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Tuesday, January 6, 2015



Maybe you can educate yourself and not be influenced by hype?

This blog is going to be a multi-part and fairly extensive. I am not a conspiracy theory kind of person, but it becomes very clear as long people could make money from oil there was no urgency to develop high mileage cars. I have spent a lot of time researching,verifying as well as debunking some of the more well known stories.
I am going to try and get the facts and not urban legends, rumors and not board the fanatical activist train!  
Let us set the stage with this movie promo above.
Now lets look briefly at a little competition called the Shell Eco-Marathon which has students from Tech Schools fighting it out for the prize and honor of the most MPG from a vehicle 

Of course you can see the practical application of these "THINGS" as useful transportation?
Lets refer back to this one later.


Although vehicles were still rather new in the turn of the Century Electric cars were plentiful, Why did it take so long to reemerge? Cars were not perfected yet,dirty and rather labor intensive,electric cars appealed to women including Henry Ford's wife Clara who drove a Detroit Electric car. I am not going to do a history of electric vehicles, but it raised a question of why electric cars did not overtake the market only to reappear 100 years later although they did kind of show up in between. A simple answer emerges because only 30% of homes in the USA had electricity into the 1930's and if you were affluent enough to have electricity you could afford a lavish chauffeur driven gasoline car.
Is it also clear gasoline would be a profitable business to dive into both Texas boots first?

Hey Jed Clampett struck it rich with oil and moved on up to Beverly Hills, "Black Gold" and "Texas Tea" mentioned although their original home town was never clearly mentioned!
Thomas Edison and Henry Ford vowed to make the electric car a success, but by the 1920's gasoline autos were more reliable and yes gas was only  12 cents a gallon and travel far, no interstates existed yet? 
In 1914 a Detroit Electric car was about $2650 and if you wanted upgraded Nickel Iron Edison batteries add $600, you could have bought 2 new 1914 Ford Model T's for $600!
The stock market crash in 1929 pretty much bankrupted the Electric Car Companies because they never were extremely profitable to begin with. 
Some electric cars lingered into the 30's, but with Texas Crude gas prices were cheap enough, electric starters also made the gas cars more friendly.
 In the 60's gas prices were about twice the price per gallon since that last reported 1914 price and GM started to think about alternative power sources, but clearly there was more money to be made from oil. I am not going to discuss policies and world conflicts so lets truck on.  
 I have seen both of these Chevy Electrics in person, LOTS of batteries,all battery!!
In the 70's THE GAS CRISIS! Oil shortage my aunt fanny!Gas prices already doubled in just 10 years this time. 
Electric cars showed up again in 70's and 80's and again it was easier to just raise gas prices after the "shortage" ended!
The Electric CITICAR was in production, but does it look useful? Electric cars proved to have limited usage, not going to beat the electric cars to death, I have bigger fish to fry here.
 GM's EV1 Electric went into production, but deemed not profitable by GM in the 90's and the cars were crushed, well about 40 survived as museum oddities, powertrains de-activated! Only 1 EV1 still operates and it is the Smithsonian. About 1115 cars were produced, but you could not buy one,instead you leased it and were considered part of a test market, the cars were out there from 1996-1999. 1990 CARB California Air Resources Board mandated 7 major manufacturer's must produce a zero emission vehicle to stay in business, an alliance of major auto makers took CARB to court and the Zero Emission law was downgraded to allowing super low emission cars like natural gas and Hybrids. Some say that GM killed the Electric car, because? Some will argue the oil companies conspired with the auto makers to lobby against the regulation. The America on Wheels museum has an EV1 on display as part of an inspiring exhibit of how the auto makers starting producing "green cars" and what the confused director of the museum misses is that she has  evidence of  GM sabotage without the back story! For another blog we can talk about the auto makers shutting down railroads and trolly's to get us into cars on the roads. GM's official evaluation of the project stated it proved the electric car was deemed not viable yet although every person that drove the car in a test cycle raved about it, phone calls came in so heavy from the public wanting the EV1 that GM shut down the phone lines ignoring the public enthusiasm. Not viable yet, the electric car had been used without any issues 80 years before that statement. Motor Week and The New York Times stated the car was a success  and proved GM could build a fantastic car! GM fudged the reports that were used to downplay the project and helped drop that CARB regulation as impractical!  
GM only leased 288 cars ignoring tens of thousands of incoming eager EV1 fans wanting one!
Read more if you like at this link.
 They took them back and crushed them!
 A campaign was started called "do not crush" forced the police to escort the EV1 truck loads to GM for protection! Was GM convinced to make the project fail and write off millions as a lose?
 1999-2003 Gen II EV1's improved, but stillborn, the project was killed after millions were spent. Leaser's were allowed to terminate the leases with no fees.

