only 3 MPG in 80 years. We can do much better America
3rd August, 2009 @ 6:11 a.m. (California Time)
It's much worse than that. In 1911 the Baker Electric went 110 mile range and got 250mpg energy equivalent so in 100 yrs almost eff has went down by 1000%!! And Jay Leno's still runs on some of the original batteries.
Plus Model T's were made for ethanol as gasoline was not widely available and farmers could make ethanol.
3rd August, 2009 @ 9:47 a.m. (California Time)
Capitalism. Money. Sad.
3rd August, 2009 @ 2:50 p.m. (California Time)
Ok, I can agree that the US MPG could have been better, BUT The model T Only did a max of 40 MPH and at that speed you would be lucky to get 13 MPG.
Test any modern car at the Model T's average speed and I am sure it would beat the old T by more than 3 MPG.
What ever happened to balanced/unbiased reporting?
Dan Pereda Jr
4th August, 2009 @ 12:12 a.m. (California Time)
Safety and pollution regulations are apparently left out of the whole equation here. I mean, seriously, we could build a kick-ass two-stroke low-weight car that would have plenty of vroom, and still get better mileage than a Prius.
It'd spew a lot of stuff into the air, and pretty much any accident would be fatal, though.
4th August, 2009 @ 1:37 a.m. (California Time)
Ok, first of all the Model T could only go 30 MPH. Furthermore it was powered by a 22 horsepower engine. I don't work in the auto industry nor do I live in the region, but it would be nice to get both sides of this issue.
For too long in America, gasoline or oil has been one the cheapest natural resource. When America clamored for 50 years for more luxuries in their vehicles the focus wasn't on fuel economy, but rather the thousands of other conveniences pioneered right here in the good old U S of A. It is only now our initiative to create more fuel efficient vehicles because out of shear necessity. With eroding resources and increased competition for those very same resources we are being pushed to innovate in a technology that will keep us at the forefront of competition.
4th August, 2009 @ 7:37 a.m. (California Time)
MPG does not sell cars. Power sells cars, styling sells cars, cupholders sell more cars than MPG.
Car makers could increase average MPG by 40% or better with current off-the-shelf* technologies, with little or no impact on performance. They will not spend a nickel to implement those technologies until they are convinced it will make them more money (or the Feds make them).
variable valve timing
NuVinci-style CV transmission
lighter construction with composites and lighter metals
*smaller vehicles, designed for maximum utility
*In the US, redefine Federal regulations to permit importation, or domestic manufacture, of Kei-type vehicles
4th August, 2009 @ 10:11 a.m. (California Time)
Ref; iApplicat, This is good reporting. The idea is that they have taken a complete average; that is to say, they have not touched the data but just looked at the distance driven divided by the fuel consumed. Where they get the distance from, I'm not sure so that is debatable. But the final conclusion is that we have a much improved machine in terms of chemical output and comfort, but that the final milage remains pretty much the same. The real question to be asked, is how has this happened. Has the car companies planned for this? Maybe so. One of their concerns may be how often would a driver like to stop for gas (or pay per week.) From the engine efficiency, and tank size, they may then work out the rest of the power consumption in the car (AC, power controls, added body weight, aerodynamics etc...)
I'd like to see a TV show (and internet posted since I don't have a TV) like "Pimp my ride" where they pimp the car for efficiency. Wheel covers, streamlining, different AC, ect... It could be like Junk Yard wars where two teams are given beaters (those old 12 miles/gallon cars), a time to fix it up and 2 gallons of gas and to see who makes it the furtherest.
Like they said in the post, it is not the new cars, but the old clunkers that are the problem. I live in Baja Mexico, and we get all the US rejects. Old heaps of metal smoking and spewing everywhere. One of those wrecks has the negative effects of 100 new cars!
4th August, 2009 @ 10:52 a.m. (California Time)
G'day, You are not comparing like with like, e.g. both vehicles traveling at a constant speed. In this situation, the modern vehicle's superior aerodynamics would result in a better economy figure.
A modern engine IS more efficient than the Ts four pot. Compare the brake mean effective pressure (bmep)that each engine produces, calculate the brake mean effective torque and power of each engine and compare at similar revs.
