They Just Outlawed Trucks

  • July 31, 2023

The federal regulatory apparat – which has become an unelected legislature – has just decreed that there will be no new trucks by less a decade from now.

“Decreed” in italics because that is precisely what has just happened.

No law was passed, but last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (note the blasé bureaucratic terminology; it is just an “administration,” ands yet it does a great deal more than merely administering) decreed that by 2032, new vehicles must average at least 58 miles-per-gallon.

As of today, there isn’t single new car available that can comply with this decree. “Comply” in italics to mark the outrageousness of the “administration” of such decrees, which no one in this “democracy” of ours ever had a chance to vote for – or against.

The only car that comes close to being able to “comply” is the Toyota Prius, a small hybrid – and even it doesn’t quite get there.

It averages 57 MPG.

How will trucks “comply” with a federal decree that requires them to average 58 MPG? The answer is – they won’t. Because they can’t. It is a functional impossibility. In order to be a truck, it must be capable of doing work – such as carrying and pulling heavy things. This makes trucks heavier – by a lot – than a small car such as the Prius. As an example, the Ford F-150 (not the electric version) has a curb weight of 4,465 lbs., notwithstanding that its body is made of aluminum. It has a steel frame – onto which the aluminum body is bolted. This is how trucks are laid out because it is the best layout for the type of work people expect trucks be able to do without breaking.

A small car like the Prius has an integrated body and frame – this is called a unibody – and it helps reduce weight; even so, the 2023 Prius still weighs 3,097 lbs. And it is a near-miracle that something that heavy manages to almost “comply” with the federal regulatory apparat’s decree.

But it required a hybrid drivetrain – in a small car – to get it almost there.

It will require a battery-powered drivetrain to get there in a truck. Or – for that matter – anything else that isn’t a small car.

And that is the purpose of this decree. It is not to outlaw the manufacture of new trucks, per se. It is to assure that only electric  vehicles will be manufactured. They do “comply” – via the legerdemain of what is styled “MPGe” – or miles-per-gallon equivalent.

In italics to emphasis the fact that it isn’t.

The battery-powered version of the F-150 – the F-150 Lightning – carries a “68 MPGe3” rating – which makes it sound very “efficient” indeed. It makes it sound as if it is three times more “efficient” than its non-electric sibling, which averages “only” 21 MPG (sans the “e”).

But the “68 MPGe” Lightning can only travel 240 miles on a full “tank” – that is to say, a fully charged battery. The non-electric F-150 can travel more than 600 miles on a full tank. In order for the Lighting to be that “efficient,” it would need to be able to carry three times as much electricity as its current 1,800 pound battery pack can store, which would probably entail a three or four thousand pound battery. That would increase the curb weight of this already three-tom half-ton truck to more than 7,000 pounds, probably – which isn’t very “efficient,” especially when you take into account the “e” – the energy that it takes to make even an 1,800 lb. battery pack.

MPGe also does not take into account losses of “e” in transmission – as from the place where the “e” is generated to the place where it is used to power things. These losses-in-transmission can be in the double digits – but they are not factored into the “MPGe” equation. Power generation inefficiencies are also not factored into the equation.

All of this is not the result of stupidity but rather, dishonesty. Just the same as it wasn’t because they were stupid that the “experts” kept telling people that Face Diaper wearing and closing down small businesses (but not big box retailers) would ward-off a respiratory virus.

The purpose of the lying is to trick people into accepting.

In this case, the forcing of trucks and pretty much  everything else that isn’t battery powered off the market – and by a lot sooner than 2032, by the way.

The auto industry responds to decrees much sooner than that – because it has been put on notice as regards what it will have to comply with just a few years hence. 2032 is only nine years away and that is not much time to make enough money selling new vehicles that won’t be “compliant” within a few years from now to recover what it costs to design them right now – or next year, etc.

It is why Dodge will stop making the Charger and Challenger after the end of this year – in favor of a “compliant” battery-powered device next year.

No manufacture will invest money in anything new they won’t be allowed to sell in a few years from now.

That means no new engine designs. Or at least, very few. Especially as regards V8s, which is what powers most current trucks. Some will probably continue to be available – in very low numbers, at very high cost (due to their not being “compliant.”). The fines levied by the government will see to that. But the very affluent will still be able to afford them, as the are able to afford Porsches and Ferraris.

The rest will be battery-powered devices.

They won’t be affordable, either – because 1,00-plus pound batteries aren’t inexpensive and neither will be the electricity they store.

But they will be “compliant” – and that will have achieved the objective.

. . .

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