Every Car a Prius – or a Device

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The federal apparat no one elected just decreed that all new vehicles must average 50.4 miles-per-gallon by 2031 – which is the apparat’s method of effectively outlawing the manufacture of every vehicle that isn’t a small hybrid such as a Prius or a battery powered device by 2031.

It’s as clever as it is vicious. The apparat – the arrogant minions who are the apparat – can wash their hands like Pilate and say: We aren’t outlawing anything. People are free to buy whatever they like. And this is true, in a pedantic/legalistic sense. Just as it is true that in most states it isn’t illegal to own a rifle capable of selective fire. It’s just so expensive – due to the enormous fees involved that one must pay to be legally allowed to possess such a rifle – that most people cannot afford to own a selective-fire rifle.

But no “ban” has been imposed, you see.

Similarly, in order to be legally allowed to manufacture vehicles, the car companies must comply with the apparat’s decrees, such as the one just decreed requiring cars to average 50.4 MPG. Any car that averages less becomes a drag on the car manufacturer’s fleet average – and if that average works out to less than 50.4 MPG, the car manufacturer is fined, in order to “discourage” – that is, to punish – the manufacture of any vehicle that does not average 50.4 MPG.

The actual “discouragement” is applied to the would-be purchaser of the vehicle that does not average 50.4 MPG – by making that vehicle more expensive. Via the passing-on of the costs of “noncompliance” – i.e., the fines, which are folded into the price of the vehicle, making the “noncompliant” vehicle more and more expensive, for which the vehicle’s manufacturer is blamed. See that part about vicious and clever.

This gradually winnows-down the sales of such vehicles to the point that only a few such are available – to the few such who can afford them.

This is why anything equipped with a V6 engine is already almost unaffordable – and anything with a V8 is exotic (and exotically priced). Ten years ago, V6 engines were commonyl available in modestly priced vehicles and V8s, though more pricey, weren’t out of the financial reach pf middle and even working class people. Now they are – and now you know why.

Soon – sooner than 2031 – everything else will become unaffordable.

Including heavy-duty trucks (i.e., 2500 and 3500 series trucks) used by contractors, tradesmen and other people who work for a living. They won’t be required to average 50.4 MPG – yet. They’ll only be required to average 35 miles-per-gallon – or about the same as a current year gas-engined, compact-sized economy car.

In order to average 35 MPG, these trucks will have to be partially or entirely “electrified” – and that is going to cost buyers a great deal more than the “$700 lifetime savings” in fuel the apparat tosses them as a booby prize. Take a look at what a current half-ton (i.e., 1500 series) electric pick-up costs. Now imagine what it’ll cost to buy a 2500 or 3500 series electric truck – and what that’s going to cost people who pay the contractors, tradesmen and so on – who will pass on the costs of these “efficient” devices to customers.

As far as passenger vehicles (cars and light trucks):

The 50.4 MPG decree will mean the only vehicles available by 2031 will be small hybrid cars such as the Prius – which are the only kinds of vehicles that can average 50.4 MPG – and battery powered devices (i.e., electric vehicles) because devices are given credit for averaging 70, 80, 100 (or higher) “MPGe,” a greasy gas-mileage “equivalent” that was created to encourage the manufacture of more devices, because they improve the fleet average math.

And since cars like the Prius are too small to be practical for most people who need something larger, the effect will be to force most people into a device that is going to cost them a great deal more than the putative “$600 in lifetime savings” on gas the minions of the apparat tout as their gift to the people they’re pushing out of vehicles and into devices.

This is all going to happen a lot sooner than 2031, by the way.

It is already 2025 – in terms of the model year. The 2024s are already last-year’s vehicles. And the vehicle manufacturers are planning the 2031 models – which will be available in 20230 – right now. They are also not going to put a lot of R&D money into designing cars for the in-between years because they know they won’t be able to recover their R&D costs, because by 2031, any vehicles they design for 2026, 2027, 2028, 2029 and 2030 will only by sales-viable for a very short time.

As an example: Dodge had to stop selling the V8 Charger (and Challenger) last year because Dodge knew that it could no longer sell such cars – and offer such engines – except at prices that most people could not afford (due to the costs of the fines Dodge would have to pass on in the prices of these cars) which would mean not enough sales to justify making them anymore.

But at least Dodge had time to recover the R&D costs that went into the Charger, Challenger and other such models – as well as the Hemi V8, which is now off the market. The time is much shorter now.

2031 is less than six calendar years away – or less than one model cycle away from today. What that means is a car designed for 2026-2030 will only be sales viable for about five years and that’s not enough time to make-back the R&D investment. Unless the car is a device. Unless it is either partially or entirely “electrified.”

