1908 Ford Model T: 25 MPG, 2004 EPA Average All Cars: 21 MPG - Detroit News

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

This article is from http://www.WantToKnow.info/050711carmileageaveragempg

"Consumers and regulators are putting more pressure on the auto industry to enhance fuel economy, which was stagnant at an average 20.8 miles per gallon among all 2004 models and below the 1988 high of 22.1 mpg."  -- Detroit News, 4/11/05

"The Prius is the first significant departure from the combustion engine to make any major inroads in the auto industry since Henry Ford invented the Model T in 1908."  -- Newsweek, 9/20/04 <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5963500/site/newsweek/>

"Ford's Model T, which went 25 miles on a gallon of gasoline, was more fuel efficient than the current Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle -- which manages just 16 miles per gallon."
 -- Detroit News, 6/4/03

July 11, 2005
Dear friends,

What happens when we compare technological advances in various fields over the last 50 to 100 years? In communications, we've gone from the basic telephone of 50 years ago to answering machines, faxes, instant messaging, and wireless cell phones packed with cameras, GPS, and more. Just 50 years ago computers were huge, multi-million dollar monsters capable of only rudimentary mathematical problems. Today, the laptop on which I'm typing can perform functions literally millions of times faster and more complex than its ancestors, and connect me instantly to anyone in the world with Internet access.

In engineering and materials science, we have gone from basic woods and metals to sophisticated plastics, teflon, fiber optics, and other manmade materials which perform all kinds of functions which would have been considered miraculous 100 years ago. Television, movies, microwave ovens, air conditioning, radar, and gameboys didn't even exist in 1905. In astronomy, biology, medicine, agriculture, genetics, electronics, and most any other field you can think of, we are light years ahead in both knowledge and applications of what was available 100, or even 50 years ago.

Now consider the areas of energy and transportation, and the oil and automobile industries in particular. Technological progress in these sectors has moved at a snail's pace compared to the fields mentioned above. Automobiles still use the same internal combustion engine on which the Model T depended almost 100 years ago. And while the Model T boasted 25 MPG in 1908, average car mileage for 2004 according to the EPA was only 20.8 MPG! The Detroit News  admits that even this EPA figure is inflated, as "most drivers achieve only about 75 percent of the [EPA mileage] figures."

And when it comes to energy, most of the world still depends largely on huge, polluting coal and oil generation plants not much more efficient than those of 100 years ago. How can it be that we've had such dramatic, almost miraculous advances in so many fields, while the energy and transportation sectors have had so little progress? Could it be that greed and the desire for economic and political control have kept the profit-rich energy and transportation sectors from developing as rapidly as they might have in a more open climate, where big money did not suppress technological breakthroughs?

Genius inventors for the past 100 years have made remarkable discoveries of new, more efficient energy sources, only to find their inventions either suppressed or not given the attention and funding needed to break us free of our dependence on archaic oil-based technologies. Consider Nobel Prize winner Nikola Tesla (also see http://777001.com), the genius inventor of AC current, fluorescent light, and laser beams, who has over 700 patents to his name. Tesla proved in 1900 that the Earth itself could be used as a very cheap conductor of electricity. He successfully lighted 200 lamps  without wires from a distance of 25 miles.

Why wasn't Tesla's wireless electricity developed and spread around the world? His main financial supporter, banking tycoon J.P. Morgan, withdrew funding with the classic comment, "If anyone can draw on the power, where do we put the meter?" For more on Tesla and his amazing inventions, see PBS's voluminous tribute at http://www.pbs.org/tesla/index.html or the Tesla Society website at http://www.teslasociety.com/biography.htm  A Google search will turn up lots more. Hundreds of other inventions http://www.himacresearch.com/books/crisis1.html and inventors (including a personal friend of mine) have suffered a similar or worse fate.

Below are short excerpts from a number of major media articles which suggest manipulation of technological advances in the fields of energy and transportation. For an excellent two-page summary of this vital topic, see http://www.WantToKnow.info/newenergysources  You can also find a wealth of reliable, verifiable information at our New Energy Information Center http://www.WantToKnow.info/newenergyinformation . By educating ourselves and our friends and colleagues on this crucial topic, we can build a critical mass of informed citizens who will demand the release of suppressed inventions and technologies that will pave the way for a brighter, healthier future for us, for our children, and for our planet. Thanks for caring, and you have a good day.

With best wishes,
Former Presidential Interpreter  Fred Burks for the WantToKnow.info team

P.S. For two excellent articles which provide additional information on this topic, including a fascinating list of suppressed inventions which improved gasoline mileage and were reported in respected magazines: http://www.himacresearch.com/books/crisis1.html and http://www.himacresearch.com/docs/energy.html

Blame the feds for fuel economy figures that don't match real world
May 19, 2004, Detroit News

Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Co. are probably wishing they’d never put those fun fuel economy monitors in their gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles. The displays are causing angst among some owners who aren’t getting the miles-per-gallon performance posted on their window sticker. Frustrated consumers are asking dealerships to “fix” their vehicles. Pete Blackshaw of Cincinnati is chronicling his dismay publicly in his own Internet blog. He says Honda is ignoring his claim that he’s never gotten more than 33 mpg in his Civic Hybrid. The combined city/highway rating from the car’s window sticker is 47.

