having a luxurious ride with lots of room for the kids in the back over the cramped econobox Camry.

        1. The fuck they don’t. My heavy SUV gets the same MPG as my old 1980 econobox. And the SUV held up in a head-on collision whereas the econobox was totaled. OK, people may not be buying specifically on curb weight, but they damn well DO opt for a safer feel which often translates to weight.

          1. Yes, generally the bigger and heavier a car is the safer it is — it is good to have a lot of sheet metal between you and trouble — but if they made your SUV 500 pounds lighter and the exact same size and safer due to better airbags and crumple zones or whatnot, would you buy the less safe and higher fuel consumption 500 pound heavier version for the same price?

            You’re buying safety, or at least perceived safety, and probably not even glancing at the curb weight.

        2. Yeah, weight was shorthand for all the things that lead to more weight, such as luxury and space, and, actually, power.

  7. And actually, Bailey’s conclusion is wrong even on its own terms. 2012 cars are actually using less energy per mile driven than the less powerful, lighter cars of the past.

    If he had data to show Americans are driving more, that would at least show correlation. But he hasn’t shown any such data.

    1. Huh?

      Bailey quotes exactly what you said.

      They are 15% more efficent per mile today. They thing is, if we shrunk the power and weight, it would be, say 25% instead of 15% or something.

      1. He doesn’t cite anything about increased miles driven, which is necessary to back up his claim that more energy is being used.

        energy use = miles / efficiency

        Efficiency is up. So miles have to have increased by an even greater factor to make energy use go up.

        1. The rebound effect occurs even if total energy doesnt go up, even if it just partially offsets the efficiency increase.

          1. Then Bailey is wrong about what the rebound effect is. And it’s kind of an insignificant concept if all it’s saying is that there is likely to be an increase in purchase of something when it gets cheaper…that’s just supply and demand.

            He’s making it sound like it says that people will spend more money when something is cheaper per unit.

            1. Rebound effect is a negative feedback. Sometimes, it leads to what Bailey is saying, not sure about this case.

              Honestly though, for the total energy usage to increase, I think there has to be a second factor other than just fuel efficiency involved. If just fuel efficiency changed, the feedback wouldnt be that strong.

              that’s just supply and demand.

              Duh. Which is why Im befuddled by you arguing otherwise.

              1. Duh. Which is why Im befuddled by you arguing otherwise.

                It’s Tulpa. Why are you surprised?

              2. Which is why Im befuddled by you arguing otherwise.

                I’m not arguing otherwise. I’m arguing that the increase in gasoline usage is not going to match the increase in efficiency…which would be necessary for energy use to increase as Bailey posits it will.

            2. “He’s making it sound like it says that people will spend more money when something is cheaper per unit.”

              He is not making it sound like that. He is saying that because that is exactly what they will do.

              Right now caviar costs however hundreds of dollars per ounce. People consume very little caviar. But if they found a way to make it really cheap and it was .50 cents an ounce, people would consume a lot more caviar than they do today. And not only that, they would spend more money on cavier than they do today. If it is $200 an ounce, I might buy it once a year. If it is a dollar an ounce, I am going to buy it every week at the store and probably end up spending $300 or $400 a year on it, which is more than I did before.

              See how it works?

              1. For that to work, there has to be a replacement good that you stop buying (which is probably fritos or something in the caviar example).

                1. There is always a replacement good Rob. I can always do something else with my time or my money.

              2. Actually, if the price of skanky tasting fish eggs dropped dramatically, I still wouldn’t eat them, and they would quit being a status symbol.

                They used to have to stipulate in employment contracts the * maximum * amount of lobsters that the “help” could be given to eat by their employers, back when lobster was dirt cheap and regarded as low-class sea bugs.

                1. Good cavier is anything but skanky. it is some great shit.

                  1. I will take your word for it, and still spend my money on stuff I value more than very expensive and allegedly tasty bait. 🙂

                    (Just trying to be funny, I like sushi, even the stuff with the orange fish eggs on top, but I’m not rich enough for price to be no object.)

              3. But if they found a way to make it really cheap and it was .50 cents an ounce, people would consume a lot more caviar than they do today.

