By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com
Bizarrely, and unlike almost every other industrialized country, the US has fuel efficiency standards for cars. Each corporation (Ford, Chevy, etc.) has to meet certain fuel economy standards called the CAFE standards.
Let me start by saying that I think that this is governmental over-reach. In virtually every other part of life we let the market decide the required efficiency. We don’t have required efficiencies for gas-fired power plants. More efficient plants occur as a result of the market. We also don’t have required efficiencies for cell phones. If they burn through the batteries, they don’t sell. The market has always handled efficiency quite … well … efficiently.
So I object to ANY automotive fuel standards as both totally un-necessary, and worse, market distorting.
Here’s one important way it distorts the market. “Fuel Economy” is measured in a very curious way. Work efficiencies are usually measured per pound or per kilogram moved. Efficiency would relate to how much energy it takes to move say a hundred kilograms a distance of 10 metres horizontally. If you can move the same weight at the same speed using less energy, you have a more efficient setup.