Zorba the Hutt (zorbathut) wrote,
Zorba the Hutt

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Mark Morford rants about fuel economy.


There's this curious assumption people have that everything can be improved significantly with technology. I imagine it stems from computers, because, hey, computers have been getting frighteningly faster over time. Funny thing is, mechanical devices just don't seem to have the same research curve.

With a car, you've got this minor problem called "physics". A car is a ton and a half of metal and plastics. Accelerating that thing up to 75mph uses a significant amount of energy. Keeping it at 75mph against wind resistance uses quite a lot also. There's simply no way to avoid this. Not only that, but internal combustion engines aren't perfectly efficient. They can't be. I'm told it's possible to calculate the maximum efficiency, and it's around 40%. And we're approaching it. Good ol' second law of thermodynamics, eh?

But here's the sad thing. Here he is ranting about how his car gets less fuel efficiency than his old car, and how it's impossible to get a car with good fuel efficiency, and you know what?

My car gets 35mpg easy. Often more.

Of course, it's a little two-door sedan. And it doesn't have an automatic transmission, or air conditioning, or, for that matter, power steering. But I'd bet you his does. Hell, his is even a 4-door. And he's talking about how it's impossible to find an efficient car? Sure . . . if you want a car that big, with that many features, yeah, you're not going to get great mileage.

But apparently - judging by the car he purchased - he doesn't consider mileage that important either, so why is he telling us we should?
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