Buy this DVD if you are interested in learning more, it features some very famous people and can be had on eBay for as little as $1.75! 
Disguised as a progressive group to promote new technology, they are in fact the major lobby group in essence to discourage any alternate fuel or electric car production. 

 Even an electric Chevette bowed it batteries!
You want more?
Toyota EV project also only leased, Chevron owned the rights to the battery and discontinued it so the project died! Chevron/Texaco bought the rights of the electric car battery and ceased production!
Hold on 2012 has the next generation with a marriage of Tesla with Toyota!
Honda EV plus 1997-1999
Only 300 produced, again only leased,not sold. The project was dropped when the Hybrids bowed in, all the EV Plus cars were destroyed,beyond recognition, was the Hybrid the only compromise between Govt pressure and public desire that the oil companies agreed upon because they still used gasoline at one point or another? FYI this little thing cost $56,000+ crazy huh? 
Just to be clear there was an Electric Vehicle Magazine 100 years ago, old news?

 Pictures worth 1000 words, enough said!
Fully electric cars now exist, you can follow that trend yourself!

Until very recently we were stuck with gasoline powered cars, we will skip Diesel because Americans seemed to fight the education needed for Diesel cars and decided they were BAD! Story for another blog. Just thing to ponder, Diesel is made at lower refining point and was always much cheaper than gasoline. Wait we have an idea, tax the "bejeepers" out of Diesel fuel so it is now more expensive than gasoline! As of last week average US gas price $2.29 per gallon, average US price Diesel fuel $3.21 per gallon! Lower sulfur content also caused Diesel to go through additional refining steps, but taxes added also helped!
1980 flashback- Gas $1.25 per gal., Diesel .82 cents a gallon! They got us again! 
I even had a Diesel truck in 1980!!
Back to the ECO MARATHON!
The original contest was to take production cars and squeeze as many MPG as possible not some fiberglass novelty built by some goofy college nerds seen way above!
1947 Studebaker got 149.9 mpg 
Shell mileage marathon challenged bulky gas guzzling cars with a little low buck homemade mods to squeeze the mileage out of a gallon of gas
1950 Opel 376 mpg and it was done in 1973!! A 23 year old car got 376 MPG!

1924 Chevy 168.47 MPG

244 MPG Fiat 600 
These cars still exist so it's not an urban legend

The point of the Eco Marathon was to gain technology to get higher gas mileage, ORIGINALLY, not to build some useless toys 
Has Shell played the ultimate mind game with us?
1936 200 MPG carburetor 
So what happened, even if it got 50 MPG this would be exciting!
1954 Mobilgas economy run?

I put a link here, V8 cars getting 23 to 27 mpg??
1936 to 1968 challenged teams to optimize the MPG from stock vehicles. no crazy mods,but tweaking cars for the highest mileage possible. 
Even American Motors got in the act! 

I guess I have established that at one time there was an effort to get high MPG from cars, but why did this fade away as oil prices went up and the environment was being threatened? 
Cloak and dagger stories of murder and big oil companies buying out innovations for high MPG while the Government refused to certify (next blog installments so stay tuned) and approve extremely high mileage vehicles? The concept sounds crazy right? 
A 1994 Caprice with a Police package 9c1 had a slightly tamer LT1 5.7 injected V8, 4spd overdrive automatic and 3:42 rear end. I had been working for Chevrolet and wanted an Impala SS (a sporty Police package basically) a friend tells me about a bunch of  just off lease police cars from Texas with only 60,000 miles cheap, my point? In stock trim very fast, 140 mph top end and the car got 27 MPG! Being a car guy I changed the rear gears to 3:73, had a performance transmission built up so now it was faster, but still got 20 MPG+ 400 miles from a tank of gas! I was always asked why I drive a big gas guzzler? At about 200000 miles I got tired of it and sold it, it still is going with over 300,000 miles on it today. I since have owned 2 4 cylinder cars, a Chrysler that got almost 20 MPG and a Honda which can almost get 25 MPG on the highway so at what point did GM forget they had the ability to make a full size car with a fast V8 that could probably get 30 MPG?  Twenty years ago a big V8 that got 25+ MPG???? How is that going to work if they can't sell us new technology like overpriced Hybrids? Wouldn't everyone want a big powerful car that got 25 mpg and lasted 20 years?? 
 The Berlin wall, The Great Wall of China
There is always 2 sides to every story, one side of the wall greedy oil "barons" and on the other side those who hide behind that whole fanatical environmental activist umbrella sometimes feeding off greed as well!
Who is in the middle?
That narrow area could contain those rare people who have realistic solutions and that will be discussed in part 3, we have the other side of the wall to look at first in part 2.
I recently heard a mention on the radio of investigations into this exact subject,but never heard anymore? It suggested high mileage vehicle results may have been tainted, sounds familiar? 

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