Author Topic: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars  (Read 6465 times)

Slow2FIRE

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #50 on: April 06, 2018, 05:40:24 PM »

And electric cars don't solve the problem.  The energy still has to come from somewhere.

The energy mix for electric cars is getting cleaner every year with greater capture of combustion byproducts at the generating stations and coal plants being taken out of the mix and supplanted by Natural Gas, Wind and Solar.  This will continue through the life of an electric vehicle.

A purely gas based vehicle, on the other hand will likely become more polluting over time (especially as the oil sources get tighter and dirtier to replenish vs the original crude sources that required relatively little energy input to recover and the emissions systems get older without careful maintenance and monitoring).

Another Reader

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #51 on: April 06, 2018, 06:08:24 PM »
"Public Transit is quite often at least as safe as other options, but often fails on the other 5 measures."


Crime is what I'm comparing in safety.

No pickpockets in my car.
No armed robbers in my car.
No one publicly indecent in my car.
No drug addicts or alcoholics in my car.
No rapists in my car.
No child molesters in my car.
No unpredictable insane people in my car.

All of the above commonly found on public transit.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 06:10:17 PM by Another Reader »

spartana

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #52 on: April 06, 2018, 06:47:04 PM »
"Public Transit is quite often at least as safe as other options, but often fails on the other 5 measures."


Crime is what I'm comparing in safety.

No pickpockets in my car.
No armed robbers in my car.
No one publicly indecent in my car.
No drug addicts or alcoholics in my car.
No rapists in my car.
No child molesters in my car.
No unpredictable insane people in my car.

All of the above commonly found on public transit.
you forgot bedbugs and lice on public transit. Google it and be afraid.
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Another Reader

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #53 on: April 06, 2018, 06:55:51 PM »
"Public Transit is quite often at least as safe as other options, but often fails on the other 5 measures."


Crime is what I'm comparing in safety.

No pickpockets in my car.
No armed robbers in my car.
No one publicly indecent in my car.
No drug addicts or alcoholics in my car.
No rapists in my car.
No child molesters in my car.
No unpredictable insane people in my car.

All of the above commonly found on public transit.
you forgot bedbugs and lice on public transit. Google it and be afraid.

The neighbor's kid I drop off at school might have those...

Seriously, have you ridden public transit recently?  Not much of that in LA/OC, I guess.  I took public buses all through high school in an urban part of the Bay Area almost 50 years ago.  Would not even consider it today.  The human urine smell on BART, the "upper" end of public transit,  is overwhelming.  No thanks!

spartana

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #54 on: April 06, 2018, 07:34:44 PM »
"Public Transit is quite often at least as safe as other options, but often fails on the other 5 measures."


Crime is what I'm comparing in safety.

No pickpockets in my car.
No armed robbers in my car.
No one publicly indecent in my car.
No drug addicts or alcoholics in my car.
No rapists in my car.
No child molesters in my car.
No unpredictable insane people in my car.

All of the above commonly found on public transit.
you forgot bedbugs and lice on public transit. Google it and be afraid.

The neighbor's kid I drop off at school might have those...

Seriously, have you ridden public transit recently?  Not much of that in LA/OC, I guess.  I took public buses all through high school in an urban part of the Bay Area almost 50 years ago.  Would not even consider it today.  The human urine smell on BART, the "upper" end of public transit,  is overwhelming.  No thanks!
I haven't used public transit in years (don't commute) but due to the homeless probelms in OC/LA most buses and bus stops are so massively trashed due to transients, many with mental health, drug or alcohol problems, I would be wary also. Biking for the win! Although it would be nice if they brought back small 4 cylinder station wagons like the Ford Focus or Jetta. I think a lot of people get SUVs because there really isn't much choice between a tiny hatchback or an SUV for those that need a larger cargo area.
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marty998

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #55 on: April 06, 2018, 07:50:31 PM »
"Public Transit is quite often at least as safe as other options, but often fails on the other 5 measures."


Crime is what I'm comparing in safety.

No pickpockets in my car.
No armed robbers in my car.
No one publicly indecent in my car.
No drug addicts or alcoholics in my car.
No rapists in my car.
No child molesters in my car.
No unpredictable insane people in my car.

All of the above commonly found on public transit.
you forgot bedbugs and lice on public transit. Google it and be afraid.

The neighbor's kid I drop off at school might have those...

Seriously, have you ridden public transit recently?  Not much of that in LA/OC, I guess.  I took public buses all through high school in an urban part of the Bay Area almost 50 years ago.  Would not even consider it today.  The human urine smell on BART, the "upper" end of public transit,  is overwhelming.  No thanks!
I haven't used public transit in years (don't commute) but due to the homeless probelms in OC/LA most buses and bus stops are so massively trashed due to transients, many with mental health, drug or alcohol problems, I would be wary also. Biking for the win! Although it would be nice if they brought back small 4 cylinder station wagons like the Ford Focus or Jetta. I think a lot of people get SUVs because there really isn't much choice between a tiny hatchback or an SUV for those that need a larger cargo area.

I have ridden public transport every work day for the better part of 25 years.

Never been assaulted, robbed or flashed but I'll admit I now have a rather robust immune system after picking up every imaginable cold and flu virus under the sun in that time.

ol1970

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #56 on: April 06, 2018, 08:10:08 PM »
Having made my FIRE stash in the auto industry and still being very connected, I can tell you that the OEM's goal is simply to respond to customer demand.  They literally ship dollars attached to the hoods of small sedans, but make buckets of cash on the vehicles people actually want.  It's crazy to me to read about people being disgusted that a company wants to run as effeciently and profitably as possible.  These same companies are all also making major shifts in their future method of propulsion, so no need to get so worked up, it's all going to work itself out.  Half of these SUV's will be electric in 10 years anyway, maybe more.  I do agree with the whole climate change angle and we are impacting the environment, but then again the exact spot where I live was below 1 mile of ice only 10,000 years ago. (SUV's not the cause of that Ice melting...)

Those companies are not responding to customer demand, they're creating it.  Otherwise why would there be truck ads everywhere.

Really?  What’s your background in the industry?  I guarantee you that your statement is 100% incorrect.

spartana

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #57 on: April 06, 2018, 09:57:10 PM »
"Public Transit is quite often at least as safe as other options, but often fails on the other 5 measures."


