Tag Archives: cars

EPA’s gasoline efficiency tests are garbage

Our government in action: The tests the EPA uses to establish the fuel efficiency of cars are unreliable, and likely provide no valid information at all about the fuel efficiency of the cars tested.

The law requiring cars to meet these fuel efficiency tests was written in the 1970s, and specifically sets standards based on the technology then. Worse,

[T]he EPA doesn’t know exactly how its CAFE testing correlates with actual results, because it has never done a comprehensive study of real-world fuel economy. Nor does anyone else. The best available data comes from consumers who report it to the DOT—hardly a scientific sampling.

Other than that, everything is fine. Companies are forced to spend billions on this regulation, the costs of which they immediately pass on to consumers, all based on fantasy and a badly-written law. Gee, I’m sure glad we never tried this with healthcare!

After mandating the sale of 15% ethanol gasoline — that can damage engines and lower fuel efficiency — the EPA is now going to require that you buy at least 4 gallons in order to reduce the damage.

How nice of them: After mandating the sale of 15% ethanol gasoline — which can damage engines and lower fuel efficiency — the EPA is now going to require that you buy at least 4 gallons when you fill your tank in order to reduce the damage.

The entire auto industry has made it very clear its opposition to 15% ethanol because that mixture is harmful to vehicle engines. So, does the EPA back off? No, it instead doubles down, increasing its regulatory control in a manner that is complex, unenforceable, and impractical.

And when this new regulation doesn’t work and vehicles begin to fail, don’t expect the EPA to pay for the repair. Instead, I expect we will soon have EPA regulators standing at every gas station, checking to make sure we use the right gasoline in the right amounts, ready to fine or arrest us if we dare to do something different.

A new study in China has found that electric cars are more harmful to public health per kilometer traveled than conventional vehicles.

Surprise, surprise! A new study in China has found that electric cars are more harmful to public health per kilometer traveled than conventional vehicles.

The problem here isn’t the effort to develop electric cars in the hope they can reduce pollution. The problem is that our government is imposing its preference, prior to anyone finding out if this technology can actually do the job.

Olympic VIPs will get 4000 BMWs and their own private traffic lanes in what the Olympics bill as the “green Games.”

Equality and environmentalism among the elite: Olympic VIPs to get 4000 BMWs and their own private traffic lanes in what the Olympics bill as the “green Games.”

It is understood that at least 250 VIPs will be given their own designated BMW, complete with a personal chauffeur, to escort them from their Park Lane hotels to the Games. Several thousand other officials, sponsors, dignitaries and athletes – known as the ‘Olympic family’ – will share the remaining pool of plush cars, worth up to £30,000 each.

Members of the public will be urged to walk or try to board crowded trains and buses.

Hey, they still let us drive

Frank Fleming: “Hey, they still let us drive.”

Driving is basically a grandfathered freedom from back when people cared less about pollution and danger and valued progress and liberty over safety. They had different equations related to human life then: We could lose 10,000 men in a single battle in a war and call it a victory.

We’re talking foolhardy people who eventually sent men to the moon strapped to a giant rocket that had less computational power than it takes to calculate the trajectory of an Angry Bird. Their kids dangled from jungle gyms over pavement. [emphasis in original]

Facing possible inquiry, OnStar drops ‘Big Brother’ plans

Facing outraged criticism, General Motors’ OnStar division has dropped its plans to track and record the personal driving information of both former and current subscribers.

Sounds good, but I wouldn’t assume this story is over. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they try again later to sneak this data grab by everyone.

All new cars starting in June will have a mandatory black box

Big brother arrives: Starting in June all new cars will have a mandatory black box.

The installation and use of these black boxes can have infinite possibilities for local, state, and federal governments to monitor and record data for a number of other revenue programs that are currently under consideration. In March, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a proposal to institute a tax on mileage to help pay for the federal budget deficit. Additionally, local cities and counties can download information from these black boxes, and they can be used to issue driving citations after the fact in the case of speeding or not wearing a seat belt.

I think the value of my old used Subaru Forester has just gone up!

Scientists Steer Car With the Power of Thought

What could go wrong? Scientists have developed technology allowing someone to steer a car by thought alone. Key quote:

“In our test runs, a driver equipped with EEG sensors was able to control the car with no problem — there was only a slight delay between the envisaged commands and the response of the car,” said Prof. Raúl Rojas, who heads the AutoNOMOS project at Freie Universität Berlin.