And that’s how it’s being done. One decree at a time – and no need to pass any laws that might be repealed.

. . .

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40 COMMENTS

  1. Bring these back for poor slaves….soon there will only be $50,000 EV’s…the slaves will walk…

    1966 Fiat 124 Berlina 4 door sedan….4th biggest selling car in history…
    It ate VW beetle sales…..it forced VW to develop the Golf

    they are very simple, you can fix it yourself…the new cars are unfixable, computer filled crap….

    5 passenger, 4 wheel disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, no computers, all analog…better handling then sports cars…

    historic 4 cylinder engine designed by Lampredi…the Ferrari engine designer…great engine…

    curb weight 1885 lb….new cars are 3000 lb and up…

    New MSRP $2000….$19,000 in 2024 dollar
    One sold on BAT recently for $13,000

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcZbE-X6KFw

  2. Diesels already get far more the 50 mpg combined fuel economy ….so they were banned to push EV’s…. that get 25 mpg….

    Top 5 most fuel efficient diesel powered cars….

    1… Peugoet hdi combined 71.4 MPG
    2… Vauxhall turbo diesel….combined 70.6 MPG
    3… Skoda tdi…combined 68.9 MPG
    4… VW Golf tdi…combined 67 MPG
    5…Mercedes C class combined 63 MPG

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/FmBr6Us5uh0

  3. (Accidentally replied to an unrelated comment thread. Should be stand-alone)

    Lol wtf, a Prius doesn’t even get 50 MPG but 40 something. If it goes through it’s going to be so bad, PLUS we’ll have to see more tattooed fat freaks walking outside when they can’t afford a car. Every day we get closer to a utopia!

    Does anyone know how one would buy a car in Mexico and drive it back and do all the legal bullshit to register it in a US state?

  4. Here is another monkey wrench to the equation: As of Monday, 6/10, Saudi Arabia will ditch the dollar, and stop pricing their oil in U.S. currency. From what I have read. It is not a far stretch to imagine that they can also refuse to take worthless dollars to purchase their oil, seeing is how our stupid government and Congress members want us dependent, or just plain back in the stone age. Lord, I thought my grocery bill was high now, I can only imagine how much worse it will be in the not-too-distant future: If the shelves will be stocked at all? Never mind being able to drive anywyere. That old saying of “may you live in interesting times” just grew more interesting.

    • ‘Saudi Arabia, led by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, has chosen not to renew a security agreement with the US, set to expire on June 9, 2024. This means Saudi Arabia can now sell oil and other goods in currencies like the RMB, Euros, Yen, Yuan, and more, instead of just the US dollar.

      ‘It’s a big change because it challenges the dominance of the petrodollar system, which has been in place since the US stopped tying its currency to gold in 1972. This decision is expected to speed up the process of moving away from the US dollar.’ — Binance

      As fallout from the Ukie war, idiot Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen decided to confiscate Russia’s US dollar foreign exchange reserves. This was a fatal blow to the dollar’s role as reserve currency, making USD holdings an unacceptable security risk for countries outside the US-NATO axis.

      Then the US went all-in supplying mad dog Israel with money and arms to slaughter 40,000 civilians in Gaza, disgusting the entire civilized world including the Gulf states. Israel is our misfortune.

      • Lol wtf, a Prius doesn’t even get 50 MPG but 40 something. If it goes through it’s going to be so bad, PLUS we’ll have to see more tattooed fat freaks walking outside when they can’t afford a car. Every day we get closer to a utopia!

        Does anyone know how one would buy a car in Mexico and drive it back and do all the legal bullshit to register it in a US state?

  5. Eric, it’s hard to read the new 3/4 ton truck regulations. I wonder if there are loopholes that ford will just make the truck have a higher gvw to skirt them or something. Shame to ruin those trucks they are some of the only simple, rugged v8 vehicles left worth buying new.

  6. So folks of the future will tell stories of how wealthy people generally were in latter half of the 20th century and later people of the early 21st century threw it all away? Lose control of the oil supply and you lose control of modern society. Once the oil supply is lost then people will eventually make their way back to the family farm or starve as no superior substitute has been found.

  7. The only question is will a future administration stop the madness or try and fail?

    Who would have thought that Cuban’s would be driving full size cars while Americans are all riding bicycles to work? From a future headline.

    With the way the apparatchiks are running the electric system into the ground I bring you this old joke:

    What did liberals use before candles? Electricity!

  8. A point is getting hit where the regulators went too far and will be reigned in.

    These regulators are so out of touch it reminds me of the bureaucrat in the movie “Barron Munchausen“ who was more concerned with optics than his own citizens. (See scene where he executed a solder for repelling an attack by an enemy).

    There is such a thing as a bridge too far (or a regulation too far.). Safety or efficiency at any cost is not a cost worth paying. Cars cost 50k. I. remember when anything over 30k in the 90s was considered “luxury” and taxed 10%. It was rescinded.

    Congress can fire them. And eventually when the car industry starts to collapses it will happen. No one wants to pay for this anymore.

    Deregulation is coming.

    • ‘I remember when anything over 30k in the 90s was considered “luxury” and taxed 10%.’ — Stephen

      Survivors of the Biden era will recall luxury EeeVees getting subsidized by 10%, or even 20% if you live in a DemonRat state with its own subsidy. And STILL they don’t sell. 🙁

  9. I’m not a Republican and I lean to the Independent/Libertarian side of the auto issues. Here are some Republican views;

    “Republicans criticized the new standards, saying they essentially decide for the public which vehicles they should buy. “These regulations represent yet another step toward an unrealistic transition to electric vehicles that Americans do not want and cannot afford,” said West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.

    House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, called the rule a “misguided electric vehicle mandate” that will force the U.S. to rely on China and other foes for critical minerals needed for batteries”.

  10. ‘Is Your Driving Being Secretly Scored?’ asks the New York Slimes? The answer: ‘Duh! Let us count the freaking ways!’

    https://dnyuz.com/2024/06/09/is-your-driving-being-secretly-scored/

    One variety of the scam is through phone apps that ostensibly serve other purposes, such as Life360, MyRadar and GasBuddy. They forward their data to Arity, which creates driving scores for insurance companies.

    Arity “uses advanced technology to determine if a person is driving or riding as a passenger.” Talk about invasive. Can you see my raised middle finger in the phone camera?

    Now, in lieu of phone apps, the mafia can lift data straight from the vehicle’s telematics. ‘Connected Analytic Services is a Toyota affiliate that anonymously shares location and driving data with partner insurers,’ says the article. One Toyota owner got the company to cough up ‘a Microsoft Excel file with time-stamped lists of his every offending event and the latitude and longitude where they occurred.’

    The article cites a public notice from the Connecticut insurance commissioner:

    ‘When you purchase a newer vehicle with electronic features, it’s possible that the terms of your purchase agreement may allow for automatic enrollment in a data collection program operated by the vehicle manufacturer. These programs track your driving behavior, including speed, braking, and acceleration. This information may be shared with third parties, including insurers.

    ‘In addition, if you download an app provided by the vehicle manufacturer, you may be agreeing to allow the manufacturer to collect and sell your driving data.’

    Bottom line: everything is spyware. Disclosure is minimal, weasel-worded, and designed to mislead. The only protection is shunning ‘connected’ vehicles made in the last dozen years.

    • And in Europe, there’s something called On-Board Fuel Consumption Monitoring:

      “Since January 2021, all new cars and small vans that can run on liquid fuels have to be equipped with approved on-board fuel consumption monitoring (OBFCM) devices before they can be placed on the EU market. These devices record the vehicles’ fuel or energy consumption and the total distance driven.

      This on-board data has to be collected by the vehicle manufacturers – either through data transmission over-the-air, or when vehicles are brought in for repairs or services – and sent annually to the Commission.”

      It’s all about fuel consumption and how big the mismatch might be between what the manufacturers state and what drivers achieve in real life, and what that means for see-oh-too “emissions”.

      • So they saddled every vehicle with monitoring devices, when the data they wanted could have been obtained through a smaller-scale study — and probably HAS been.

        Now the cost of data collection far exceeds any benefit obtained from it.

        Concerned about liquid fuel supply for Europe? Give my buddy Vlad P a call. Tell him Jim sent you.

  11. “But Dan Becker at the Center for Biological Diversity said he fears loopholes will let the industry continue to sell gas burners. He also is afraid the industry will get away with doing little during the first three years of the standards, which could be undone if former President Donald Trump is reelected”

    This is one reason why the DC swamp hates Trump. I’m not Republican or Democrat but I will not vote for Biden and his equity and diversity loving socialists/communists.

    “President Joe Biden, who has made fighting climate change a hallmark of his presidency, cited “historic progress” on his pledge that half of all new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. will be zero-emission by 2030.