Crime is what I'm comparing in safety.

No pickpockets in my car.
No armed robbers in my car.
No one publicly indecent in my car.
No drug addicts or alcoholics in my car.
No rapists in my car.
No child molesters in my car.
No unpredictable insane people in my car.

All of the above commonly found on public transit.
you forgot bedbugs and lice on public transit. Google it and be afraid.

The neighbor's kid I drop off at school might have those...

Seriously, have you ridden public transit recently?  Not much of that in LA/OC, I guess.  I took public buses all through high school in an urban part of the Bay Area almost 50 years ago.  Would not even consider it today.  The human urine smell on BART, the "upper" end of public transit,  is overwhelming.  No thanks!
I haven't used public transit in years (don't commute) but due to the homeless probelms in OC/LA most buses and bus stops are so massively trashed due to transients, many with mental health, drug or alcohol problems, I would be wary also. Biking for the win! Although it would be nice if they brought back small 4 cylinder station wagons like the Ford Focus or Jetta. I think a lot of people get SUVs because there really isn't much choice between a tiny hatchback or an SUV for those that need a larger cargo area.

I have ridden public transport every work day for the better part of 25 years.

Never been assaulted, robbed or flashed but I'll admit I now have a rather robust immune system after picking up every imaginable cold and flu virus under the sun in that time.
Well you're from Oz so maybe all the things there that kill all the other things there killed the bed bugs and lice - which of course are probably full of deadly toxic venom there. I have ridden public transit in other countries before (and in the US but not for awhile) and its all nice and clean and safe in comparison.
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bacchi

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #58 on: April 06, 2018, 11:27:10 PM »
The neighbor's kid I drop off at school might have those...

Seriously, have you ridden public transit recently?  Not much of that in LA/OC, I guess.  I took public buses all through high school in an urban part of the Bay Area almost 50 years ago.  Would not even consider it today.  The human urine smell on BART, the "upper" end of public transit,  is overwhelming.  No thanks!
I haven't used public transit in years (don't commute) but due to the homeless probelms in OC/LA most buses and bus stops are so massively trashed due to transients, many with mental health, drug or alcohol problems, I would be wary also. Biking for the win! Although it would be nice if they brought back small 4 cylinder station wagons like the Ford Focus or Jetta. I think a lot of people get SUVs because there really isn't much choice between a tiny hatchback or an SUV for those that need a larger cargo area.

I have ridden public transport every work day for the better part of 25 years.

Never been assaulted, robbed or flashed but I'll admit I now have a rather robust immune system after picking up every imaginable cold and flu virus under the sun in that time.
Well you're from Oz so maybe all the things there that kill all the other things there killed the bed bugs and lice - which of course are probably full of deadly toxic venom there. I have ridden public transit in other countries before (and in the US but not for awhile) and its all nice and clean and safe in comparison.

Eh, I ride BART/Caltrain fairly regularly. There are homeless people sleeping in the back of some of the cars, and sometimes the cars smell, but it's not that big of a deal. It beats sitting on 82.

robartsd

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #59 on: April 09, 2018, 09:29:16 AM »
"Public Transit is quite often at least as safe as other options, but often fails on the other 5 measures."


Crime is what I'm comparing in safety.

No pickpockets in my car.
No armed robbers in my car.
No one publicly indecent in my car.
No drug addicts or alcoholics in my car.
No rapists in my car.
No child molesters in my car.
No unpredictable insane people in my car.

All of the above commonly found on public transit.
Yes their are often unpleasant people on public transit (and even more often unpleasant people loitering around public transit stops). Unpleasant people are also fairly common in public parking garages in most cities. The most common problems unpleasant people on transit cause are noise and filthiness, neither are actually safety concerns.

Where public transit is reliable and convenient it gets used frequently by normal people and unpleasant people are generally not a problem. The sprawl of most North American cities makes it too expensive to make public transit convenient, so we see more of those problems here.

MilesTeg

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #60 on: April 09, 2018, 09:39:29 AM »
Those companies are not responding to customer demand, they're creating it.  Otherwise why would there be truck ads everywhere?

And electric cars don't solve the problem.  The energy still has to come from somewhere.

Yep, from our biggest and effectively inexhaustible source: Sol

That's not to say that EVs have zero environmental cost. There will always be costs, but the energy to power the vehicles can certainly come a zero marginal cost (both financially and environmentally).

MilesTeg

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #61 on: April 09, 2018, 09:45:51 AM »
And electric cars don't solve the problem.  The energy still has to come from somewhere.

I vote Hydrogen fuel cells. Use the excess energy created by the solar duck curve to generate H2, power the cars and off-hours grid with hydrogen.

Why use a chemical battery (HFC) that is only ~50% efficient (source to tank) and still requires nuclear or fossil fuel use to create in quantities, when you can use a chemical battery that is 90%+ efficient (LI-ON, or whatever comes next) and doesn't rely on nuclear or fossil fuels to make the "fuel"?

NoStacheOhio

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #62 on: April 09, 2018, 09:56:24 AM »
And electric cars don't solve the problem.  The energy still has to come from somewhere.

I vote Hydrogen fuel cells. Use the excess energy created by the solar duck curve to generate H2, power the cars and off-hours grid with hydrogen.

Why use a chemical battery (HFC) that is only ~50% efficient (source to tank) and still requires nuclear or fossil fuel use to create in quantities, when you can use a chemical battery that is 90%+ efficient (LI-ON, or whatever comes next) and doesn't rely on nuclear or fossil fuels to make the "fuel"?

Hydrogen electrolysis using excess off-peak solar capacity. It's power we wouldn't otherwise be using because it's generated in the middle of the day when demand is low. Easier to move around than batteries (or transmission infrastructure), faster refueling, etc.
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/digging-out-of-a-hole/

MilesTeg

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #63 on: April 09, 2018, 10:08:34 AM »
And electric cars don't solve the problem.  The energy still has to come from somewhere.

I vote Hydrogen fuel cells. Use the excess energy created by the solar duck curve to generate H2, power the cars and off-hours grid with hydrogen.

Why use a chemical battery (HFC) that is only ~50% efficient (source to tank) and still requires nuclear or fossil fuel use to create in quantities, when you can use a chemical battery that is 90%+ efficient (LI-ON, or whatever comes next) and doesn't rely on nuclear or fossil fuels to make the "fuel"?

