Why does everyone lie about fuel economy?
Of course consumers want a 60 mpg truck that costs the same as a 15 mpg truck
The other day on GreenCarCongress I came across the latest Consumer Federation of America (CFA) study that suggests that the citizenry are on board with the government’s plans to increase CAFE standards through 2025. Comments to this post, 0.
Just a few posts below was another study that suggests that the government is going to whiff big time on CAFE, at least in terms of real world greenhouse gas emission reductions, for instance, all while spending too much buck for too little bang. Last I saw, 18 comments to this post.
Join the herd. No controversy. Question the herd and you’re the moron.
Fortunately, I love playing the moron these days.
According to the government, hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius and the Ford Fusion hybrid return their hybrid costs in around 2 years. Again, that’s according to the government, and the same people figuring out the future of CAFE — as well as its benefits — now through 2025.
So why isn’t hybrid technology everywhere?
For years consumer study after consumer study has demonstrated that American consumers really want hybrid cars. In fact, GreenCarCongress has posted dozens upon dozens of studies over the last few years proving that the far majority of consumers are ready to buy hybrid cars, now, yet the sales data has consistently been absolutely contrary to these consumer studies — for many, many years now.
If the government’s analysis of hybrid car cost-effectiveness is correct, coupled with these consumer studies, shouldn’t the Fusion hybrid have been outselling the conventional gas-guzzling Fusion many years ago? Shouldn’t Prius sales be blowing Camry sales out of the water? I mean based on consumer studies and government analysis, automakers should be building at least 50 percent hybrids today — because that’s what consumers claim they want, right?
Or at least that’s what consumer studies claim, because the real world sale’s data consistently tells an entirely different story.
Listen, I know I’m trying to simplify a complex story, but……c’mon! Yes, automakers aren’t yet building a diverse enough portfolio of hybrid cars, but consumers aren’t really stepping up to the plate either.
So, now we’re supposed to believe that Americans really do want more fuel efficient cars, especially smaller ones, and they’ll be willing to pay more upfront to buy better long term fuel economy because another consumer study says so?
This time it might be different, because automakers will now be forced to stop squashing technologies that can turn 15 mpg pickup trucks into 40 mpg pickup trucks without raising prices and that will still drive HUGE profit margins. It’s not that technologies haven’t been there, it seems, but that automakers have just been too lazy to try to meet real world consumer demand. They just need a big push to do the obviously more profitable thing.
Get real. If you ask me, groups like the American Consumer Federation don’t really know anything about consumers, at least not automotive ones.
Even worse, it’s simply a fact that the Federation cites fuel economy numbers that the Federation has to know are complete fabrications, scientifically proven, gross exaggerations of reality. If not, then the ACF are completely incompetent and their results should not even be published on a site as respectable as GCC.
AAA, for instance, claims that as CAFE increases, it becomes less accurate in the real world. The 2016 CAFE requirements, now already law, will be at least 30 percent less fuel efficient in the real world according to AAA, for example. The likes of Edmunds and AutoWeek have come to similar conclusions. 30 percent inaccurate!?! Yet, these are the numbers — the foundation of consumer savings — being sold to citizens via groups like the ACF?
Moreover, not one comment on GCC? No questions asked?
Apparently, now that every single consumer study on hybrid cars has been wrong for so long, it’s time to cast a new web of lies in a different direction: the undeniably positive, and consumer demanded, upcoming CAFE requirements. But it’s not lies, despite the 30 percent error, minimally, to start.
Why question that? 30 percent is pocket change, clearly.
Ironically, on the other hand, GCC also posted a new right-winged study by the Brookings Institute et al — and this objectivity is why I love the editors at GreenCarCongress – that claims new CAFE requirements could potentially be very counter-productive.
What? Despite the consumer studies? How can that be? Obviously that can’t be right. Since their politics — the Brooking Institute — reside on the right, they’re wrong, right.
Now, I’m not defending the Brookings report, although there are at least some valid points in the study, but I agree the study’s conclusions are debatable.
Yet, on the other hand, when a consumer study makes claims that some people want to believe, but that are similar to a decade of hybrid claims that have been tragically incorrect — based on numbers that are minimally 30 percent wrong – why is there no debate? No comment?
While I’m for increasing US fuel economy, if it’s going to be done through CAFE, shouldn’t the first step be making CAFE transparent, or at least valid in the real world? Why does the government enable such deception?
It seems we’re all liars when it comes to fuel economy. Consumers want it, of course, as long as they don’t have to give up anything or pay extra. Automakers lie about it. Isn’t everything a 40 mpg car today? Likewise, the government likes to pretend it’s doing something, yet it can’t even start with transparency and honest.
We’re all just a bunch of liars when it comes to fuel economy, and we wonder why US energy policy has been so ineffective for so long?