The Oldsmobile is gone, but the Obamobile is coming soon. The Obama Administration’s control over the auto industry has extended to designing our cars, as he announced harsh new mileage and emission requirements.
Obama’s claim that costs of a new car will “only” rise by $1,300 is attracting skepticism. If costs are higher, his claim that drivers will recoup the price through fuel savings will also prove false.
Meeting the new standards also means less capacity and less safety, possibly thousands more traffic deaths. A simple errand like a trip to the lumberyard gets complex if neither you nor a friend has a pickup, SUV or other vehicle that can handle more cargo than a grocery sack. The Associated Press reports that soccer moms will have to give up SUV’s and minivans; features like air-conditioning must be changed or sacrificed.
Edmunds’ AutoObserver asks a key question in its story headlined, “New Fuel Rules: Automakers May Build Them, but Will Customers Buy Them?”
And how about safety? As USA TODAY reports:
The National Academy of Sciences, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Congressional Budget Office and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have separately concluded in multiple studies dating back about 20 years that fuel-economy standards force automakers to build more small cars, which has led to thousands more deaths in crashes annually.
Some claim that safety will improve once everyone is forced into driving smaller cars, because they won’t be outweighed as SUV’s disappear. But as the Insurance Institute has noted, smaller cars will always be at an impact disadvantage against commercial trucks and against stationary objects such as trees or poles.
Obama is changing our very culture as he dictates a future that limits us to Obamobile-style vehicles. He’s starting by restricting choices, or at least making choice unaffordable. It’s a throwback to the Model T era, when Henry Ford offered buyers “any color, as long as it’s black”. But beware. Obama looks to California for guidance, and California is already considering a ban on black cars.
Meantime, what will Obama drive? He’s driven around in an armored Cadillac that gets eight miles to the gallon!