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Big Oil And The Auto Industry

October 25th, 2008 22:31 pm | by Ed |

Are either lying to us or they're totally incompetent. That's the only conclusion that I can draw. Why would I say such a thing? Well, in the course of my reading today I ran across a most fascinating little gem over on the Popular Mechanics site.

There I found an article about some folks doing some really interesting work in new car designs. A small company called Aptera Vehicles is putting out an all electric car with a 120 mile range before it needs an 8 hour recharge. Next year they're planning on a plug-in hybrid that they're expecting to get 300 mpg for the first 120 miles and should never get LESS than 130 mpg. The only downside to these cars is that they're two seaters with aerodynamic shapes to reduce drag. A lot of people might need to think about weight loss diet pills to get into the things.

Fortunately, they're also working on something larger, an actual four seat vehicle that'll have a bit more room in it. One of the great things about these cars is that they're not some kind of science fiction "car of the future" crap. They're real vehicles and they're even priced so that real people have a chance at getting one. I'll admit that *I* consider $30,000 to be high, but there's a lot of people that would consider that a bargain.

The real crime here is that this kind of thing is showing us what many have believed has been true all along, that "big oil" and the automotive industry *could* have done this kind of thing years ago if they'd wanted to. They didn't because there was more money in keeping everybody tied to gasoline and petroleum products.

electric cars, hybrid cars, plug in electric, 300 mpg, high gas mileage, gas mileage

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  1. Chris G on 26.10.2008 at 09:23 (Reply)

    I agree that the automotive industry could have done this a long time ago. But I think this represents an amazing lack of insight on their part rather than any scheme to make more money. The market drives the products. We, the market, continued to ask for bigger and faster vehicles with more horse power. We asked with our mighty dollar. Some companies created EV vehicles, but ultimately didn’t sell many proving there was not yet any market. Sort of like how McDonalds has healthful alternatives, but not many buy them.

    Now that gas prices have soared recently in a slumped market, everyone is scrambling look for a better alternative. One that doesn’t hurt the pocketbook as much. Unfortunately, automakers are behind the power curve. If they had something like the Volt or the Aptera ready for mass market earlier this year, they would have sold out, making them lots and lots of money! Can you imagine the first movers advantage they would have had? The market is now primed and ready for EV and more efficient Hybrids. The automakers saw the trend too late.

    1. Ed on 26.10.2008 at 22:10 (Reply)

      A lack of insight? Yeah, that’s true. But that lack is caused by the fact that they have been blinded by greed for years.

      It’s true that people spent their money on the gasoline monsters, but it’s also true that only recently have high efficiency and alternative fuel cars been allowed to get much in the way of good press i.e. an image that doesn’t smack of the science fiction / James Bond / “it’ll never happen for real” treatment that big oil and automakers have painted them in for years.

      The market may drive to a degree, but the major money still has the final say.

      btw- McDonald’s might have healthful alternatives, but they’re known for the burgers. Besides, which, the “healthful alternatives” that I’ve tried from them largely blow chunks… THAT’s why they didn’t sell, they may have been good FOR you, but the just weren’t any good.

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