Don’t blame Honda. Blame consumers’ driving habits and, more importantly, the federal government. It’s the government that for decades has required carmakers to publish fuel economy ratings derived not from real world driving, but from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emission testing procedures. The numbers — displayed prominently on every vehicle’s window sticker — have always been a fraud of sorts, a quick-and-easy way to help car and truck buyers comparison shop on fuel economy. Most drivers achieve only about 75 percent of the laboratory-generated figures.

Eco-car more efficient than light bulb
July 5, 2005, CNN

An eco-car that can travel the world using a fraction of the electricity it takes to power a light bulb has been unveiled by its British creators. The hydrogen-powered Ech2o needs just 25 Watts -- the equivalent of less than two gallons of petrol -- to complete the 25,000-mile global trip, while emitting nothing more hazardous than water. But with a top speed of 30mph, the journey would take more than a month to complete. On Thursday Ech2o, built by British gas firm BOC, will bid to smash the world fuel efficiency record of over 10,000 miles per gallon at the Shell Eco Marathon. The record is currently....5,385 km/per liter [12,900 mpg!]. John Carolin, BOC global director sustainable energy: "It sounds unbelievable how little power is used to keep the BOC Ech2o moving, but it demonstrates the impact of careful design and is a valuable lesson for car makers in the future. [If these test cars are getting over 10,000 miles per gallon, why aren't all new cars getting at least 100 mpg?]

100 MPG Car Heralded by London Times in 2002 - Where is it now?
December 2 , 2004, WantToKnow.info/London Times


http://www.WantToKnow.info/carmileage - WantToKnow.info
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,588-451038,00.html - London Times

The Toyota Eco Spirit was the talk of the fuel economy car industry in 2002. At over 100 MPG and with the lowest exhaust emissions and a very reasonable sticker price, the Eco Spirit's debut was widely anticipated (see London Times article). Now, over two years later, what happened to it? If you do an Internet search, you will find that Toyota decided not to be move forward with it. Why in these times of soaring oil prices would they not rush this car into mass production?

Freezing gas prices
May 25 , 2005, NBC Oklahoma City

There is a man who fills up his tank once every two months. One tank of gas, literally, lasts him two months. He is freezing the price of gas by freezing something else. David Hutchison is a Cryogenics expert. He built this Cryo-Process himself. A few years ago he began an experiment on his hybrid Honda, freezing the engine components. The results were a fuel-efficiency dream. A hybrid Honda typically gets really great gas mileage anyway, around 50 miles to the gallon, but David Hutchison's cryogenically tempered engine has been known to get close to 120 miles a gallon. Racers have picked up on David's trick of cryogenically freezing car parts. It is now widely accepted among NASCAR and Indy-car racers. [Why isn't this front-page headlines with rapid development for use by us all?]

Enron Schemes Caught On Tape
February 9, 2005, WantToKnow.info/CBS
http://www.WantToKnow.info/050209energyscandals - WantToKnow.info
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/02/03/eveningnews/main671618.shtml - CBS
For a revealing two-minute video clip on CBS, click "Enron Schemers on Tape" at link below:

The new tapes confirm that Enron secretly shut power plants down so they could cause, and then cash in on, the crisis. The CBS article gives the text of tape recordings of Enron traders laughing at the misery they caused in California. The public was convinced that there was a severe power shortage in California, all the while Enron insiders were arranging to shut down a major plant and ship desperately needed energy out of the state, so that they could rake in massive profits. ABC also recently posted a long, revealing AP article http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=469893  with the subtitle "New Evidence Shows Enron's Power Scams Began Years Before 2000-01 West Coast Energy Crunch."

Video clip excerpts:
"Newly released evidence shows years before the crisis, Enron schemed to manipulate markets."
"Plant operators were coached on how to lie to officials."
"Enron also pulled power out of states like California, causing emergency conditions to worsen."
"The shutdowns and pullouts triggered sky-high power prices."
"We're just making money hand over fist."

Refiners Maintain a Firm but Legal Grip on Supplies
June 18, 2005, Los Angeles Times

California refiners are simply cashing in on a system that allows a handful of players to keep prices high by carefully controlling supplies. The result is a kind of miracle market in which profits abound, outsiders can't compete and a dwindling cadre of gas station operators has little choice but go along. Refiners "not only control how much supply is in the marketplace, they control who gets it and at what price," said Dennis DeCota, executive director of the California Service Station and Automotive Repair Assn. The recent history of California's fuel industry is a textbook case of how a once-competitive business can become skewed to the advantage of a few, all with the federal government's blessing. Refiners acknowledge their California businesses have become the most profitable in the nation. The rest of the country isn't far behind. Characteristics once unique to California — specialty fuels, a refinery shortage, the growing dominance of a few companies — have begun to plague other gasoline markets.

Sierra Club ads may dim Ford party
June 4, 2003, Detroit News

The Washington, D.C.-based Sierra Club is the latest environmental group to use Ford Motor Co.'s high-profile centennial party next week to pressure the automaker to boost the fuel economy of its cars and trucks. Once a fan of Ford Chairman and CEO Bill Ford Jr., the Sierra Club said Tuesday it will place ads in the New York Times and BusinessWeek magazine slamming the company's environmental record. The ads -- being published to coincide with Ford's 100th anniversary June 16 -- say Ford has failed to improve the fuel efficiency of its vehicles. After depicting technological advances in other industries, the ad says that Ford's Model T, which went 25 miles on a gallon of gasoline, was more fuel efficient than the current Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle -- which manages just 16 miles per gallon.

Note: To understand why all of this isn't being reported in headline news around the country, see: