Friday, July 01, 2011

Consumer Reports concedes.....

....that they don't know squat about physics, the Carnot cycle, or the tradeoffs inherent in engineering.  How so?

Simple.  They came out in favor of a national 62mpg requirement for new vehicles, ignoring the fact that there is no vehicle capable of carrying a family that can achieve this currently--unless you count the "pie in the sky" concept cars with a roof of solar cells, fully hybrid drive, aircraft-style carbon fiber construction, and such retailing for a mere six figures.

Reality here is that we've been using solar cells for half a century, hybrid drive for close to a century (think the diesel-electric locomotive in railroads), carbon fiber for decades, and fuel cells for half a century as well.  The "easy" improvements in cost and reliability have been discovered for these, and hence there is no tenable conclusion than that Consumer Reports either does not know, or does not care, that a 62mpg CAFE standard would result in new cars that make the Prius look like a limousine.

Or, more likely, it's going to keep them in 20 year old SUVs with visible emissions.  Either way, it's safe to say that educated consumers are wise to ignore Consumer Reports.

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