Some remarkable mileage figures are coming out with some amazing cars.
Two big problems we are going to have to overcome in buying and selling these super-efficient cars are size and cost. Hybrids cost more, electrics cost more, diesels cost more, and better spark-ignition engines cost more. Super-lightweight construction, with tempered metals, more composites, cost more. Moreover, given equal materials and design, the smaller car will always be lighter, and require less fuel to move around.
What sold cars in the past were things you could see, cool styling, cupholders, re-configurable seating, lots of lights on the dashboard. Things you can feel, acceleration, smooth ride, comfortable seats and legroom. People want high quality cars, but they’ll settle for the appearance of one, and, face it, most of us are not engineers.
So when we get into a tiny car, and feel claustrophobic, the pretty lights on the dashboard are too close, the legroom is lacking, and there isn’t much room for extra cupholders. The small car is going to have few optional seating arrangements because there will be as few seats as possible.
Now take the tiny car, and sell it for $30,000.
In the American psyche, small cars meant cheap cars, don’t ask me why. Porsche sold small cars in this country since the ‘50’s and they weren’t cheap, Mercedes and BMWs have sold small cars for a long time, too, also not cheap.
When some of the Amazing! Remarkable! High efficiency cars get here, most of them will be smaller cars. Most of the high technology to make them super-efficient will cost money, too. I love the technology, I just don’t know about the marketing.
Would they sell better with lots of chrome and tailfins?