Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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new car fuel precharge

new car sticker price includes mandatory charge for 100000 miles worth of fuel/electricity
  [vote for,

Just as cellphone buyers must get activation plans (effectively, required usage fees), new car buyers should have to pay -up front- for 100,000 miles worth of the vehicle- compatible propulsion energy of their choice: SUV owners would have to pre-buy the amount of gas their guzzlers will need to go 100,000 miles (how does $10000 sound, as a typical figure?...); economy car buyers will pay less; electric car buyers will pay the going rate for 100,000 miles worth of electricity. Of course the difficulties lie in 1) standardizing the fuel efficiency index, i.e. 100,000 miles of driving under what kind of load/speed/partial oxygen pressure &c.; 2) accounting for volatility in energy prices, i.e. do you lock in at current rates, try to forecast a mean rate over the next 'typical' 100,000 mile driving timespan, &c.?; 3) accounting for the influence of this practice on such volatility, i.e. will car buyers start speculating on energy markets via their own purchases??... All tricky details which would be admittedly tough to iron out, but such a plan, if enforced, could drive home the fuel economy issue in a bold way few other consumer market incentives would.
n-pearson, Jun 04 2003

European petrol price variations http://www.exxonmob.../uk_pump_prices.pdf
Which country will you buy your car in? [DrBob, Oct 04 2004]

UK Transport Statistics http://www.transtat...tion%20and%20prices
More numbers to chew on (check out table 2.5). [DrBob, Oct 04 2004]


       Yeah, plus do your really think an administration like Bush's is gonna say "hey everybody, try to use a bit less oil will ya"? They're oil-crazy.
sild, Jun 05 2003

       Using the information from the links provided, I calculate that, in the UK, this would put £6120 on the price of an average car. I could get the same vehicle in Luxembourg for only an additional £4368.
DrBob, Jun 05 2003

       Second hand car values would be affected by how much of the fuel allowance had been used up, and would give an extra measure for buyers to guage the previous usage/condition of the car.   

       What would happen to the car when the fuel was all used up though? How would you balance the purchase of extra fuel allowance against the expected life of the car?   

       BTW most new cars these days (at least in Europe) have a design life expectancy of 150k miles.
egbert, Jun 05 2003

       Poor fuel economy is paid for in the reduced resale value.   

       Where I fill up, I pay about US$100 to fill my car (about 70-odd% of that is duty), and do so every week. With those economics, a Honda hybrid makes sense, over the life of the car. A small-engined Honda Beat makes sense too. I don't drive either.
FloridaManatee, Jun 05 2003

       $100?! What do you drive?
snarfyguy, Jun 05 2003

       My car just went over 100000 miles. Do I have to trade it in? Can I trade it in? What kind of credit will I receive? Why do I have to pay up front? Why does this sound like a "punish all people who drive gas-guzzlers by making them escrow their fuel costs"?   

       So many questions, so little mileage.
phoenix, Jun 05 2003

       Many well-taken objections, of which I'll try to address only a few: 1) re. 'poor fuel economy is paid for in the reduced resale value,' I'd respond that this is not a tax on gas guzzlers, but simply an up-front consolidation of forecast costs that will occur with usage anyway -- a way of making writ large and immediately apparent the variation among car choices in fuel economy. One might argue that SUV buyers can even do -better- in the long run if they buy when fuel costs are low...plus, this system would certainly speed up refueling stops, by some fuel balance meter built into the car (might reduce candy sales tho). 2) after the 100,000 mile (or other arbitrary) term is up, one is free to buy or not buy fuel at leisure, or to sell the car (I do worry that this system, only easily applicable to new cars, will encourage folks to hang on to old gas guzzlers, but this could be taken care of by making license fees contingent on yearly tested fuel economy). 3) Celphonel network building costs could just as well be recouped over time as via activation fees -- the latter just serve to rope in users to build brand loyalty & c...think also of health club sign-up fees, landline 'connection' fees (decades after the network has been built) &c. 4) The poor old car industry should simply have to respond to the market; if this plan happened, it would be by popular demand, which the car market would have to adjust to. I'm under no illusions about the chance of this happening in a country where milk is costlier than gas, but hey, this is a forum for pipedreams.
n-pearson, Jun 05 2003


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