Thursday, June 7, 2007

European Cars: Too Much Speed, Not Enough Ad Regulation

The BBC is reporting that there are calls within the EU to outlaw building cars that can go over 101 mph - the logic being that the unnecessary (unnecessary because it would be illegal under almost all circumstances to drive at that speed) power and weight increase the amount of carbon emissions produced by the cars.

I have a couple thoughts on this: First, simply because it is illegal to operate a vehicle in almost any circumstances in such a manner, there are still legitimate uses for such cars, e.g., at a private speedway or racetrack. Second, if the cars truly are more powerful and heavy than necessary (and, therefore, consume more fuel), why do people continue to buy them when doing so results in higher fuel expenses with no appreciable benefit? One guess is that this extra power is not only supplying the ability to exceed a certain speed, but also to provide more pick up at lower speeds. Third, even if speed limits are such that operating vehicles at higher speeds is illegal in most places now, that doesn't necessarily mean that that will always be the case. What happens if, in 10 years, someone decides that the optimum speed (in terms of carbon emissions, of course ;-)) is 105 mph. Will the EU then make it illegal to operate cars that can't go that fast?

All of this isn't really what I found most remarkable about the issue. The fact that part of the report which recommends these actions also recommends "that a fifth of car advertisements should be devoted to cars' fuel consumption and CO2 emissions." And you thought some FCC regulations were silly.


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