    “We’ll meet my goal for 2030 and race forward in the years ahead,’’ Biden said in a statement Wednesday”

    I will vote for Trump even though I know he is a failed human being. At least he talks a good talk. Biden actually tells us that we will be controlled by a central/international elite with the USSofA being the leading force using of course the army/police as his enforcers. I have a feeling that America has a very large population of Socialists/Communists and Biden and his equity/diversity/LGBQTXYZ crowd will win. I hope not but many young people and single women have already been propagandized/brainwashed into thing that the government will supply us with all our needs and take care of us.

  12. If the car manufacturers had any balls they would go back to making cars that people actually wanted, and then prominently note in all their commercials, magazine advertisements, etc. that the excessive price of these cars is entirely due to government regulations. Maybe that would get the average citizen motivated to flame their (non)representative Clowngress critters to finally get the EPA et al to back off their micromanaging BS. Not holding my breath.

    • This why I left the industry – the auto industry has become a willing participant to their own demise.

      You are exactly right. If the OEMs were at all interested in their customers, it would be easy to print a simple mirror hang tag detailing how the regulatory apparatus and the associated added costs that the customer must pay in order for the OEM to sell that car.

      Example:

      Air bag costs
      Rear back up camera cost
      AEB cost
      ABS / ESC cost
      Costs associated with CAFE compliance
      Costs associated with carbon credits
      Etc.

  13. With the exception of Thomas Massie and Rand Paul, I can’t think of any congresscritter that would listen to our pleas. All the others –including my congresscritters– are too busy worrying about funding chewish genocide and ukraine.

  14. The gravest threat to our liberty, our property, and indeed our very lives does not reside in China, Russia, nor any other foreign nation. It resides in Washington DC, and has for at least 30 years, since the breakup of the USSR.
    It truly is an insane asylum, run by the inmates.
    Its willful destruction of the auto industry, and our ability to purchase and operate a car, is proof positive. They do nothing that improves our welfare, and much to diminish it.

  15. There are people out there blaming the rising prices of automobiles & practically everything else and other problems on Trump, corporations, or even Putin, instead of where the blame BELONGS…..Runaway government and unelected, power hungry government bureaucrats decreeing ever more regulations. Not to mention the global elites who WANT to price ordinary people out of a whole lot of things such as automobiles and houses.

  16. Dot gov wants to do an ICE vehicle holocaust!

    That means everybody’s cars and trucks and motorbikes, everything. Being a slave won’t be that bad. You should be able to live with it. It’ll be your fault.

    We are all Native Americans now. The bison will tell you all about being nearly holocaust-ed themselves. There is approximately a 300 head herd of bison at a ranch 15 miles south.

    “California, where our women have more plastic than a Honda.” – somebody said it

    .

  17. The WSJ must be reading your blog, Eric:

    No One Wants a New Car Now. Here’s Why.

    “…lately another, stranger element is showing up… a motivated belief among consumers that automakers’ latest and greatest offerings—whether powered by gasoline, batteries or a hybrid system—are inferior to the products they are replacing.

    …[some] are just trying to hang on to the good things they’ve got, like three-pedal stick-shifted manual transmissions, virtually extinct in new cars. Or built-in CD players. What unites them is the conviction that older cars are not just cheaper, but better—and that touch screens suck.”

    https://archive.is/nm4c6

    • Taken a step further, perhaps we need group protests at the entrance to every dealership where the message is “Don’t by new; it’s all crap now!” How can anyone going to argue the opposite?

  18. They’ll have no choice but to lighten up. I imagine a vehicle that has no airbags, no safety cage and a roof that will crush in a roll-over accident. But in exchange for the retro-safety engineering, it will be laden with “driving aids” that will prevent the driver from exceeding PSL, getting too close to any other object, and will anticipate turns and curves. Someone tailgates it? It will just slow down and pull off the road when there’s room. You’re still driving it, but without the control.

    And it will check the weather. Snow in the forecast? Well, better plan on working from home because your car won’t be leaving the garage.

    Don’t believe it will happen? Well, I have a drone that basically will do most of that today, except for the weather check. The Skydio autonomy engine uses NVIDIA chips and 6 12 MP cameras to scan and build a 3D map of the area to maintain a 1M bubble around the aircraft. It simply will not fly into an area if it cannot maintain that safety bubble. Not only that, but it will route itself around obstacles without pilot input. If it can’t find a solution it will simply hover until the pilot backs off the sticks.

    Frustrating? Heck yea! But that’s not why I bought that drone. It does a bunch of other party tricks that don’t involve manual piloting at all, such as following a subject automatically, capturing hundreds of still images for building digital 3D models, and for flying indoors or GPS denied environments. For manual flights I break out my more traditional aircraft (which have better optics anyway).

    I doubt many people will be able to buy a “manual car” in a few years, at least one that isn’t covered in foam padding or requires a special license.