Hydrogen electrolysis using excess off-peak solar capacity. It's power we wouldn't otherwise be using because it's generated in the middle of the day when demand is low. Easier to move around than batteries (or transmission infrastructure), faster refueling, etc.

Using off peak excess solar is more efficiently done with batteries, and electrons are easier to move (along existing infrastructure) than liquid hydrogen (which has effectively zero infrastructure right now). "Faster refueling" is only a temporary advantage to HFC; it's only a matter of time before EV chemistries and charging solutions make EV charging quick enough for pretty much any use case (when combined with "home charging" still being the primary fueling source). And importantly, the best way to use "off peak" excess solar capacity is while your EV sits in your garage or some parking lot.

HFC has a use in the future for some vehicle types (in particular vehicles which need to operate "off-grid") but EVs are the better product.

dougules

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #64 on: April 09, 2018, 11:52:07 AM »
Those companies are not responding to customer demand, they're creating it.  Otherwise why would there be truck ads everywhere?

And electric cars don't solve the problem.  The energy still has to come from somewhere.

Yep, from our biggest and effectively inexhaustible source: Sol

That's not to say that EVs have zero environmental cost. There will always be costs, but the energy to power the vehicles can certainly come a zero marginal cost (both financially and environmentally).

Eventually we'll be able to supply our needs from solar alone, but for now those cars are still running off coal.

And energy is by far not the only issue.  You've got health, safety, sprawl, and traffic among others. 

Having made my FIRE stash in the auto industry and still being very connected, I can tell you that the OEM's goal is simply to respond to customer demand.  They literally ship dollars attached to the hoods of small sedans, but make buckets of cash on the vehicles people actually want.  It's crazy to me to read about people being disgusted that a company wants to run as effeciently and profitably as possible.  These same companies are all also making major shifts in their future method of propulsion, so no need to get so worked up, it's all going to work itself out.  Half of these SUV's will be electric in 10 years anyway, maybe more.  I do agree with the whole climate change angle and we are impacting the environment, but then again the exact spot where I live was below 1 mile of ice only 10,000 years ago. (SUV's not the cause of that Ice melting...)

Those companies are not responding to customer demand, they're creating it.  Otherwise why would there be truck ads everywhere.

Really?  What’s your background in the industry?  I guarantee you that your statement is 100% incorrect.

Since you're the expert, teach me what the purpose of ads are, then. 

martyconlonontherun

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #65 on: April 09, 2018, 12:07:48 PM »
I haven't read the WSJ article, but I had caught a Reuter's TV segment covering the same news. I don't entirely disagree with the stuff quoted up at the beginning here, but I think the answer and reason why the rise of SUVs is a lot simpler than we're willing to admit. There was a little thing wedged in there at the end that pretty much explained all we need to know as to why the shift and push into SUVs in an already saturated market.

Quote
Right now, they can fetch anywhere between one-third and 50% more for SUVs compared to a car without higher production cost. So even if that number gets smaller, that's not the kind of profit margin any automaker is willing to turn down.

They're making SUVs because they can charge more money for nearly the same amount of resources, which provides higher profit margins. When you're selling fewer cars, you gotta keep profits up somewhere. "Screw the planet, we want money."

Isn't the blame more on consumers? I think there is a mindset in consumers that a smaller car should be cheaper, and if the next size up is only slightly more, I would be getting a bargain with it. I know when I bought my Chevy Malibu, I originally looked into the Sonic and Cruze but didn't see hardly any savings. Might as well get the car that fits a set of golf clubs or fits 3 other buddies comfortable for road trips. Plus the bigger cars retain value better from my limited experience. When being honest, consumers like me don't have a couple miles in MPG or saving the environment on their top 3 list for buying a car.

martyconlonontherun

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #66 on: April 09, 2018, 12:09:54 PM »
OT but aren't these the opposite of clown cars? I always picture a clown car being a small volkswagon beetle with all the clowns crammed in.

Optimiser

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #67 on: April 09, 2018, 12:47:44 PM »
All these reasons is why I support passing a law that would automatically raise the gasoline tax by 20 cents every year for the next 10 years.

Don't blame the automakers, they are a business just like every other business seeking to maximize profits.  The blame goes to consumers who don't give a damn about the environment.  Even though I'm more libertarian than anything, I think raising the gas tax is the only fair and sensible solution.  Let consumers feel the weight of their full external costs.

I agree that automakers are responding to demand. And I think raising gas tax is a great start to charging the cost of externalities to the users.

As more people transition to electric vehicles we will need other ways to charge people for the cost of maintaining the infrastructure they use. Maybe increased vehicle registration fees that use a formula based on vehicle weight and miles driven.

Although it would be nice if they brought back small 4 cylinder station wagons like the Ford Focus or Jetta. I think a lot of people get SUVs because there really isn't much choice between a tiny hatchback or an SUV for those that need a larger cargo area.

They are still here. Ford has the Fiesta and Focus in wagon form, the Jetta wagon is now the Golf SportWagen, and you can buy a regular Golf or get an e-Golf. Subaru has the Impreza wagon, the Civic is available as a wagon again and Honda also makes the Fit. Toyota offers the Yaris, Corolla iM, Prius and Prius v depending on how much space you need. Hyundai has the Elantra GT, Kia has the Soul, the Rio 5-Door and the Forte5. Volvo makes the V60 and V90. I could keep going, but the point is there are a lot of station wagons with 4 cylinders ranging from tiny to quite large. It isn't that manufacturers are making them, it's that people prefer SUVs.

BDWW

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #68 on: April 09, 2018, 01:16:57 PM »
Since you're the expert, teach me what the purpose of ads are, then.

Not the OP, but the primary purpose is to affect their market share, ie piece of the pie.

Buy the Ford, not the Chevy, etc.

Obviously there's a non-zero effect on people who might be convinced to buy a truck instead of a car, but that's pretty tiny.

FIRE Artist

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #69 on: April 09, 2018, 01:43:49 PM »
"Public Transit is quite often at least as safe as other options, but often fails on the other 5 measures."


Crime is what I'm comparing in safety.

No pickpockets in my car.
No armed robbers in my car.
No one publicly indecent in my car.
No drug addicts or alcoholics in my car.
No rapists in my car.
No child molesters in my car.
No unpredictable insane people in my car.

