This is the second round of this foolishness. The problem, of course, is Sir Isaac Newton and his inconvenient Laws of Motion. The only way to reach these targets is to dramatically reduce the weight of a car, and correspondingly reduce the horsepower of the engine:
I was trained as an Engineer, which means I had to take a lot of math and science. Despite the government's best efforts, you cannot change laws of nature. If you want a car to go 33% further on a gallon of gas, you have only three choices:Here's what your new ultralight ride will be sharing the road with:
1. Increase the efficiency of the engine by 33%. Unfortunately, we've had 30 years of research into more efficient engines, and all the big gains are to be had in the early years. Front wheel drive (shrink the power train), unibody construction (instead of a frame), and computer-controlled fuel injection (instead of carburetors) make up the bulk of the gain to date. Despite the promise of hybrid technology and regenerative braking, there simply isn't anywhere near 33% gains in this (for highway driving, at least).
2. Reduce the power-to-weight ratio. No more V8 for you, Mr. Zette - how about a nice 5 cylinder like Mr. Volvo? Well, then Mr. Vette drives just like Mr. Volvo. Say goodbye to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, President Obama! (translation: ain't gonna happen).
3. Reduce the weight of the car by 33% or so, while reducing power by an equal amount. Car handles the same, but gets better mileage. You can have performance and fuel efficiency. You can have it all!
Except you can't. Sir Isaac Newton will not be denied:
Whenever a object A exerts a force on another object B, B simultaneously exerts a force on A with the same magnitude in the opposite direction.
In a crash, any good intentions of enlightened progressives mean precisely bupkis:
The National Academy of Sciences has linked mileage standards with about 2,000 deaths per year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that every 100-pound reduction in the weight of small cars increases annual traffic fatalities by as much as 715.And you have to lighten the car weight by a lot more than 100 pounds to hit 54 MPG. The Fed.Gov is condemning a couple thousand people a year to early graves - men, women, and children - so that they can feel good about themselves for being all "green" and everything.
And nothing but dead bodies will satisfy them. Don't believe me? How about a car that gets 80 MPG?
That's a Volkswagen Lupo 3L TDI, which gets not quite 80 MPG using it's turbo-diesel engine. It's not produced anymore, because of poor sales in part related to the fact that it could not be sold in the United States.
It didn't meet emission standards for diesels here.
So it's dead bodies, and nothing but dead bodies. The Progressive dream has become a modern day Moloch, requiring the literal sacrifice of innocents - literal dead bodies. All so that Progressives can feel good about themselves.
That's all quite a mystery to me, how they sleep at night.