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Can anyone explain it?

Discussion in 'Economics, Business, and Taxes' started by Richard Hammond, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. Richard Hammond

    Richard Hammond Council Member

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    Not sure if this is the correct place for this post, but here goes anyway.

    Why is it, that in Europe & the UK getting a car that gets 75 miles or more to the gallon of gas/diesel is very common & the selection of vehicles is vast & abundant, but we don't get those same options or cars made available to us here in the USA?

    I have heard its because big oil has our politicians in their pocket & they keep those vehicles from being made available to us, all for their financial gain.

    Do any of you have any insight on this?

    Thanks
    Richard Hammond.
     
  2. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    Sure. Europe basically taxes fuel oil to reflect its actual "loaded" cost (ie cost of shipping, air pollution etc). That essentially adds $4/gal. Assuming a 15k annual driving distance (europe is closer than usa where we are more like 20k-25k) the cost diff between 30mpg and 75mpg is about 300 gallons or $1,200 per year. Over a 5 year hold time on a car that's $6,000 premium.

    and gas prices have a "recency" effect on the pocketbook. So even fairly modest changes in gas prices have fairly significant impacts on vehicular choices.

    There is also the issue of the TYPE of roadways. Much of Europe and UK (and Ireland) has fairly narrow roadways. so something like a Chevy Truck would have difficulty navigating those streets. Even the VW Tuareg and Porsche Cayenne are narrower than may "crossover SUVs"...like the Suburban or Explorer, and shorter wheelbase as well.

    So there simply is a market demand for more fuel efficient vehicles.
     
  3. Richard Hammond

    Richard Hammond Council Member

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    I'm sure we have the same market & demand for those fuel efficient vehicles, I know that I for sure would buy 1 for myself if it were available to me here in the USA.

    What are your thoughts on big oil keeping them from being made available to the American populace?
     
  4. NightSwimmer

    NightSwimmer Senator

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    To begin with, your assertion that "in Europe & the UK getting a car that gets 75 miles or more to the gallon of gas/diesel is very common" is quite simply not true. Some small hybrids might approach 75 MPG under optimal conditions.

    Many of the smaller, high mileage vehicles sold in Europe will not pass crash test standards here in the US. Another problem is finding a market for such vehicles. Regardless of your gut instinct, actual sales of smaller vehicles such as the Smart Fortwo in the US market are quite limited.

    I'm no fan of "big oil", but neither am I a conspiracy theorist.
     
  5. Richard Hammond

    Richard Hammond Council Member

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    I can get you a list, but you can start with the Volkswagon mini van the POLO. it's a mini van & gets 75MPG. I'll pull up mu Top Gear video where the hosts drive 3 cars over 750 miles on 1 tank of gas & the tanks were all less than 13 gallons, thats what got me started looking into this in the first place. Also from you post it looks as though you didn't really research this at all before posting. So where did you get your information?
     
  6. MaryAnne

    MaryAnne Governor

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    I do! You heard it right Richard! BTW,I paid 3.54 for gas yesterday.
     
  7. MaryAnne

    MaryAnne Governor

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    That will be changing now that Obama has increased the mileage on vehicles. And is weaning us from oil.
     
  8. OldGaffer

    OldGaffer Governor

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    Almost all of those high mileage Euro vehicles are diesels. The VW Diesel Rabbit got 50 mpg back in the early 80's. Americans are not in love with Diesels, they generally have low HP, slow acceleration and make a lot of noise, also diesel is not as available at the local service station. You can get a Prius or a Volt right now if you want great gas mileage.
     
  9. OldGaffer

    OldGaffer Governor

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    Ask and you shall receive.
     
  10. NightSwimmer

    NightSwimmer Senator

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    The POLO is a hybrid vehicle. Looks like you didn't do any research either. Do a few days worth of research and get back to me. But if you still want to talk conspiracy theories, don't bother.
     
  11. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    Except we do not. Don't make the mistake of conflating your personal views with what the market generally demands. We drive longer distances, on wider roads, and diesel isn't available at every gas station in part because diesel refining in the USA is not as clean as in the EU. the new Diesel standards just kicked in this year, and MFGs were waiting for them to kick in before building new diesel cars in the USA.

    So its not so much a case of "big oil" KEEPING these cars from being available to the US populace - it is that the infrastructure isn't there to support them (all the 75mpgs are diesels) and oil cos don't want to invest in building out the infrastructure until there is demand
     
  12. Friday13

    Friday13 Governor

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    I'm in CA, OG, and diesel is available at almost every "local service station".
     
  13. degsme

    degsme Council Member

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    And thats in part because CA is pushing this at the state level. Not so in WA and elsewhere.
     
  14. NightSwimmer

    NightSwimmer Senator

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    Richard,

    I find the bribe concept an oversimplification. The oil industry lobbies Congress, but I don't believe they've pressed for legislation to decrease mileage requirements in vehicles. There is certainly a cultural preference for larger vehicles in the US. There are practical reasons for that, as degsme has already described. If there is anything devious about this entire phenomenon, it is in the marketing.

    It would seem logical to me that steel producers and auto manufacturers have more to gain from producing larger vehicles than do oil producers. I suppose all of them do theoretically benefit from a larger market or a larger profit by producing larger vehicles.

    If there is a car that is sold in Europe, and it meets all US safety and emissions requirements, and there is a viable market for the car in the US -- then someone will sell it here. I don't think that big oil could prevent them from doing so.
     
  15. fairsheet

    fairsheet Senator

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    I don't imagine the average Euro would agree that he has more auto-market choice, than we do. He may poke fun at some of the choices we make, but still...in terms of sheer volume in terms of "choice", my guess is that the average Euro is seeing that we Americans probably "win" that one.

    Anyway.....American auto-marketeers ain't stupid. IF a 1-liter diesel that gets 60mpg and costs $3-4k out-the-door more than its gas counterpart would sell in the U.S., the American auto-marketeers wouldn't hesitate to bring it on over.
     
  16. Richard Hammond

    Richard Hammond Council Member

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    There is not a single gas station that I go to that does not have diesel & the cars I saw on top gear all had good acceleration & HP, I'm guessing that you also buy into the myths & misinformation that keeps Americans from demanding the high mileage vehicles that are common in Europe & the UK.
     
  17. Richard Hammond

    Richard Hammond Council Member

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    Looks like you need to actually learn about researching. So here's a link for you, but this is the only time I'll do your work for you.




    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Polo
     
  18. Richard Hammond

    Richard Hammond Council Member

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    What I would say to you is


    "Don't make the mistake of conflating your personal views with what the market generally demands." there is a HUGE demand here in America for vehicles that get 75MPG, & I can prove it. Put them on the market & watch'em go.

    Tell sell like hot cakes on a cold morning.

    Also There is not a single gas staion in my town & columbus ohio, louisville Ky etc that doesn't sell diesel along with their gas.
     
  19. Richard Hammond

    Richard Hammond Council Member

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    So then really it's just not greatly abundant at the one station you use in your small town in WA, because its greatly abundant everywhere else in America, I know this because I drive all over the country.
     
  20. Richard Hammond

    Richard Hammond Council Member

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    Really ???? You haven't seen all the crap being kicked up because Obama wants 50MPG cars in the near future?


    Do you not get the news where you are?
     

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