All of the above commonly found on public transit.
you forgot bedbugs and lice on public transit. Google it and be afraid.

The neighbor's kid I drop off at school might have those...

Seriously, have you ridden public transit recently?  Not much of that in LA/OC, I guess.  I took public buses all through high school in an urban part of the Bay Area almost 50 years ago.  Would not even consider it today.  The human urine smell on BART, the "upper" end of public transit,  is overwhelming.  No thanks!
I haven't used public transit in years (don't commute) but due to the homeless probelms in OC/LA most buses and bus stops are so massively trashed due to transients, many with mental health, drug or alcohol problems, I would be wary also. Biking for the win! Although it would be nice if they brought back small 4 cylinder station wagons like the Ford Focus or Jetta. I think a lot of people get SUVs because there really isn't much choice between a tiny hatchback or an SUV for those that need a larger cargo area.

I have ridden public transport every work day for the better part of 25 years.

Never been assaulted, robbed or flashed but I'll admit I now have a rather robust immune system after picking up every imaginable cold and flu virus under the sun in that time.

I live in Edmonton, Canada.  The police have recently finally arrested 32 teenage boys and 2 men on 460 charges of organized theft and violent assault around our commuter train system.  These types of public spaces are ripe for this kind of crap.  It would be far safer to take the bus in my opinion. 

I have to provide a car for my work so public transit is not an option, but I will be driving my CR-V into the ground and hopefully replacing it with a deep winter climate suitable electric car in 6-8 years.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 01:46:23 PM by FIRE Artist »

Gone Fishing

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #70 on: April 09, 2018, 03:46:00 PM »
Hey, when you are insured by the Federal Government (and thus the tax payer), why not play the short game?  I'm sure we'll see another "Cash for clunkers" program as well.

rothwem

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #71 on: April 12, 2018, 08:03:00 AM »
All these reasons is why I support passing a law that would automatically raise the gasoline tax by 20 cents every year for the next 10 years.

I don't think gas tax is the answer.  We ought to tax the cars themselves, more tax for more emissions/worse MPGs. 

A gas tax is really really regressive, since most poor people can't afford to just buy a more fuel efficient car like the rich folks can when gas spikes.  If you expand the gas guzzler tax though, you impact the demand side of the equation, then suddenly its not so profitable for the automaker to make giant crew cab pickups anymore. 

I agree with ol1970, the automakers are making what the customers want.  We just need to change what the customers want.

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #72 on: April 12, 2018, 08:07:24 AM »
All these reasons is why I support passing a law that would automatically raise the gasoline tax by 20 cents every year for the next 10 years.

I don't think gas tax is the answer.  We ought to tax the cars themselves, more tax for more emissions/worse MPGs. 

A gas tax is really really regressive, since most poor people can't afford to just buy a more fuel efficient car like the rich folks can when gas spikes.  If you expand the gas guzzler tax though, you impact the demand side of the equation, then suddenly its not so profitable for the automaker to make giant crew cab pickups anymore. 

I agree with ol1970, the automakers are making what the customers want.  We just need to change what the customers want.
Great point I hadn't thought of how regressive they are.

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JLee

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #73 on: April 12, 2018, 08:20:45 AM »
Those who don't learn from history are destined to repeat it.  The US had tons of gas guzzlers, then the oil crises of the 70's hit.  Toyota and Honda came and ate Detroit's lunch after that because they had small efficient cars ready to go.

Same thing in 2008 -- I paid $16k for a 3yo Tundra with 36k miles on it because nobody wanted trucks when gas was $4/gal.

Means it's about time for another oil crisis.

Conveniently enough, here we go!

Optimiser

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #74 on: April 12, 2018, 08:53:13 AM »
All these reasons is why I support passing a law that would automatically raise the gasoline tax by 20 cents every year for the next 10 years.

I don't think gas tax is the answer.  We ought to tax the cars themselves, more tax for more emissions/worse MPGs. 

A gas tax is really really regressive, since most poor people can't afford to just buy a more fuel efficient car like the rich folks can when gas spikes.  If you expand the gas guzzler tax though, you impact the demand side of the equation, then suddenly its not so profitable for the automaker to make giant crew cab pickups anymore. 

I agree with ol1970, the automakers are making what the customers want.  We just need to change what the customers want.

If there is a sudden spike is prices, then you are correct, the transaction costs would be too high for a poor person to go out and find a more fuel efficient car. But generally speaking, the more fuel efficient vehicles are generally the cheaper vehicles (excluding EVs and latest hybrid tech). If gas taxes rose gradually, poor people could choose to buy inexpensive fuel efficient vehicles.

JLee

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #75 on: April 12, 2018, 09:04:32 AM »
All these reasons is why I support passing a law that would automatically raise the gasoline tax by 20 cents every year for the next 10 years.

I don't think gas tax is the answer.  We ought to tax the cars themselves, more tax for more emissions/worse MPGs. 

A gas tax is really really regressive, since most poor people can't afford to just buy a more fuel efficient car like the rich folks can when gas spikes.  If you expand the gas guzzler tax though, you impact the demand side of the equation, then suddenly its not so profitable for the automaker to make giant crew cab pickups anymore. 

I agree with ol1970, the automakers are making what the customers want.  We just need to change what the customers want.

If there is a sudden spike is prices, then you are correct, the transaction costs would be too high for a poor person to go out and find a more fuel efficient car. But generally speaking, the more fuel efficient vehicles are generally the cheaper vehicles (excluding EVs and latest hybrid tech). If gas taxes rose gradually, poor people could choose to buy inexpensive fuel efficient vehicles.

I remember econoboxes going for ridiculous money back in 2008-ish.  As fuel goes up, fuel efficient vehicles will get more expensive because they'll have more value.  Kinda like how house prices go up when mortgage rates are down.

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #76 on: April 12, 2018, 09:18:35 AM »
In the spring of 2007, gas prices were between $3 and $4. I owned a 1999 Tahoe. With the wind at my tail downhill, I got about 15 mpg and I easily drove 1200 miles per month. Assuming 15 mpg (generous!) and $3.50 gallon, that's $280 / month.

