Costs vs. Costs

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I was thinking – as I was driving my pick-up to the lumber yard – about what the Biden Thing’s “rule” that all new vehicles will average 55 MPG by 2026 will mean, as a practical matter.

I thought about my pick-up, which averages maybe 23 MPG. It costs me more than a small hybrid car – the only kind of vehicle that can average 55 MPG – in terms of what it costs to fuel it. But I pay more for gas for the sake of an increased benefit the Biden Thing either doesn’t understand or doesn’t want me to have.

Several of them.

One of them being that a Prius cannot haul a dozen 80 pound bags of cement and a bundle of 16 2x4x8s in its bed – because it hasn’t got one.

Or the strength to handle such a load.

My truck does.

It is built to be capable of carrying such a load – and not only because it has a bed. It has structure – underneath the bed – sufficient to bear the weight of a dozen 80 pound bags of cement (which is just shy of 1,000 pounds) plus the additional weight of the 2x4x8s.

Which is why it doesn’t – why it cannot – average 55 MPG. For essentially the same reason that a container ship cannot do 50 knots.

You can have speed – or you can haul. You cannot do both. At least not easily – and definitely not inexpensively.

No pickup extant averages better than 30 MPG – and those that do are powered by diesels, which the Biden Thing excoriates in spite of their fuel efficiency advantages (which ought to tell you something about what the Biden Thing is really after).

So how will pick-ups (which fall under the same “rule” as cars) double their average mileage in just four years’ time?

They won’t.

What they will do is become much more expensive – either via the fines which will be applied for not abiding by the new “rule” or as a result of desperate attempts to close the gap between mid-20s on average and 55 MPG, average. This will include such measures as partial electrification (i.e., hybrid drivetrains – more about this elaborated at greater length in my review of the 2022 Audi A6, which is already partially electrified) and more in the way of transmissions with eight, nine ten (and possibly, more) speeds; basically, any imaginable Rube Goldberg contraption that gets somewhat close to the new magic number.

Irrespective of the other numbers – as in what it’s going to cost you, in terms of what you’ll be paying for it.

And also in terms of what it’s going to cost you when you can no longer afford to pay for it.

Have a look at the cost of the pick-ups you can buy that do abide by the Biden Thing’s rule. They are all electric, of course – fully, not partially. These being exempt from rules pertaining to miles-per-gallon (range-per-charge and time-to-recharge being separate cost considerations the Biden Thing is unconcerned about lowering the price of).

These are model like the electric version of Ford’ F-150 pick-up, which is expected to carry a starting price of more than $40,000 – which means an increase in cost (vs. the non-electric version, which stickers for about $29k to start) of about ten thousand dollars.

Talk about savings!

Yes, the electric F-150 has additional capabilities (as well as liabilities). But the capabilities – including not being subject to the Biden Thing’s new rule – are irrelevances if you can’t afford to spend ten thousand dollars more for them.

Where will that leave those who cannot afford all these “savings”?

Maybe someone should ask the Biden Thing.

No one does. At least, no one working for the PR agency of the government-corporate nexus that is styled the “media” – which it is to the extent that it used various mediums, such as TeeVee and the Internet and such to spread the message. But it long ago stopped asking hard questions – and demanding straight answers.

What we get, instead, is a steady diet of press releases issued by the government-corporate nexus, via the mediums. They “cover” such topics as this frightful sickness that doesn’t kill 99.8-something percent of those who get it – and how you’ll “save” so much money by having the government de facto outlaw vehicles you can afford and never mind about the choices you’ll no longer be allowed to have.

Let’s Go Brandon!

. . .

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  1. Is not the ultimate goal to force Americans out of their cars for good? I thought, Eric, that you had touched up on this subject in one of your columns. And what better way to force Americans out of their vehicles, than to make it too expensive for anyone but the “elite” to have one? As for these electric, pregnant roller skates? Hell, you would lose your entire charge just warming the damned thing up when a -40 below, dark Winter morning rolls around. Never mind trying to get to work. Or wanting the cabin of your vehicle marginally warmer than outside. By the way, Merry Christmas, Eric, and to everyone here. I always enjoy the comments and conversations on this site.

  2. I needed a couple clamps but they were too expensive. I dug around in the barn and finally realized the old ones were still good. I’m going to try to make fuel out of plastic but then I’ll have to find a worn out diesel.