                But for the total amount spent to increase, they’d have to eat more than 400 times as much (ie, the same factor as the price decrease). ie, people would have to eat more per day than they used to eat per year.

                1. Not necessarily. If the price dropped in half and I bought more than twice what I do now, the money spent would increase.

                  1. I don’t buy any caviar right now. If it were cheap I would probably try some. What’s the percentage increase going from none to some?

                    1. Well, someone buys caviar already, so in the aggregate it isn’t going from none to some.

                      Of course I’m not arguing that it’s impossible to have total money spent on something go up when the price per unit decreases, I just think that’s unusual enough to require evdence for Bailey’s claim.

        2. Like TikTak said above:
          http://www.nytimes.com/imagepa…..trics.html

        3. I interpreted it to mean that because people are buying bigger cars that only get 15% better gas mileage rather than the smaller ones that get 60% better, they have chosen a trade off that can be seen as an example of the rebound effect.

          They had the choice of the small one that gets 45 mpg and did not want it.

          We are using more gas because of these choices than if everyone had chosen the 45 mpg vehicles. And as long as gas stays the same price and their car is still getting 15% better mileage than their old car, some people will choose to drive their larger, more comfortable SUV’s with the DVD to keep the kids quiet on longer vacation trips …….

          1. Maybe that’s what he meant, but that’s not what he said. Particularly with the “even more energy” line … that implies he’s comparing to the large amount of energy we used in 1980, not to a hypothetical amount of energy that would be used today if we all drove tiny cars.

            1. That is basically what Ronald said though if only you finished the quote.

              “even more energy; in this case to fuel bigger and peppier cars.”

              What Bill describes seems like a fair interpretation of “bigger and peppier”

  8. If I think of my old ’86 Honda Accord LXi, that thing was a rattling death trap. But I was able to easily get 30mpg out of it.

    Even with mostly city driving, I only filled it every 4-6 weeks – perfect for a cash-strapped college kid.

    Another data point – I once owned a stripped-down ‘big boat’ ’91 Caprice (with the measly 170hp 305) that weighed in at roughly 3900-4000pds. I recently read a review of a Shelby Mustang and the pony car weighed almost as much as the big (and slow) family car of yore.

    1. My 2.8 liter European V6 would leave all but the fastest golden era muscle cars for dead on a track. It would actually hang with a lot of the Italian Super Cars from the 60s and 70s at least up to a hundred or so.

      To put it in perspective, a Ferrari 308 (the Magnum PI Ferrari) had a zero to sixty time of 6.8 seconds. I can buy a hatchback that will do that now. This really is a golden age for cars.

      1. To put it in perspective, a Ferrari 308 (the Magnum PI Ferrari) had a zero to sixty time of 6.8 seconds.

        Googled it: My Toyota Avalon Limited makes 270 HP, and can go 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds and do the Quarter Mile 14.8. That is fucking muscle car territory for a big luxurious car that cost me just under $20K used off Craigslist.

        If someone told me a few years ago I could easily afford a car that performs like a Ferrari muscle car, I’d have thought they were crazy.

        I fucking love technological progress and capitalism.

        1. So do I. I own a classic car. I love it. But I can’t help but marvel at how primitive it is compared to cars made today. New cars don’t have the soul of some of the old ones. But they are fucking amazing none the less.

          1. The Machine Spirit.

            1. We approve.

              1. My Toyota Sienna will do the quarter mile in about 15.5 seconds. Probably faster than my ’72 240Z or my early 80s RX-7. The gas mileage is pretty similar too. Not sure what that proves other than that I’m getting old.

  9. Didn’t read the article, but I assume they compensated for the fact that SUVs are popular now? i.e., this is only talking about passenger cars, not trucks or light trucks?

    If/when carbon fiber becomes less exotic, we’ll have lighter cars. Problem solved!

  10. So, what were the rates of deaths and injuries per mile in 1980. and what does that casualty rate look like projected onto current driving?

    1. Much lower. Our cars are much safer than they were then.

      1. Cars are much gayer now, too.

        1. Yes. And sometimes Colonel_Angus is gay.

          And sometimes Colonel_Angus is not gay.