I was able to buy a top of the line trim level 2007 Honda Fit Sport for $15,700. I averaged 33 mpg over the next 4 years (I drive fast!) Assuming gas prices remained at $3.50 (they didn't), that would be a 4 year savings in gas of $7,330. (But even after trade-in, I spent ~$11,000 to buy the car. So I guess I never broke even. Fortunately, people can be smarter and buy used cars... right? They can do that?)

Yeah, all else equal, better gas efficiency is better. But all else is not equal.

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #77 on: April 12, 2018, 09:21:55 AM »
All these reasons is why I support passing a law that would automatically raise the gasoline tax by 20 cents every year for the next 10 years.

I don't think gas tax is the answer.  We ought to tax the cars themselves, more tax for more emissions/worse MPGs. 

A gas tax is really really regressive, since most poor people can't afford to just buy a more fuel efficient car like the rich folks can when gas spikes.  If you expand the gas guzzler tax though, you impact the demand side of the equation, then suddenly its not so profitable for the automaker to make giant crew cab pickups anymore. 

I agree with ol1970, the automakers are making what the customers want.  We just need to change what the customers want.
I can see the point about the regressiveness of a gas tax; but a gas tax economically deals with the vehicles on the road now and would be easier to tune over time. A tax on new vehicles based on efficiency might have the desired influence on demand (we've seen over the years that gas prices also influence new car demand) but fails to address vehicles on the road, does not promote maintaining efficiency, and could be circumvented by aftermarket modifications. If the vehicle efficiency tax is recurring as part of registration fees, it would be just as regressive as the gas tax.

I've been in favor of a revenue neutral fossil fuel tax for a long time. To avoid the tax shifting even more production overseas, imported goods would have to have a tariff based on the fossil fuels used to produce and transport them (lots of cheap stuff from China wouldn't be so cheap anymore - we'd want to make sure to coordinate the system similar systems implemented by other countries to avoid double taxing the fossil usage represented by imports). To ensure that the fossil fuel tax is creating the desired economic incentive for conservation everywhere, there should be no exemptions to the tax (even apply the tax to fossil fuel use within the government and non-profits). One way to address the regressiveness would be to make the program revenue neutral by returning to taxpayers it as a refundable tax credit. I would want the fossil fuel tax to be eased in (perhaps the law would specify how much the tax could be adjusted per year with a target emissions level that would determine if the tax should be increased).

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #78 on: April 12, 2018, 09:27:26 AM »
Having made a couple of European trips the past couple of years, I noticed that #1 - there's a lot more small cars there than here in the US.  #2 - there's a lot more diesel cars there.  Now I realize that the European economy is not a 1:1 comparison to the US, but I think that in the interest of best practices, there are some lessons that we should apply. 

We talk about infrastructure.  I believe that we should apply a heftier gas tax and it should pay solely for transportation infrastructure.  It would be okay to me to apply a 60/40 percentage more heavily slanted toward public transportation.  But if we make gas more expensive, it should pay for our transportation needs. 

I also think diesels make a lot of sense.  There is more energy in a gallon of diesel than in a gallon of gasoline.  I know that there are environmental hangups here, but I'd really like to have more diesel options here in the US.  It's more efficient and thus good for my personal economy.

On the subject of crime in public transportation, I think that we should also invest some of the aforementioned tax money on security.  Here in the Chicago area, the train system is wonderful from a convenience perspective.  And statistically, it's very safe.  But there are areas that make you feel hinky.  Place an armed officer at the stops/stations.  It's an unfortunate reality that there are bad people out there with bad intentions. 

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #79 on: April 12, 2018, 09:36:33 AM »
I thought of this thread on my way home from the pharmacy yesterday. I happened to pass by the elementary school in my neighborhood at dismissal. The school is zoned so that every kid lives close enough to walk there, and there are crossing guards and flashing lights in every direction.

There must have been 60+ clown cars idling out front. Every single one was an SUV. All of them <4 years old. Not a single compact or sedan in the bunch. Our town's median household income is roughly $72,000, but we're in NJ so we pay out the nose in property tax and auto insurance costs. Our town also has very little in the way of industry. Nearly everyone who lives here drives somewhere else to work. It makes no sense to own these SUVs!

I'm already swimming in a sea of clown cars!

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #80 on: April 12, 2018, 09:47:04 AM »
All these reasons is why I support passing a law that would automatically raise the gasoline tax by 20 cents every year for the next 10 years.

I don't think gas tax is the answer.  We ought to tax the cars themselves, more tax for more emissions/worse MPGs. 

A gas tax is really really regressive, since most poor people can't afford to just buy a more fuel efficient car like the rich folks can when gas spikes.  If you expand the gas guzzler tax though, you impact the demand side of the equation, then suddenly its not so profitable for the automaker to make giant crew cab pickups anymore. 

I agree with ol1970, the automakers are making what the customers want.  We just need to change what the customers want.
This thread is about clown cars.  Is it really a huge societal concern that poor people cannot afford gas-guzzling clown cars?  As others have mentioned, the more fuel-efficient vehicles tend to be the cheapest anyway. 

The U.S. has become far too vehicle-centric in the design of its infrastructure.  Poor people especially should be living in places where a car is not as necessary.  Maximize the dollars they do have instead of wasting them on transit.

If cars are expensive and gas is expensive, we'll adapt!  We'll have more bike lanes, buses will be utilized more commonly, sidewalks are omnipresent (have you ever noticed that some suburban areas don't have sidewalks!!?? I digress...), etc.

I don't think we can change what people want en masse until gas is expensive.

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #81 on: April 12, 2018, 10:18:51 AM »
Making some cars pay more than others for registration is a piss poor way of doing things. It leads market distortions where people try to game the system, and penalizes people who have trouble planning ahead.

Progressively raising gasoline taxes is much easier to implement, doesn't create sudden shocks, and doesn't shield people from the externalities of their actions because they happen to be in this or that tax bracket.

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #82 on: April 12, 2018, 10:46:16 AM »
All these reasons is why I support passing a law that would automatically raise the gasoline tax by 20 cents every year for the next 10 years.

I don't think gas tax is the answer.  We ought to tax the cars themselves, more tax for more emissions/worse MPGs. 

A gas tax is really really regressive, since most poor people can't afford to just buy a more fuel efficient car like the rich folks can when gas spikes.  If you expand the gas guzzler tax though, you impact the demand side of the equation, then suddenly its not so profitable for the automaker to make giant crew cab pickups anymore. 