  3. Isn’t the definition of a law / rule something that everyone agrees on, in order to live in harmony/etc? So, that means all the laws in the entire world are null & void, because no-one even voted on them — dictators made them, so laws only apply to the dictators that made the laws, yet they say they’re exempt from their own laws. Go figure.

    Time to wake up and realize that we must vote on all the laws, otherwise they don’t mean anything and we don’t even have a society.

    • KH the Law is the collected pile of the whims of who ever happened to be in power at a given time.

      In the US those get passed to the Deep State, which then issues endless regulations which have the force of law.

      Couple that with a government run “education” system, and corporate mass/social media, and the only wonder is that matters aren’t even worse.

      If you have not already read The Law (Bastiat), this may be of interest to you.

      • Furthermore… the whole purpose of laws is so that people don’t need a dictator. Yet we have dictators that make the laws. Ma don!

        Egads, this dictator/government crap has been going on for eons on Earth. Sheesh, we humans just never change anything — we’re pathetic!

    • Gang rape is democracy in action, so voting on laws is not a solution. We are at the end of what happens to all government given time. Rome lasted about 400 years, give or take. We’ve gone 250, which given electronic communication should be about the expected life span. They end in tyranny. As their real power declines. they try to prop it up with ever increasing abuse of their people.

  4. Silly guys….trying to use reason and logic to explain the mindsets of those that have neither. 😉

    We know they are asking for the moon. Maybe one day when I have enough time I am going to go back and assess what Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton announced for each of their administration’s MPG figures….most importantly, were any of them ever met?

    Personally, the government could say they want MPG of 350. We can all ask for ridiculous things and dream up idealistic proposals, but that doesn’t mean they will ever be accomplished.

    Below is an article from 2011 – Obama wanted MPG of 54.5 by 2025. How is that going?

    It is all bull shit. Us giving voice to these obscene and completely irrelevant absurdities we are taking our eyes off the ball…..the erosion of our Constitutional rights. As Uncle Joe and his Cohort of Idiots keep dangling carrots in front of us, they continue to take our most fundamental and basic principles – free speech, the right to bear arms, the rights of people to be secure in their persons, homes, and papers (aka the Fourth Amendment). People are being replaced by robots and technology so advance and our personal property and privacy are being devoured daily.

    • You have no Constitutional rights. You have natural human rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Which like any guarantee is only as good as the paper it’s written on.

      • Its only as good as the willingness to back it up. The Constitution was badly flawed, but it was the best they could get passed at the time. Absent the Bill of Rights, even that wouldn’t have been enough.

        But the people and their expectations have changed over time. The general population has been degraded to the point that far too many are simply ignorant, apathetic, obedient, consumerist sheep. Not the type of people who can be expected to stand up for what little remains of their natural rights.

        Sadly, the Republic is long dead. Killed by an endless series of tyrants. But as long as the flame of liberty persists, there is hope for the future. Let us focus
        on what we can do now, to move us towards that brighter future.

  5. anon 1

    The best all round vehicle ever made? Probably a VW Mk 1 pickup truck. It is a cult vehicle now, worth money, no depreciation you get appreciation, plus utility, reliability and the best fuel economy.

    A Mk 1 VW Golf 1800 lb., was fitted with a Mk 4 VW turbo ALH diesel, it was fast, 0 to 60 in about 6 seconds and got 65 mpg highway. That is better then an EV in lots of ways.

    Do the same thing with a VW Mk 1 pickup (the Caddy), then you have the utility of a pickup and 60 mpg on the freeway, maybe the best small vehicle ever made. forget about 5000 lb EV’s.

    The VW ALH 4 cyl 1.9 lt. turbo diesel was so good it was swapped into lots of small trucks, etc., more then 450 lb ft torque possible, great fuel economy, can last 500,000 miles.

    this one has a gas engine

    • I have a 1982 VW Mk 1 pickup that i built up 20 years ago. It has a Mk 1 GTI (1984) 1.8L and gearbox. Standard mods; intake, cam, exhaust. CIS injection, so no electronics! 4 wheel discs, 16″ alloys, A/C, cruise control. Great daily driver, and handy for hauling and towing!

      • Very nice, I had a 1984 Mk 1 GTI with a 2 lt aba block and the GTI 1.8 head with cis, headers, a great car, wish I still had it.

        Just missed buying a caddy, a Mk1 VW pickup with an azz diesel swap recently.