Modern vehicles are necessarily heavier. You want to be comfortable? You need a body. You want good seats, a heater, A/C? Extra mass. Safety standards imposed on designers also adds weight. You want brakes on all wheels? You want cleaner exhausts, this compromises efficiency. Extra mass. Weight or mass is the biggest killer of economy due to the desire to accelerate to a desired speed. f=ma!!
Please consider these points (just a few) before you condemn the modern car. Also, check out the official economy cycle used to arrive at the economy figure and compare it with how the T was used to arrive at its figure.
Also look at the way you use the modern car, I bet you couldn't cruise at 60mph plus in a T. If you want better economy, buy a European, Japanese or Aussie car. Remember, your domestic manufactures built the vehicle that YOU wanted to buy.
As far as Green house "gases" are concerned, CO2 comprises a mere 3.7%. By far, the greatest "greenhouse gas" is water vapour which is a product of fuel cells.
So please stop trying to stir up panic, the modern car IS more efficient and the global warming cannot be influenced by humans. Anthropological Global Warming is a myth.
The Earth warms and the Earth cools, we cannot change this fact. Actually, over the last 10 years, the average temperature has FALLEN by 0.75 degrees Fahrenheit.
The government lies to us, we go to war, we lie to the government, we go to gaol.
5th August, 2009 @ 10:18 p.m. (California Time)
It is common sense that when O2 and N2 is consumed burning oil, coal, and natural gas releasing CO2 and NO2 into the atmosphere, that CO2 and NO2 being larger will hold in more planetary heat than just O2. Given the number of places reporting drought, melting snow cover mountain tops, and/or historic massive flooding from heavy rains, that does sound like the predicted side effects of man made global warming. Given the increase in CO2 in the air we breath, that alone is reason enough for concern. Given the drop in known oil reserves, that alone is reason enough for concern.
If many American had not super sized their vehicles to avoid the effects of the first set of CAFE regulations involving cars, car fleet mileage in the US would have gone up 30%.
9th August, 2009 @ 9:42 a.m. (California Time)
I will repeat something I read, but can't say who it was by, sorry.
He was asked, in a socio-political context (progressive/conservative) Do you believe in progress?
he replied "Its a good idea."
I guess that's how I feel when I say I'm still looking for intelligent life on THIS planet.
Progress, it would be good to see it in actuality some day.
Ask yourself "what's an economy for?". Then look at how many law writers and how many reform resisting kstreet lobbyists we have supported in those 80 years. Ah some progree ...
Or a simple question: why do we worry about pollutants in partspermillion, when we really should be worried about partspermile? Pollution went down as efficiency went down. Some progress that gave us!
10th August, 2009 @ 12:32 p.m. (California Time)
Modern vehicles are not necessarily more aerodynamic than 30's vintage cars. See ecomodder.com and aerocivic.com. Modern cars are 'styled' by salesmen rather than aerodynamically designed by scientists: with draggy open wheel wells, no belly pans, and no boat tails. If we all drove aerodynamic cars with the engine efficiencies we have now, we would export oil again.
15th August, 2009 @ 1:30 a.m. (California Time)
Great use of out-of-context quote in this lame article!
"air-conditioning alone decreases the fuel efficiency of a car by as much as 12%"
Uh, no. The article linked actually states, "... as much as 12 percent in stop-and-go traffic, so consider cracking the windows. But at high speed, driving with the windows open [will] decrease the overall efficiency of the vehicle."
If one must use the A/C, it is more efficient at highway speeds to have it on, than to have the windows open, which dramatically increases aerodynamic drag.
6th October, 2009 @ 1:53 a.m. (California Time)
Really sad that US vehicles has only rise to 3mpg by 80 years. What are they doing for 80 years, only making money?
30th August, 2010 @ 11:08 p.m. (California Time)
they should make cars more economical, cost effective as well as smoother and faster.
14th September, 2010 @ 3 a.m. (California Time)
nowadays the cars are very expensive, and the auto insurance is also expensive. i try to find one for my pocket but i didn\'t find. why not the government reduce the prices?!
2nd October, 2010 @ 2:19 a.m. (California Time)