I agree with ol1970, the automakers are making what the customers want.  We just need to change what the customers want.
This thread is about clown cars.  Is it really a huge societal concern that poor people cannot afford gas-guzzling clown cars?  As others have mentioned, the more fuel-efficient vehicles tend to be the cheapest anyway. 

The U.S. has become far too vehicle-centric in the design of its infrastructure.  Poor people especially should be living in places where a car is not as necessary.  Maximize the dollars they do have instead of wasting them on transit.

If cars are expensive and gas is expensive, we'll adapt!  We'll have more bike lanes, buses will be utilized more commonly, sidewalks are omnipresent (have you ever noticed that some suburban areas don't have sidewalks!!?? I digress...), etc.

I don't think we can change what people want en masse until gas is expensive.

I don't think we will adapt though.  What will happen is that the rich will still drive places they don't need to, still in gigantic cars, and the poor will be more and more fucked as their salary covers less and less of their daily needs.  Not only that, since the poor are the ones most priced out of automobile transportation, only poor people will want buses and trains.  The surest way to make something "uncool" and therefore unused is to attach the "only poor people use it" stigma.

You need to change the behavior of the people at the top to effect the culture, and if the rich aren't influenced to change their transportation habits, then no change will happen. 

simonsez

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #83 on: April 12, 2018, 12:14:07 PM »
All these reasons is why I support passing a law that would automatically raise the gasoline tax by 20 cents every year for the next 10 years.

I don't think gas tax is the answer.  We ought to tax the cars themselves, more tax for more emissions/worse MPGs. 

A gas tax is really really regressive, since most poor people can't afford to just buy a more fuel efficient car like the rich folks can when gas spikes.  If you expand the gas guzzler tax though, you impact the demand side of the equation, then suddenly its not so profitable for the automaker to make giant crew cab pickups anymore. 

I agree with ol1970, the automakers are making what the customers want.  We just need to change what the customers want.
This thread is about clown cars.  Is it really a huge societal concern that poor people cannot afford gas-guzzling clown cars?  As others have mentioned, the more fuel-efficient vehicles tend to be the cheapest anyway. 

The U.S. has become far too vehicle-centric in the design of its infrastructure.  Poor people especially should be living in places where a car is not as necessary.  Maximize the dollars they do have instead of wasting them on transit.

If cars are expensive and gas is expensive, we'll adapt!  We'll have more bike lanes, buses will be utilized more commonly, sidewalks are omnipresent (have you ever noticed that some suburban areas don't have sidewalks!!?? I digress...), etc.

I don't think we can change what people want en masse until gas is expensive.

I don't think we will adapt though.  What will happen is that the rich will still drive places they don't need to, still in gigantic cars, and the poor will be more and more fucked as their salary covers less and less of their daily needs.  Not only that, since the poor are the ones most priced out of automobile transportation, only poor people will want buses and trains.  The surest way to make something "uncool" and therefore unused is to attach the "only poor people use it" stigma.

You need to change the behavior of the people at the top to effect the culture, and if the rich aren't influenced to change their transportation habits, then no change will happen.
I think the last time the U.S. had $4 gas for an extended period, there were plenty of changes in consumer auto habits.  If they didn't stick, that at least tells me the general consumer is pretty elastic (and that there will still be an element of burn/use it all up before we are forced to use alternatives).  Imagine if the U.S. had $6 or $8 gas!

There will always be plenty of rich people spending exorbitant amount of money on bells and whistles regardless of the economic situation.  What they buy or how they think of things doesn't really alter my behavior much.  I'm sure there are plenty of people that are swayed by stigma  but I wouldn't expect to find many on this board or in the general lower and middle class (IMO - if stigma can alter your behavior to spend more money frivolously, you aren't lower or middle class, you're pretty well off).  The guy commuting by himself in his $60,000 7 seat vehicle who looks down on those that ride the bus somehow give me more satisfaction as I sit on the bus/metro browsing via the free wifi and doing the crossword and sudoku, gently unwinding after a day of work rather than sitting in traffic.  At least it would have if I still commuted in DC, now I work remotely and my commute is only 17 stairs and about 30 feet but I am still tickled at the notion.  I am thankful for the wealthy and their spending, though.  Various technologies get the kinks worked out that after they become more mainstream, they are more efficient and have a more favorable price point.

Some places you need a car more than others, I get that.  I think change can come from bottom up, or at least "middle up".  If enough lower class and middle class people do something or demand something, the powers at be will accommodate those demands so they can make a buck off of it.  If a certain layout/infrastructure or type of public transit isn't adequately suiting what people are asking for, then I would argue not enough are demanding it.  We might just agree to disagree. 

I'm normally fairly sympathetic to the bottom 20-30% of households and the barriers/systemic cycles they face but somehow the lower class of the U.S. bitching about how the still-subsidized cost of a gallon of gasoline is making the cost of their commute for their privately owned vehicle higher just doesn't tug at my heartstrings that much.

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #84 on: April 12, 2018, 12:29:19 PM »
Technically it will be trucks, not cars. Trucks have much higher profit margins than cars. Most are larger than typical passenger cars, and the platform is used for minivans and SUVs as well. There is less competition from foreign brands.

robartsd

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #85 on: April 12, 2018, 12:36:38 PM »
I don't think we will adapt though.  What will happen is that the rich will still drive places they don't need to, still in gigantic cars, and the poor will be more and more fucked as their salary covers less and less of their daily needs.  Not only that, since the poor are the ones most priced out of automobile transportation, only poor people will want buses and trains.  The surest way to make something "uncool" and therefore unused is to attach the "only poor people use it" stigma.

You need to change the behavior of the people at the top to effect the culture, and if the rich aren't influenced to change their transportation habits, then no change will happen.
Yes, many of the rich will still drive around in gigantic cars, but the middle class would likely make more practical choices. We're so far away from public transit being the practical choice that I don't think we'll get there (mostly due to how spread out our cities have become), so the practical choice will be more efficient cars and auto makers will adapt to the demand.

