Wednesday , September 18 2019
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The Offloading

Summary:
When the car industry begs to be regulated, you have to wonder about the regulations. And the motivations. Is it a case of being crazy . . . or crazy like a fox? The car industry – well, about a third of it so far (Ford, Honda, BMW, VW and Mercedes) wants to be forced to make cars that average close to 50 miles-per-gallon by 2025, as fatwa’d about four years ago by the federal regulatory apparat. The current head of the federal government – President Trump – is trying to rescind the fatwa or at least dial it back to something more technically and economically feasible. In a startling turnabout, the car companies have stated that even if Trump dials back the federal fatwa, they will impose it upon themselves by embracing

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When the car industry begs to be regulated, you have to wonder about the regulations. And the motivations.

Is it a case of being crazy . . . or crazy like a fox?

The car industry – well, about a third of it so far (Ford, Honda, BMW, VW and Mercedes) wants to be forced to make cars that average close to 50 miles-per-gallon by 2025, as fatwa’d about four years ago by the federal regulatory apparat.

The current head of the federal government – President Trump – is trying to rescind the fatwa or at least dial it back to something more technically and economically feasible. In a startling turnabout, the car companies have stated that even if Trump dials back the federal fatwa, they will impose it upon themselves by embracing a mirrored fatwaissued by the state of California. Which will then become a de facto national fatwa.

It sounds crazy – self-destructive, at least.

And this self-imposed mania for saving gas? It’s like losing weight. Sounds great – but it’s not as easy as it sounds .

Or inexpensive.

Nor demanded by the market – but that’s another thing.

As Trump pointed out the other day, the cost of the technology – the physical hardware as well as physical changes to the way cars are designed – that will be necessary to get cars to average nearly 50 MPG (as specified by the fatwa) in just five years’ time will cost thousands of dollars per car. Trump says about $3,000 per car – which is very close to the mark because the only current cars that average 50 MPG and so fatwa-compliant are hybrids  – models like the Toyota Prius and Kia Niro.

These hybrids cost about $3k more than an otherwise similar non-hybrid. This is what the government wants you to spend to save gas. Or rather, it’s what Trump doesn’t want you to have to spend. But the car industry – VW, Ford, Honda, BMW and Benz, anyhow – wants you to spend.

Wants you to have to spend.

You will pay them more money rather than ExxonMobil.

And you’ll pay more than just $3k.

Trump failed to explain that if the fatwa stands, it will take more than a few hybrids to get to 50-something MPG. It will take a lot of electric cars. These use no gas, of course – and so they are a boon to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (the fatwa’s formal name) math. Each EV sold makes it feasible to sell non-EVs that aren’t hybrids and don’t – and can’t – achieve 50 MPG.

Trucks, for instance.

One 28 MPG truck plus one infinite MPG EV divided by two (this is crude, but it helps explain the math) equals  . . . closer to 50 MPG and fatwa compliance. The more EVs in the mix, the better the CAFE compliance math.

But there’s a fly in the soup.

Someone will have to buy all those EVs. And EVs cost many thousands more than hybrids Who’s gonna pony up – and how?

Eric Peters
Eric Peters is a freelance car/bike/political columnist. He escaped the corporate-owned media Big Boys years ago. Without the censorship of the corporate tools

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