    • The alternative is that manufactures will just pay the fine and be done with it. One benefit of inflation is that many fines aren’t indexed. And often times we see “record fines” handed down of millions of dollars (Apple and Google’s fines in the EU come to mind) that actually are only about 1 week’s revenue for the firms. People’s brains fog over when handed big numbers. It looks good in the news, but reality is basically a parking ticket.

      • There’s assessing fines, and then there’s collecting fines. Two different things.

        Sometimes companies negotiate down/away fines by proposing to spend the money on some kind of facility upgrade that the regulatory agency likes (and that, entirely coincidentally, will financially benefit the company in the long term).

        Sometimes they tie the agencies up in court for a while until the problem goes away.

        There are lots of tricks. Some are dirtier than others. The game is fixed, mostly in favor of whoever is currently a major player.

        They don’t care to defy the agencies too much, because there is generally no profit in it, and also because if they do, they draw negative attention onto themselves, and they know that there are probably a million little things going on every day that could get them shut down if anyone ever looked, as in *really* looked (they can always call in their buddies at the other agencies, too). If they play along, and make sure the paperwork is in order, then no one really looks and it’s pretty much business as usual. Maybe with a slight modification here or there, but that’s for the peons to figure out (and it’s probably another corner that eventually gets cut—and the difference between “how you’re supposed to do it” vs. “how it really gets done” grows just a little bit wider.)

  19. “Joe Biden has dealt another body blow to America’s gas car manufacturers after his stuttering roll-out of EV charging points was slammed as ‘pathetic’.

    The Transportation Department told automakers they have eight years to squeeze another 16 miles per gallon out of their cars if they want to stay in business – while the fuel efficiency of their trucks will have to double.

    Friday’s edict came just weeks after the EPA slashed the limits on tailpipe emissions as part of the White House pledge to ensure that more than half of all new vehicles sold are electric by 2032.

    But the administration admitted last week that just seven EV charging stations have been built since a $5-billion program was signed off in 2021.”

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13507831/evs-electric-vehicles-gas-emissions-biden-tailpipes.html

    • Ol’ Joe won’t be alive to see the damage he’s done. Or maybe everyone is just going along with the plan, nodding in agreement while on the way home from Thanksgiving dinner, talking about putting dad in a home.

      Metaphorically of course. Biden is a proxy for the federal bureaucracy, which seems to have outlived its fellow nation-states, and now, despite holding so much wealth and power, has become unable to see that they’re now the problem. The bureaucracy has to give up the power, but won’t, because that’s all that remains. And the alternative, redistribution of power to the edge, is abhorrent and could be dangerous, so they continue to hold tight to the reign(s).

  20. Living in Central Texas, we get to see the cars which middle class families can purchase in Mexico, and, in the last few years, the contrast has started to be noticeable.

    It doesn’t seem like the Mexican government is following the US lead.

  21. I got a feeling at this rate, unless a wholesale change occurs this November, we will not have a country to speak of in six years. Best odds say we have a economic collapse (you can’t keep printing & spending forever) or the other scenario would be a surprise nuclear attack on us from any likely enemy due to Washington’s arrogance and stupidity. Food and shelter may end up being priority over all else. I hate being pessimistic but if you honestly assess the whole situation, you’ll see it and have a nagging sense of it.

  22. ‘outlawing the manufacture of every vehicle that isn’t a small hybrid such as a Prius or a battery powered device by 2031’ — eric

    Today the WSJ features a think piece on ‘What Comes After the SUV.’ Given its assumptions that EeeVees and self-driving vehicles will continue to gain market share, the answers are uninspiring: urban ‘toaster’ cars, luxury vans and such.

    Pininfarina has identified renewed interest in sports cars and convertibles, says the WSJ. Also, in pragmatic, inexpensive but still distinctive cars —“four wheels, a steering wheel and a USB plug.” It cites the low-cost Romanian automaker Dacia as exemplifying this “nonpremium” category, likening it to Volkswagen and Toyota before those brands moved upmarket.

    But the article concludes with a claim that the SUV is the ne plus ultra of vehicle configurations — despite the premise at the top of the article that buyers can’t afford them anymore.

    https://archive.ph/X2Vnf#selection-2757.19-2767.48

    Clearly, the hidebound auto industry needs a much harder whack to jar it out of its complacency. Innovations likely will come from overseas — China, India, eastern Europe — since fedgov ‘crats have effectively frozen the US market into a few defined categories and propulsion systems, whose configurations are effectively dictated by their suffocating regulations.

    I have become comfortably numb.

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