Paul der Krake

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #86 on: April 12, 2018, 12:50:50 PM »
I don't think we will adapt though.  What will happen is that the rich will still drive places they don't need to, still in gigantic cars, and the poor will be more and more fucked as their salary covers less and less of their daily needs.
Sounds good to me- tax the rich doing unnecessary harmful things, and use that money to fund alternatives for everyone else.

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #87 on: April 12, 2018, 01:36:51 PM »
Making some cars pay more than others for registration is a piss poor way of doing things. It leads market distortions where people try to game the system, and penalizes people who have trouble planning ahead.

Progressively raising gasoline taxes is much easier to implement, doesn't create sudden shocks, and doesn't shield people from the externalities of their actions because they happen to be in this or that tax bracket.

I agree that gas taxes can be part of the solution, but I don't think that someone driving a $140,000 6700 lb. Tesla Model X should pay nothing toward maintaining the roads that they drive on. It is great that they aren't burning fossil fuels, and they should pay less tax than a similar size ICE vehicle, but shouldn't they should pay something based on vehicle weight and miles driven?

ol1970

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #88 on: April 12, 2018, 01:38:55 PM »
Having made a small fortune in the clown car industry, I have never ceased to have been amazed at the prices of new automobiles and the escalation of features that are now considered the bare minimums.  At the family Thanksgiving when we'd go around and ask what we are thankful for, and my response was always "rear door map pockets on cars and trucks", you know those worthlessly small areas to hold gum wrappers and empty juice boxes...well I exaggerate a little bit, but its because of them I was able to retire in my early 40's. 

Someone asked me why they advertise trucks so much...it is because I believe the auto industry and their marketing people are absolute masters at convincing people to buy shit they cannot afford and don't need for their maximum profit.  Seriously people think they could not possibly live without power windows, heated seats, and air conditioning.  (I won't go into how safety and gov regulations have increased the price of cars, but for a interesting watch, YouTube the offset crash test of a '59 Bel Air to an '09 Malibu and tell me what car you'd rater be in)

What other industry (other than housing) has so thoroughly and successfully convinced us that we need to spend the equivalent of a years salary on their product?  I had a heated debate with my auto-executive friends last summer about the marginal utility of an automobile and about how once you go beyond $10k it is all about want and not need...but the average new vehicle sells for close to $50,000!?!?!  Hell I agree you can argue the number for marginal utility is a lot lower!  Stark reality is generations were all brainwashed by this amazing job they've done selling their product.  I will say though that I think the kids born in the last few years won't have any desire to actually own an automobile.  The industry will turn upside down over the next few decades and be more of a commodity type producer with a few niche specialty guys.  The change everybody wants is coming, not because of politics or opinions, but because the technology is going to drive how people get around.  It inevitable, but I very well could be wrong.


Paul der Krake

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #89 on: April 12, 2018, 01:47:10 PM »
Making some cars pay more than others for registration is a piss poor way of doing things. It leads market distortions where people try to game the system, and penalizes people who have trouble planning ahead.

Progressively raising gasoline taxes is much easier to implement, doesn't create sudden shocks, and doesn't shield people from the externalities of their actions because they happen to be in this or that tax bracket.

I agree that gas taxes can be part of the solution, but I don't think that someone driving a $140,000 6700 lb. Tesla Model X should pay nothing toward maintaining the roads that they drive on. It is great that they aren't burning fossil fuels, and they should pay less tax than a similar size ICE vehicle, but shouldn't they should pay something based on vehicle weight and miles driven?
Sure. To be honest I completely disregarded EVs because they're such a small portion of the private passenger fleet right now. Maybe we could bump their registration fees, or significantly tax electricity consumption of residential households over a certain threshold.

dogboyslim

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #90 on: April 13, 2018, 06:50:02 AM »
Is there a double-wide car yet? I really need one of those for myself. It would make my 10 mile round trip commute far more luxurious and I would be extremely safe in such a large vehicle.

The Canyonaro!

NoStacheOhio

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #91 on: April 13, 2018, 07:42:29 AM »
Making some cars pay more than others for registration is a piss poor way of doing things. It leads market distortions where people try to game the system, and penalizes people who have trouble planning ahead.

Progressively raising gasoline taxes is much easier to implement, doesn't create sudden shocks, and doesn't shield people from the externalities of their actions because they happen to be in this or that tax bracket.

I agree that gas taxes can be part of the solution, but I don't think that someone driving a $140,000 6700 lb. Tesla Model X should pay nothing toward maintaining the roads that they drive on. It is great that they aren't burning fossil fuels, and they should pay less tax than a similar size ICE vehicle, but shouldn't they should pay something based on vehicle weight and miles driven?
Sure. To be honest I completely disregarded EVs because they're such a small portion of the private passenger fleet right now. Maybe we could bump their registration fees, or significantly tax electricity consumption of residential households over a certain threshold.

Put home recharging stations on a separate meter? It wouldn't help if people just plugged into a regular outlet though (which might be adequate for overnight charging and low mileage).
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem, right?

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/digging-out-of-a-hole/

rothwem

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #92 on: April 13, 2018, 07:46:03 AM »
Making some cars pay more than others for registration is a piss poor way of doing things. It leads market distortions where people try to game the system, and penalizes people who have trouble planning ahead.

Progressively raising gasoline taxes is much easier to implement, doesn't create sudden shocks, and doesn't shield people from the externalities of their actions because they happen to be in this or that tax bracket.

I agree that gas taxes can be part of the solution, but I don't think that someone driving a $140,000 6700 lb. Tesla Model X should pay nothing toward maintaining the roads that they drive on. It is great that they aren't burning fossil fuels, and they should pay less tax than a similar size ICE vehicle, but shouldn't they should pay something based on vehicle weight and miles driven?

I think the idea is that they're incentivizing EVs in order to get people to switch.  They get a free pass for now, kicking the whole road maintenance issue down the line. 

PDXTabs

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #93 on: April 13, 2018, 08:12:19 AM »
This is why instead of counter-productive CAFE regulations that do nothing but encourage car makers to play games with car classifications (that SUV is actually a truck, har har!), we need to directly tax vehicles through a formula based on weight, emissions, MPG, CO2 emissions and miles driven.

I mostly agree, except that you could just tax the hell out of the fuel (at least until there are too many electrics).

