Want a Ford that Gets 65 MPG? Move to Europe.

It seems that the fight against man-made global warming is not really so much about global warming--at least in the United States. It's more about perceptions and authoritarian control. Ford has a new vehicle that gets 65 miles per gallon, but Ford can afford to sell the car only in Europe, mostly because the United States is worried about being seen as environmentally conscious rather than actually being environmentally conscious.

We always hear from the environmental wacko lobby (there are some liberal environmentalists that aren't wacko) that Europe signed the Kyoto Protocol, but the US didn't. Here's something else that Europe's

At current gasoline prices, that would save me about 5 bucks a day--$12 if I compare it to driving my SUV battle tank.

doing that we aren't: buying a car that gets 65 miles per gallon.

Part of the issue for Ford is cost. But even if Ford overcame those barriers, it is still not likely that it could pass those costs onto Americans and still get them to buy the cars. It's because:
"We know it's an awesome vehicle," says Ford America President Mark Fields. "But there are business reasons why we can't sell it in the U.S." The main one: The Fiesta ECOnetic runs on diesel.
Only 3% of cars sold in the United States run on diesel fuel. Why? Partly because of hybrid mania, but mostly because of the high taxes on diesel itself. The United States sees diesel fuel as a high polluter, and because of this misconception, drivers in the United States likely can't drive one of the most fuel-efficient cars ever.

I think

Otherwise, my worst fears are confirmed. Blaming man for global warming is not because they really think we are to blame. It's just a bogey monster story so they can control our lifestyles--and keep us poor.

this misconception sticks with so many environmentalists because they are hell-bent on making sure that we stop using fossil fuels yesterday. It's the same claptrap that won't deign to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Maybe it's because they think the fossil fuelers will take a mile if they're given an inch...?


Diesel fuel has always been more efficient than gasoline. Until recently, diesel was dirtier than gasoline, but that's no longer true. And the latest improvements show diesel mileage at about 30% better than gasoline. I can go for that!!

Would I spend $25,000 to buy a Toyota Prius that gets 45 MPG?

This misconception sticks because they are hell-bent on making sure that we stop using fossil fuels yesterday. It's the same claptrap that won't deign to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Maybe it's because they think the fossil fuelers will take a mile if they're given an inch...?

No, because I have a 1988 Honda Accord that gets 33. But I think I'd at least turn my head if I could pay a couple thousand bucks more for a car that gets double what my Honda gets. At current gasoline prices, that would save me about 5 bucks a day--$12 if I compare it to driving my SUV battle tank.

Except that brings us back to the dirty truth about diesel in the United States: because of extra taxes on diesel fuel, diesel can cost over a dollar more than gasoline in some places.

It's time for the environmental lobby to put their money where their standards are. If we're going to increase our CAFE standards, we've got to be able to accomplish that increase with fossil fuels.

Otherwise, my worst fears are confirmed. Blaming man for global warming is not because they really think we are to blame. It's just a bogey monster story so they can control our lifestyles--and keep us poor.




Comments

  1. Ok, most of the time I just lurk around your blog from time to time but since I follow the automotive industry daily I had to chime in on this one.

    Don't think I am trying to discredit your post, in fact I will help it but lets add some facts to it.

    Most likely the Ford in questions was tested using the European Test cycle as opposed to the MPG number we get from our own EPA. The European test cycle typically rates vehicles higher. So, comparing apples to apples which we can't; expect those numbers to be a little lower in the U.S.

    Next up. In the name of environmental protection we (United States) have added weight an inefficiencies to our American cars. A 1.0 liter to 2.0 liter cars in Europe are extremely common, and aren't seen as the painfully slow like they are here (newer turbo charged variants are of course an exception). So, what I am trying to say is that we could get better fuel economy if we were willing to deal with a bit more dirty air coming out the tail pipe, regardless of fuel being used.

    Next, we have legislated so much safety into our cars, and sure we all want safety but what we don't realize is that stuff adds weight and weight is counter productive to efficient. I am sure we can all recall those of older generations talking about how "they don't build cars like the used to." It is all plastics and aluminum now. Sure there are some manufacturing cost savings in comparison to steel but raw materials of plastics have always been more than steel. The reason why we want them is because they are lighter.

    65 MPG is not the highest I have heard coming from our friends across the pond. I have heard of diesel VWs getting 80 mpg over there. That is something the Prius will never touch.

    Now, onto the diesel discussion. Our older diesel had more energy per gallon than the new stuff. Although I have never broken out my college chemistry book to figure out the actual amount of energy contained in the old or new gallon of diesel. I have read from multiple reliable source that one of the side effects of our new clean diesel is that there is plain less energy in it. So, we have to take a MPG hit just by switching to it. The arguments made by environmentalists is that the cleaner air gain offset the decreased efficiency.