        Now I have a 1995 Mk 3 GTI with a 1.8 20V turbo stage 2 engine swap, 2300 lb, 240 hp, so quick.

  6. I’ve always wondered if the PTB has built a psy-op around the cost of gasoline. The price is reported on weekly, there’s “apps” to find the cheapest gas in your area, etc. If anyone did the real math of total cost of car ownership a vehicle built to last with a powerful 6 or 8 cylinder engine could run for decades and hundreds of thousands of miles, as many here have observed. Even at $5/gallon the total cost in the long run would still be less than owning a modern car with the tiny turbo 4 working itself to death, not to mention the inevitable crapping out of the electronics. Would probably take the lifespan of three new cars to equal one older one.
    More proof that it has nothing to do with the mileage and everything to do with fencing in your mobility.

    • anon 1

      back in the old days you could buy a Mercedes diesel (good for 1 million miles) and own one car your entire life), now you have to buy one every 10 years because they are all junk, great marketing………is that why they are banning diesels in cars?

    • Fuel costs have NEVER been the major cost of driving. In fact a small fraction of it. Way back in the late 80s when I was deducting vehicle costs, the IRS allowed a flat rate of $0.50 per mile in lieu of recording actual expenses. Which means it costs more than that. Fuel being just above a dollar a gallon, sometimes, and my truck getting 15-17 mpg, I was paying roughly 6-7 cents per mile for fuel. So fuel was a bit over 10% of costs. If not for the outrageous fuel taxes, by which the state makes more off a gallon of gas than the oil companies do, it would be even less.

  7. It appears that the measure directly regulated by the EPA is a fleetwide CO2 emission limit of 161 grams/mile, effective 2026. See Table 1, page 3 of the fact sheet:

    Two derivative values appear in Table 3:

    EPA CO2 standards expressed as “MPG equivalent” ** — 55 mpg

    EPA estimated real world label value *** — 40 mpg

    ** MPG equivalent is the MPG assuming the GHG [Greenhouse Gas] standards are met exclusively by reducing tailpipe CO2.

    *** This is a value that would be comparable to what a consumer would see on a fuel economy label and reflects real-world impacts on GHG emissions and fuel economy that are not captured by the compliance tests, including high speed driving, air conditioning usage, and cold temperatures.

    Some news articles cite the 55 mpg figure, while others reference the 40 mpg value.

    Which one should be used to calculate the percentage increase in MPG from 2021, I couldn’t tell you.

    I doubt the Regan Thing could either, assuming he’s even read it … dickhead.

  8. In college I had a very used 1982 Volkswagon Jetta Diesel.. 5 speed manual of course.

    That car was fantastic. It reliably got 50mpg no matter how I drove it. Always started and never let me down. It wasn’t ‘quick’ but I could scare any passenger on demand.

    Lost the car in my first ugly ‘divorce’. My ex continued to drive it until it had over 300k on it and she forgot to check the oil (it drank a quart every 2k or so) and fried the bearings.


    cheap sedan, simple maintenance, diesel + tires + brakes


    What the Hell are we doing wrong?

      • Exactly Eric. The Deep State is the result of it being nearly impossible to fire a member of the so called Civil Service. Politicians and department heads come and go. But the people of the Deep State are there for decades. They are the real government. The talking heads in congress pass some vaguely worded nonsense,
        leaving it to the Deep State to fill in the details and enforce the resulting regulations. That pile up and pile up and pile up. Eventually, it becomes too expensive to conduct many types of business within the Empire. Hence the rise of Globalism. But that’s another rant.

        • Fire everyone occupying every office not specifically, explicitly authorized by the Constitution. Then we can talk about who gets elected, and how to conduct a fair, fraud-free, honestly counted election.

          • Not an option. The real owners of the country wouldn’t allow it. Any attempt to move in that direction and Bad Things™ would happen.
            We had a president who wanted to disband the Company. We all know what happened to him.

              • Oh, there is no doubt who owns this country (and the world for that matter). Anyone who has been paying attention knows that.

                As long as government “education” and the corporate mass/social media continue, they will have nearly unlimited cannon fodder.

                Wars of attrition are so 20th century.

                Think differently.

    • anon 1

      I had a 1992 Golf 1.6 lt na diesel, 60 mpg hiway, 40 mpg city, no computers, no tuneups, had 260,000 miles ran perfect, saved so much in fuel costs. if you want cheap transportation buy one of these not a 5000 lb EV.