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #94 on: April 13, 2018, 08:18:42 AM »
I haven't had time to read every response but wanted to post this nugget for though.  My state is proposing a tax on the most fuel efficient cars.  I think it was going to be $150/year to use the roads.  That's because are roads are falling apart, we don't have income or sales tax and the state heavily relies on the gas tax and tolls to fix the roads.  The efficient cars aren't paying their "fair share" per the state.

I think it's funny since other states are offering incentives to buy fuel efficient cars and my state is penalizing it.

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #95 on: April 13, 2018, 08:28:03 AM »
Nothing like living through an oil embargo, as I did, to really get a perspective of "pain at the pump"...  One thing to pay more, a whole other to not be able to buy.  God, are a lot of Americans absolute spoiled BRATS, with no discipline, no long term outlook, and just embarrassingly fucking lazy and wasteful.  While at it, anyone else notice all of the ads for HELOC's???  Yep, even the front page of the 'Area Shopper' here in BFE is a full page add for one.  "But it's different this time"...   

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #96 on: April 13, 2018, 09:43:51 AM »
All these reasons is why I support passing a law that would automatically raise the gasoline tax by 20 cents every year for the next 10 years.

I don't think gas tax is the answer.  We ought to tax the cars themselves, more tax for more emissions/worse MPGs. 

A gas tax is really really regressive, since most poor people can't afford to just buy a more fuel efficient car like the rich folks can when gas spikes.  If you expand the gas guzzler tax though, you impact the demand side of the equation, then suddenly its not so profitable for the automaker to make giant crew cab pickups anymore. 

I agree with ol1970, the automakers are making what the customers want.  We just need to change what the customers want.
This thread is about clown cars.  Is it really a huge societal concern that poor people cannot afford gas-guzzling clown cars?  As others have mentioned, the more fuel-efficient vehicles tend to be the cheapest anyway. 

The U.S. has become far too vehicle-centric in the design of its infrastructure.  Poor people especially should be living in places where a car is not as necessary.  Maximize the dollars they do have instead of wasting them on transit.

If cars are expensive and gas is expensive, we'll adapt!  We'll have more bike lanes, buses will be utilized more commonly, sidewalks are omnipresent (have you ever noticed that some suburban areas don't have sidewalks!!?? I digress...), etc.

I don't think we can change what people want en masse until gas is expensive.

I don't think we will adapt though.  What will happen is that the rich will still drive places they don't need to, still in gigantic cars, and the poor will be more and more fucked as their salary covers less and less of their daily needs.  Not only that, since the poor are the ones most priced out of automobile transportation, only poor people will want buses and trains.  The surest way to make something "uncool" and therefore unused is to attach the "only poor people use it" stigma.

You need to change the behavior of the people at the top to effect the culture, and if the rich aren't influenced to change their transportation habits, then no change will happen.

That's exactly what would happen.

If gas quadrupled in price, my savings rate would drop but I could easily carry on my same lifestyle.  Someone just barely getting by would be fucked.

dogboyslim

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Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #97 on: April 13, 2018, 10:43:02 AM »
Having made a couple of European trips the past couple of years, I noticed that #1 - there's a lot more small cars there than here in the US.  #2 - there's a lot more diesel cars there.  Now I realize that the European economy is not a 1:1 comparison to the US, but I think that in the interest of best practices, there are some lessons that we should apply. 

We talk about infrastructure.  I believe that we should apply a heftier gas tax and it should pay solely for transportation infrastructure.  It would be okay to me to apply a 60/40 percentage more heavily slanted toward public transportation.  But if we make gas more expensive, it should pay for our transportation needs. 

I also think diesels make a lot of sense.  There is more energy in a gallon of diesel than in a gallon of gasoline.  I know that there are environmental hangups here, but I'd really like to have more diesel options here in the US.  It's more efficient and thus good for my personal economy.

On the subject of crime in public transportation, I think that we should also invest some of the aforementioned tax money on security.  Here in the Chicago area, the train system is wonderful from a convenience perspective.  And statistically, it's very safe.  But there are areas that make you feel hinky.  Place an armed officer at the stops/stations.  It's an unfortunate reality that there are bad people out there with bad intentions.

Europe is much more densely populated than the US, and the majority of US cities were either developed primarily around auto mobility or were adapted to it.  This gives US roadways much more space, hence the bigger vehicles.  I drove an Audi A2 around Europe in the early 2000s.  The infrastructure would not work for an F150 even if you were willing to pay for the gas.  US infrastructure almost encourages them.

Gas taxes won't pass as a means to influence infrastructure.  With the rise of electric vehicles, there are enough political/geographical differences that gas tax wouldn't suffice and would be politically untenable.  It would have to be a wheel tax, or some other tax to get passed IMO.

RE: Diesel.  See particulate emissions, VW sham on the EPA, DEF.  Diesel is dead in the US except for trucks.  Even VW has basically quit pushing them.

On transit security...mostly agreed, but that's too many cops getting bored, looking for "trouble."  I'm not sure that is the correct answer.


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  • Posts: 1791
Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #98 on: April 13, 2018, 01:19:06 PM »
Biking for the win! Although it would be nice if they brought back small 4 cylinder station wagons like the Ford Focus or Jetta. I think a lot of people get SUVs because there really isn't much choice between a tiny hatchback or an SUV for those that need a larger cargo area.

Go look at the MPG of those vintage wagons. LOTS of new cars and crossovers - some bigger - better that vintage MPG.

I have a medium size SUV that gets better fuel economy than the tiny SUV we have from 20 years ago. Loads more comfortable and quiet at highway speeds. Our medium size SUV MPG is about the same as our 18 yr old car.

saijoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 84
Re: we'll soon be swimming in a sea of clown cars
« Reply #99 on: April 13, 2018, 01:23:11 PM »
I don't disagree with much of anything you're said.  I don't like the idea of government trying to change our behavior, but we do need to nudged at times.  A gas tax works well until people overwhelmingly buy electric cars.  But in this case, the nudge works. 

Then, of course, you'd have to go to something like a "wheel tax".  But a Volt has the same number of wheels as an F150.  And if you wanted to go by weight, a Volt likely weighs about the same as a Mustang or Camaro.  The long pole in the tent is the fuel, so I think that there needs to be a hefty gas tax today to nudge the population into becoming more fuel economy conscious.  But obviously there would have to alternate funding in the future because of the unintended (or maybe intended) consequences of using less fuel.