      2. Well, not gayer than the 70s and 80s. But gayer than some things before then.

        1. I would say a Prius is about the gayest car ever built. It makes a Pacer look downright manly.

          1. Gayer than a Smartcar?

            A corvette is probably the gayest car ever built. Only a gay man would want to get into a penis.

            1. No. BMW Z1s are penis cars.

              1. I offer you the white VW Rabbit Convertible of the 80’s. The ultimate chick car. I NEVER saw a male driving one. NEVER.

                Plus….FUGLY. The Rabbit GTI was AWESOME. The convertible? Chick car…

                1. The ultimate chick car was the 1990s VW Cabrio. Only single chicks and gay men bought that car.

                    1. So you’ve never driven one, then.

              2. No. BMW Z1s are penis cars. Must be a German thing. I used to drive a Crossfire which was basically a rebadged SLK 320 with some styling tweaks. The thing had the profile of an upside down dong but Jesus was it fun to drive.

          2. I would say a Prius is about the gayest car ever built. It makes a Pacer look downright manly.

            As someone who has borrowed a girlfriend’s Prius, it is impossible to look or feel cool driving that thing. When I would see a cute girl I would just avert my eyes in shame. Filling up the tiny tank feels alright though.

    2. There are a lot of factors that would affect this. Drunk driving laws (and noncoercive social mores) are a lot tougher now, for example.

      1. True, but the cars are WAAAAY safer now than they used to be. I remember the horrendously handling Pinto I used to drive — scary as crap to drive — and now I drive a car that I can take hard into corners with one relaxed hand on the wheel.

        Too relaxed, apparently, for the cop who ticketed me recently for driving at what seemed to me like a perfectly safe and sane speed.

        1. A perfectly safe and sane speed is 15 – 20 over the current speed limit basically everywhere. The only reason this doesn’t change is cops need to generate revenue and WHY WON’T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN scaremongering (my town wanted to raise the speed limit on a decently trafficked thoroughfare in a residential area to 30 a few years back; the blue haired yentas of the neighborhood screamed bloody murder at the prospect so it is still at 25 zone with a permanent KNOW YOUR SPEED trailer and speed humps).

          1. Yeah, I got ticketed for 16 over — actually it allegedly was 21 over, 51 in a 30 MPH zone — but I was calm and non-troublesome, albeit giving just one or two word answers, and the cop gave me a break. It was a totally safe speed in my current car. In my old Pinto, not so much so.

            Sent in a polite written statement acknowledging I was speeding but saying I was going a far less pricy 1-10 MPH over, not 16 over — will see if the judge gives me a further break.

  11. Do people not remember how terrible cars in the post muscle car era were? It’s referred to as the automotive dark ages for a reason. Why would anyone push for a return to those powertrains? I know that a certain segment prefers fuel efficiency above all, but I really don’t want to go backwards to a time when 55 MPH speed limits actually made sense since your car didn’t go any faster.

    1. ^THIS^

      I was going to post essentially the same thing.

      Please don’t bring back the 1980’s cars. Because I remember them all too well. I drove them. The vast majority of them – particularly the American ones – were shit.

      1. I was confused by most of this thread, because I was driving large Buicks during the 80s, not small cars.

        To me the 80s are an era of large cars.

    2. Part of the reason why they were so terrible is the emissions standards greatly outstripped the technology. When they stuck cadiletic converters on cars it destroyed the horsepower and the reliability. I wasn’t until computer controlled engines were perfected that the horsepower and reliability started to return.

      1. Perhaps, but carbon monoxide emissions were a huge problem though. The pollution the envirowackos are going nuts over these days is pretty low-risk, but that shouldn’t make us think that was always the case.

        1. Perhaps, but carbon monoxide emissions were a huge problem though.

          Not everywhere. Downtown LA, sure. Oahu with the tradewinds blowing the pollution off into the middle of nowhere, not so much so.

          The one-size-fits all federal government standards mean suboptimal solutions for lower density populated areas.

          1. The one-size-fits all federal government standards mean suboptimal solutions for lower density populated areas.

            Which is why the Clean Air Act does not mandate one-size-fits-all. The requirements for L.A. are quite different than those for, say, the middle of Wyoming. What a state is reuqired to do under the CAA depends on the ambient air quality. And it varies even within the state – air quality is measured in “air quality control regions” (AQCRs). And then there is the interstate ozone transport corridor (I-95). So you have to use the vapor recovery snorkels on gas pump nozzles up in NJ and along I-95, but you go out to the Richmond, VA suburbs, where I live, and they don’t have them, because they’re not required.

            Did I mention I’m an environmental attorney?

            1. Me too. Or a former one anyway.

            2. It is still federal meddling by people who can’t be held very accountable living far away from the problem. If the pollution standards were left up to states or, better yet, cities, they would likely have more optimal standards. They would have closer to the “efficient level of pollution”.

              1. That is, the value people put on various levels of air cleanliness is a subjective thing, not an objective thing. If you’re rich, you will likely value super-clean air, if you’re poor you will likely value cheaper cars over somewhat cleaner air. If you’re an environmental whacko, you will value having no cars at all anywhere except for the car you personally drive. And so on.

                Value is inextricably subjective, and governments are bad at estimating those subjective values and arriving at efficient solutions, and local governments are usually less bad at it than centralized bureaucracies.

              2. The problem with regard to air pollution is transport. The air quality in Pennsylvania and New Jersey is affected by sources in Ohio. So the people in the western half of Ohio couldn’t care less about the sources in eastern Ohio, because the prevailing weather patterns carry that pollution east and drop it on PA and NJ. Which makes it much harder for PA and NJ to achieve the required clean air standards, because even if they greatly cut back on their pollution sources, they still have the stuff coming in from Ohio.

        2. That is true. It was a huge problem. Ozone was a huge problem. I am not saying it was a bad idea. I am just saying that reduced reliability and horsepower for 25 years was the price.

          1. If they had chosen pollution taxes on each type of emission, there would have been fewer costs in performance. I argue with a buddy about this on occasion and he will never give in.

            He just likes for congress to pull arbitrary numbers out of their ass as far as required levels of emissions and deadlines for this to occur. Command regulations to go along with a command economy I guess.

      2. Part of the reason why they were so terrible is the emissions standards greatly outstripped the technology.

        THIS. I went from a 70s era Pinto, to an 80s era Thunderbird, to a 90s era Grand Marquis — each one bigger and heavier and more powerful than the last — and yet the fuel consumption was almost identical for all three, due to better engine technology.

        Then I discovered Japanese made cars, and never looked back at UAW-built shit.

        1. I have a car mad in 1966. It is beautiful. It is also a death trap. Low seats with no protection against whip lash, lap belts, a solid wood and metal steering wheel, a windshield that will shatter into sharp pieces, it is just horrible.

          1. My father owned a 63 Pontiac station wagon, and you couldn’t buy one off the salesroom floor equipped with seat belts, even as an option. My father had to go aftermarket and install the seat belts himself.

            1. My dad did that with his 73 LTD. I remember when he installed them. I thought “what are these stupid things?” Different world.

          2. Lap belts? Why did you order that option, pussy!

            My older brother had a Triumph TR4A that came from the factory w/ no seat belts.

            1. Because I wasn’t alive when it was bought. It came to me that way. And even though they were built by communists and fell apart, the old Triumphs were awesome. I love British sports cars.

            2. Neither of my Kawasakis nor my Harley have seat belts, even today.

              So you can still find ride w/o seatbelts….:)

              1. Motorcycles are the same way. A Kawasaki KZ 1000 was a super bike back in the day. A 1000!!

            3. Also, I still really, really, really want a TR6. Either maroon or BRG. Lovely, lovely little cars.

      3. Catalytic.

    3. Re: KDN,

      It’s referred to as the automotive dark ages for a reason.

      Most of the cars of that era had to conform to new imposed standards that came from the minds of people that weren’t really engineers or designers but bureaucratic busybodies. The results could not only be seen but felt – the cars were indeed pieces of crap, sometimes downright dangerous but most of the time simply ugly and feaureless. Remember the “K” cars?

      1. The Ford Mustang II. From 1974 until the redesign in the 00s, the Ford Mustang went from art deco masterpiece to under powered eyesore.

        1. That coupe piece of shit was gay. Now they look like a heavy fucking sedan. Which is not cool either.

          1. If you don’t like fist gen Mustangs you are a hopeless Philistine with no taste.

            1. fist gen

              were those assembled in Greece?