      Later got a Mk4 Jetta alh turbo diesel, then got stage 1 tune, 20% better fuel economy, 25% more power, was fun to drive and unbelievable 60 mpg hiway, 40 mpg city, but the alh has a powerful computer, more complicated, but easy to tune.

    • The original Honda CVCC, Geo Metros, Plymouth Colt. There were a bunch of little cars that got close to 50 mpg back in the late 70’s early 80’s. And that was with carburetor and no overdrive. Throw in just a little bit of modern tech and cars like that should easily get 70 -80 mpg or more.

  9. Back when I was a senior in high school in the early 80’s, I swapped a Mercedes 200D into my 49 Ford F-1. It was my college vehicle- I got over 30MPG. But, I also got passed by VW buses and logging trucks going uphill. Had it not been for a manual 4spd and first gear, it wouldn’t have worked- but it did. I got horsepower fever a couple years later and swapped the Benz out for a Mustang 250- still trying for a mix of reasonable performance and mileage, but the 250 never turned in better than about 15MPG in the old girl.

    I also just got a wild hair and went and looked up the MPG ratings for a new Tahoe on, which is actually a pretty nice site but does downplay the MPG of older cars by a lot (you can go and look up the original numbers which I have found to be more accurate to my cars). Interestingly, the best MPG is still turned in by the 3.0 V6 turbodiesel at 28 highway, and the hybrid with its 6.0 V8 and CVT is a distant second with 23 highway. But guess which one will be pushed?

    • I do have to say, if I could pick up the drivetrain from a totaled Tesla, I’d be interested in sticking it under an antique. My old stuff seldom makes a long road trip and it would be fun. I’m sure hacking the Tesla system would be enlightening also…

      • My brother built an EV himself out of an old civic chassis. He was pretty excited about the project with high expectations. Until normal things like heat (in Nebraska) got in the way. It never got close to his expectations and he scrapped all of it for parts.

        • anon 1

          You can build your own, you get a car from the junk yard or from any source that has a broken engine, you could get them for $100, then you get a used electric motor and a controller, plus maybe 12, 12 volt car batteries, you can do this for maybe $2000 or less, I have seen them for sale for $3500. the range might be 60 miles? why pay $40,000 for an EV?

          • That’s exactly what he did, except he used higher end batteries. I think he was getting around 60-70 miles, but then if he needed heat or AC it dropped a lot. 60 miles doesn’t get you far in Nebraska.
            So while it might work to run errands, it’s very impractical to go anywhere out of town and you still need another car.

    • anon 1

      there used to be stories about Italy… was dangerous to drive a Ferrari, new Porsche or other high end vehicle on the street, armed criminals would hijack the vehicle, kidnap you and go after the family for ransom….

    • For how long will it power your house? Heck, we’ve gone without power for two plus days before. An EV in the rural America is about as useful as …Dick Cheney writing a book about gun safety.

  10. So where are Home Depot and Lowes lobbyists?
    They stand to lose all the business that comes from home owners and local home repair and renovations unless they expand their delivery services ten fold.
    Is Amazon getting into the lumber and concrete business with “free” delivery?

    • Home Depot rents big trucks in our area.

      Of course, being Austin, a few months ago, I watched a couple trying to load 2x4s into the back of a Model X without scratching any part of the interior. Hilarious.

      • I work for the Uk version of Home Depot.
        It’s funny watching people trying to get stuff in the average size car we have.
        Just today a lady brought her new oven back in the store, ” It won’t fit my car, can I leave here to get somebody to pick it up?”

  11. But Eric, Biden doesn’t need a pickup, so you don’t either. After all, only the deplorables need them, and they are actually “insurrectionists” incognito.

    • You forgot to add “therefore, you should get vaccinated.”

      For a moment there I thought this was an excerpt from a speech made by Uncle Joe Stal–er, Biden himself.

  12. Eric,

    Do you have a Maverick right now?

    I’ve seen a review, but it was from a site/individual I view as a shill for the dealers.

    No dealer is going to let a Maverick go out the door for $22k

  13. The EV F150 will be nothing more than a rich person’s toy for the wealthy with the “show ya” personality, as in:

    “EV pickups aren’t practical for doing much.”

    “Show ya.”

    I don’t think it is a coincidence that the Biden Thing announces his rule at the same time reviews are starting to hit for Ford’s Ranchero Redux.


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