    Next up about fuels. It is my understanding from a chemical engineering major at the University of Utah, that the pollutants from burning gasoline actually eat the ozone layer that the environmentalists are so concerned about. Diesel does not. There is nothing in burning diesel that is harmful to the ozone layer at all. Diesel's big draw back is the particulate matter. The black stuff it releases into the air gets into the respiratory systems of old people and makes them sick. And those of in the Salt Lake valley know all about those awful inversion days. So, with Diesel it what you see that is bad. Unlike gasoline it is the stuff you don't see.

    So, where does the lead us to today. We have cleaned up our diesel going in and we have added all kinds of measures to burn up, trap, filter, etc. the stuff that comes out. But like most environmental purpose devices installed on our automobiles these decrease efficiencies.

    So, when we look at these European cars and think ooooh, aaaah, how come they get them and we don't, it is because the reasons I have outlined above.

    A lot of manufacturers plain don't want to bother with going through all the hoops of selling possibly great cars in the U.S.

    Now, I am going to throw in my two cents on Hybrids and then I will be done. First off, all the Toyota's, Honda's, and now everybody else are providing you in their hybrids over a standard gasoline car is the recapturing of energy normally dissipated in heat when you stop (a.k.a. brakes). That energy is stored in batteries (that are very heavy) and then allows you to use that energy to push your wheels forward again (two motors, one electric, and one gas, again weight). Then there is the big question about if the total waste of the car and increased costs were worth the savings.


    So, if you think about it, the big killer to a regular gasoline engines economy is stopping (wasting all the energy) and idling at traffic lights. Spoon feeding the response: can we drive or normal cars more efficiently now that we know what is causing the waste?

    What it is the hardest thing for the populous to realize is that it is not as much about what you are driving but how you drive it that impacts your fuel economy. Granted a large SUV is going to consume more than a small car (weight).

    In my mind, buying a Prius is saying I don't know how to drive a car efficiently so I have to drive a car that cripples the driving experience to force me into driving efficiently.

    Sorry, for hijacking your post. I just started rambling and couldn't stop.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "...because of extra taxes on diesel fuel, diesel can cost over a dollar more than gasoline in some places."

    This comment struck me as being a bit odd, so I did some quick googling. Diesel taxes, on average, are only about 5.2 cents higher than gasoline taxes. Something else must be driving the price to be higher than gasoline. According to the US Government (whatever that's worth):

    "Historically, the average price of diesel fuel has been lower than the average price of gasoline. However, this is not always the case. In some winters where the demand for distillate heating oil is high, the price of diesel fuel has risen above the gasoline price. Since September 2004, the price of diesel fuel has been generally higher than the price of regular gasoline all year round for several reasons. Worldwide demand for diesel fuel and other distillate fuel oils has been increasing steadily, with strong demand in China, Europe, and the United States, putting more pressure on the tight global refining capacity. In the United States, the transition to ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel has affected diesel fuel production and distribution costs. Also, the Federal excise tax on diesel fuel is 6 cents higher per gallon (24.4 cents per gallon) than the tax on gasoline."

    Now, if I could have a clean burning diesel that gets 50-100% better mileage, I'd probably be willing to fork out the extra 50 cents a gallon

    ReplyDelete
  3. Michael,

    Thanks for the added info. Among several things, I think it's important to add to the discussion heavier vehicle weights due to safety legislation. Do our cars weigh more than the same model is required to in Europe, Japan, etc.? I didn't realize until I did some research for this article that the black sooty exhaust doesn't break down the atmosphere as much as gasoline exhaust does.

    Don,

    It does seem like the disparity between diesel and gasoline prices has come down a bit lately, and maybe I was just noticing it most last winter. Right now, however, at my favorite station, diesel is 38 cents more expensive than low-grade gasoline.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We bought a VW Diesel Jetta a year ago- cost 24k, gets around 48 miles to the gallon.

    VW is having a hard time keeping them around- we could re-sell it today for what we paid for it.

    Not only that, it's a lot better looking and roomier than a hybrid.

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  5. BTW my husband works for Ford corporate, and you're right it's all about perception.

    Audii, BMW, Mercedes and VW are starting huge campaigns in the US to change perception of diesel.

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  6. SaltH20- I'm jealous of your VW- I miss ours. I keep wishing the passat wagon would come out with another bench seat.

    My parents have a prius and are quite happy with it. They frequently drive to northern california and it has cut down the cost of the trip considerably.

    (although it is amusing when they call to tell us their mileage instead of that they arrived safely)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Salt,

    I paid 1k for my Accord. If I can get 2 years out of it, then I'll have enough saved up to buy your Jetta.

    Or maybe CNG will be more stable by then.

    Allie,

    We have a friend with a Prius. I agree with Salt that they are not very roomy, but they are great for mileage. I'm just worried from talking to my mechanic about how difficult and potentially costly it would be to fix a problem with a Prius. But that is way cool that your parents are keyed into the efficiency of theirs. If everyone was just more that way, the earth would be in a lot better shape.

    Along those lines, I relish every day (since I bought the Accord we now have 4 cars, but need to use 2 or 3) that our Yukon XL sits in the driveway!!

    ReplyDelete

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