              1. First Gen. Smart ass.

              2. I’m guessing “fist gen” cars would be built in San Francisco’s Castro District, or wherever the hell “Two Girls One Cup” or goatse were filmed.

            2. The first generation is not associated with coupes. I was thinking more third generation. The 80s hatchback piece of shit.

      2. Remarkably enough, some of those K cars, although about as much fun as driving around a margerine tub, ran forever. I never owned one, but my mother-in-law did, and a buddy of mine (who is a cheapskate and doesn’t give a crap what he drives as long as it gets him around) had one – they consistently got very good MPG and just ran and ran and ran – as bits and pieces fell off over the years and the bodies rotted away.

      3. Herp – dee – durp.

        The failure of industry is the fault of someone else. The success of industry is the result of industy.

        Conditions for the market are set by a vast array of influences. Government regulations on the car industry were a minor player compared to the larger economy, but if the US companies could did not have the engineering talent to respond to the new requirements, it was not the fault of the regulators (c.f., the rise of Japan in the market when fuel efficiency was important).

  12. Google Jevons Paradox. wikipedia is spam according to reason.

  13. Duh.

    1) My 1993 Mustang 5.0 had ~225hp and I got 22-24MPG (what I actually got, not EPA). It weighed ~3400lbs.

    2) My 2012 Mustang 5.0 has 412hp and gets 24-25MPG (what I’m actually getting, not EPA). It weighs ~3600lbs.

    See also about any other car that has a comparable current model – same story.

    The 2012 Mustang is in every way – except “cheap parts and ease-of-hot-rodding” – a vastly superior ride. Not even close. Ride, handling, speed, comfort – no contest compared to my ’93, which is why I finally sold it.

    For double the power and the same gas mileage? God love the powertrain engineers….

    1. More proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

      1. Aye that!

  14. PS My fucking SUPER DUTY (Crew Cab 4×4) with a 6.2 litre gas V8 that makes whatever hp/torque I can get 18mpg on the highway. I got 14mpg towing my boat up north. It’s unbelievable – the last gen WSuper Duty you’d do 12/8 in comparable driving. With a V10 that made less power.

    Again – God love the powertrain engineers, for they working some majick with that old internal combustion engine and hydraulic transmission.

    1. The new F150 with a 6-cylinder engine has similar power and torque to my 2005 F150 with the 5.4L V8 – and does it getting much better MPG.

      Life often is not fair.

      1. Also, a couple decades ago automatic transmissions routinely got 10% to 20% lower gas mileage than stick shifts with the same engine. Now automatics tend to get slightly better gas mileage.

        Engineers tend to be dorky and Aspergerish, but gotta love em anyway.

  15. So the free market took auto design somewhere our government betters didn’t want (except for themselves – they do like those black suburbans)?

  16. So the free market took auto design somewhere our government betters didn’t want (except for themselves – they do like those black suburbans)?

  17. Also, folks – miles driven/person = WAY up. Deaths/mile driven = WAY down. It’s the car design – not anything else.

    Cause your lyin’ eyes tell you people are NOT better drivers.

    Thank an auto engineer. The regs account for some of how ridiculously safe cars are. But most of it is the creative shit the engrg geniuses keep coming up with (a million airbags and inflatable belts and collision avoidance and blind-spot detection and antilock brakes [even on motorcycles now FFS] stability control and….it blows the mind)

    1. Do airbags even make vehicles safer than seat belts alone do? I vaguely recall some research that questioned this, particularly considering airbags can cause injuries in their own right.

      1. I’m pretty sure if a bag of hot air like you is in my car, I’m not safer.

        Tulpa: “NO everyone he’s arguing REVENUE must go up.”

        1. Still no argument? How sad.

      2. Airbags can make the occupants much less safe. Especially the fucking front passenger ones, which force you to put infants in the back seat, where you can forget about them and forget to drop them off at daycare and cause them to fry in the hot sun.

        Had a close call with that one once. If my parking stall had been above ground in direct sunlight instead of in a cooler underground parking garage … still have nightmares about that from time to time.

        1. Yeesh.

          My ’09 Mazda turns off the passenger air bag until there is a certain amount of weight in the seat. My son is about 75 lbs and still not heavy enough – so he rides in the back seat.

      3. im (extensive) experience, airbags rarely cause anything beyond very minor injuries.

        i was recently t-boned in my police car, and i’m VERY glad i had airbag deployment.

        statistically speaking, drivers have literally ONE FIFTH the fatality rate per mile driven vs. several decades ago.

        that’s staggering

        the reasons are multifactorial, but imnsho airbags are a significant contributer

      4. I’ve read the same. They’ve refined airbag design since then, but I’m fairly sure a lot of the safety ratings are done by checklist, and not by actual experimentation.

    2. It does. Drive an old car sometime. It is a totally different experience. Cars now practically drive themselves. Old cars you had to drive and pay attention to.

      1. Which goes towards explaining the dimwits phoning, texting, shaving, etc while they drive.

  18. “Tulpa|1.5.12 @ 5:16PM|#|show direct|ignore
    Which is why Im befuddled by you arguing otherwise.

    I’m not arguing otherwise. I’m arguing that the increase in gasoline usage is not going to match the increase in efficiency…which would be necessary for energy use to increase as Bailey posits it will.”

    “Yes, but overall mattress revenue would probably not go up. That’s the analogue of Bailey’s claim.”

    Could you please make up your mind on which moronic assertion you’re going to insist you’ve been arguing for all along?

  19. I never even thought about it like that. Wow.

    http://www.Privacy-Pros.tk

  20. “This seems an example of the energy rebound effect in which increased energy efficiency encourages people to use even more energy; in this case to fuel bigger and peppier cars.”

    And that is a great example of a way in which the “free market” is flawed. (And, no, I am not arguing against capitalism or markets, just pointing out that unfettered markets have flaws.)

    The pollution from cars is a real cost, but it is not borne by the manufacturers or the owners. It is only with government regulation that requires the efficiency go into reduced pollution that those costs are more equally shared by those who create them.

    1. Yeah. Or, you know, gas taxes.

  21. Most of that technological progress has gone into [compensating for] weight and horsepower.

    A lot of the missing fuel economy advances have also gone into compensating for the pollution control requirements.

    1. All our missing diesels have gone there. The Germans manage to get a few diesels here. The rest don’t bother.

      Everyone I know who has driven in Europe lately comes back raving about the diesels – but can’t get them here. On Top Gear, the hybrids get killed because they have to compete with 75 mpg VW Polos and similar Renaults and Hondas. I want a BMW 123d.

  22. Thus if Americans today were driving cars of the same size and power that were typical in 1980, the country’s fleet of autos would have jumped from an average of about 23 miles per gallon (mpg) to roughly 37 mpg, well above the current average of around 27 mpg. Instead, Knittel says, “Most of that technological progress has gone into [compensating for] weight and horsepower.”

    Gee. It’s almost like Americans like cars with power and amenities or something. How DARE the think of anything when buying a car than how many mile per gallon it gets!

  23. So everyone realizes that rectal is spoofing Episiarch in this thread, right?

    1. For his neurological health’s sake I hope so.

    2. Actually, I don’t believe this is true. He’s active on other threads too and acting normal. (dropping in and flinging poop at me is also normal for him, unfortunately)

      1. Jebus, dude. It’s not even a good spoof.

        It’s WAY too nice.

      2. BTW, bright eyes, this is the tell:

        Respectfully|1.5.12 @ 5:13PM|#|show direct|ignore
        which is bupkus.
        Then demonstrate it with a citation and an argument.

        1. Well, look at that. Stupid whore forgot to change the email address. Stupid whore.

  24. in my personal experience, i chose to buy a more powerful car (BMW) because i value the pleasure of driving experience, the increased maneuverability (accident avoidance etc.), etc. OVER gas efficiency, but only to a point

    if i would have to have sacrificed 15 mpg , i would not have done it. but averaging 22 mpg for my car vs. 30 for a more efficient , but more boring car, is worth it for me.

    i think a lot of people go up in SIZE due to the additional safety factors, etc.

    iow, some SUV’s now get PRETTY decent mileage and a soccer mom (my wife included) would rather have a safer SUV that gets 25 mpg vs. a less safe car that gets 35 mpg

    but again, like epi etc. says – it’s not linear, but it DOES happen (tulpa… there is more shame in maintaining a wrong pov, than in admitting error). frankly, to some extent, i like admitting error, because it usually means i learned something new. imo, too many people come here to argue for the sake of argument, and strut their stuff, and to always give in to cognitive dissonace defenses, than to approach issues with an open mind and accept that they very well may be wrong, can learn something from people they may initially disagree with, etc.

    heck, it was intelligent argumentation, as well as personal experience that changed me years ago from pro gun control to strongly pro RKBA.

