Le future

For a mere $14,500, the future of cars is here. The Smart Car ForTwo is waiting for you.


This car was in the parking lot of a very large outdoor shopping mall.

The Smart car is fighting against the mathematics of division. A gallon of gasoline has about 125,000 BTUs of energy. The “budget” of energy becomes close to impossible to shave down

10 mpg =   12,500 BTUs/mile
12.5   =   10,000 
25     =    5,000
30     =    4,166
35     =    3,751
40     =    3,125
45     =    2,777
50     =    2,500
60     =    2,083

Did you say you wanted air conditioning? Headlights? Windshield wipers?

In the midst of the other nonsense, Congress passed a law outlawing physics. In 2025, the CAFE will require 54.5 mpg. The behavior of division works on cost per mile also. At $2 a gallon for gasoline, driving 10,000 miles @ 50 mpg costs $400 a year for gasoline. At 25 mpg, it would cost $800. The difference is about one car payment, and a 1000% nicer and safer car.

Motorcycles typically get around 50 mpg. If you use the oil to grow food to feed a human to ride a bicycle, you can get to about 70 mpg.

Any Republicans advocating repeal or rollback of CAFE standards? The Overton window has already absorbed that opinion. Is it window smashing time?

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4 Responses to Le future

  1. CC1s121LrBGT says:

    The car industry is heading in the same direction as the tobacco industry? When the cigarette tax became excessive, stores installed cigarette rolling machines and sold loose tobacco which had a much lower tax for the same amount of tobacco.

    What will happen here is will be the equivalent. Think of four wheel drive where each wheel is actually a motorcycle that gets 70 mph. Then you buy the car body that goes over the motorcycles and has the computer to control each of them in a synchronized manor – the same that a controller controls four separate propellers on drone helicopters.


    • prboylan says:

      Brilliant! But good luck getting that past the career civil servant at the DMV.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      So if each wheel gets 70 mpg, that means the car itself will get 17.5 (70/4) mpg

      There is a new battery type under development that might offer 10x the storage density of lithium ion batteries. That could be a game changer. Imagine a fuel cell powered by natural gas powering electric motors. We could probably increase efficiency by having metal guide rails down the middle of highways. Let’s see – electric powered vehicles running on streets on rails….

      The country seems to have largely adapted to the notion that cars are not generally used for “road trips” driving out cross country to visit Wally World. Uber may largely do away with the notion of people needing cars to run errands.

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        These fuel cells are quite interesting already. Not so much for cars yet, but for homes. Check out “micro-CHP”. Micro means for individual buildings (including homes) and CHP means combined generation of heating and power. It generates electricity cheaper for the home than buying it off the grid. The main problem is that starting and stopping these fuel cells causes them to deteriorate. Once they start, it is best to keep them running. In most locations, the electric companies will buy electricity from residents only if it is solar or maybe wind- they will not if it is from cheap natural gas – the functioning demands of power for individual residences makes it impractical for most homes.

        As an aside, Honda in Japan and others sell micro-CHP for homes that basically use a natural gas powered car engine to generate electricity- the heat from the engine heats the home and car engines can start and stop many times without breaking down. Home Depot sells similar but different engines for emergency power during electrical outages.

        Regarding Uber, they are reducing the need for people to use private cars to run errands, but not as much as Amazon already is. Amazon Prime, about the price of a Costco, BJ Warehouse or Sam’s Club membership provides free shipping to you and free shipping on the returns. You can return an item just because you changed you mind and Amazon will even pay for the item to be picked up from your home or business. It has saved me errands.

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