  25. I drive a 2007 Dodge Pickup with a 6.7 liter diesel. The truck uses a device in the exhaust system to burn up fuel partials thus eliminating virtually all diesel emissions. A fine idea until you realize that the fuel economy is cut in half by the use of the system. I average about 13 MPG combined driving. I know guys who have removed the system and they get about 28 MPG in similar conditions. I want clean air as much as the next guy. That said should we really trade 50% of our diesel efficiency for the sake of these particles? Experts I’ve spoken to say my engine will last about 50% as long as earlier models without these devices. as for my acquaintances who have removed the system, I don’t know how they will pass their emissions test at renewal time.

  26. west point grad arrested for filming police and defending woman being arrested

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNVZDpGCKks

  27. Why has weight gone up you ask? Look at the crap that is now mandated: airbags, ABS, extra bracing. Look at the regs made it easier to produce a light truck with extra seats (aka an SUV) and all but killed off the station wagon. The problem is, and always has been, the feds!

  28. One of Obama’s lines during his 2008 scampaign was: ‘Why does a modern car have about the same mileage as a Model T?.’ Indeed.

    There’s something else here in ‘opportunity’ cost with government regs as well: Unleaded gas. I neither endorse or condemn such mandated fuels today, I don’t know enough about the environmental impact etc. to say.

    But I do know leaded gas has fat octane ratings. The muscle cars of the early ’70’s were pushing eleven and even twelve to one compression out of the factory with unleaded gas. That means power in a heat cycle motor. And efficiency. We’ve finally begun approaching those numbers again with unleaded using all kinds of fancy-schmancy tricks like precision ignition timing and direct-injection diesel style. But what could such tech get with leaded gas? Fourteen, fifteen to one?

    That’s a lot of volumetric efficiency. One liter motors with 150-plus horses with natural aspiration type efficiency. Crazy mileage, crazy power, or a fantastic compromise between both. Who knows what the road traveled would have been technically speaking?

    1. ‘Why does a modern car have about the same mileage as a Model T?.’

      That’s a stupid and meaningless comparison.

      Take a look at how a Model T was built, what its engine was like, how much power it put out, how many passengers and how much cargo it could carry, and what accessories the engine was driving. And how safe and reliable was it, and how often did you have to do routine maintenance on it, what did that maintenance consist of, how long could it go before the engine required rebuilding, etc.

      If all you’re looking at is purely MPG, sure, maybe it’s true that a typical passenger car gets about the same number as the Model T. But it acheives that number while weighing much more, putting out gobs more horsepower and torque, while running an air conditioning compressor and power steering pump, and also powering all kinds of creature comforts and pollution control devices, while carrying 5 people and their luggage in quiet comfort and ease at speed double or triple what the Model A was capable of.

      It’s a meaningless comparison. But then again, I wouldn’t expect much else from Obama.

  29. Some of the engineering gains have gone to things other than pure millage.

    Shocker, there.

    The first car I owned was 1986 Camry. On a good day with a tail wind it would do about 83 MPH, and it took circa 11 seconds to get to 60. Got about 20 MPG in town and my best highway tank was 41 MPG (35 was more typical).

    My current car is a 2005 Camry. Also a four cylinder, but almost half again as much power. It weighs 400 pounds more, has a 200 lb higher load rating, gets to 60 in under 10 seconds, still has power and torque left at 105 MPH, is better in the corners, has better passenger protection in a crash (and airbags). It gets slightly better millage around town and slightly worse on the highway.

    I loved that first Camry, but the new one is simply better. That’s a human measure that encompasses a lot more than one numeric metric.

  30. company is one of the reputable and well-known used cars exporting company in automotive world.

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