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  1. #1
    Yoda of Radar
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    Default In Defense of the 55mi/h Speed Limit - ???

    Quote Originally Posted by May 1, 2005 New York Times
    Unmentioned Energy Fix: A 55 M.P.H. Speed Limit
    by Jad Mouawad and Simon Romero


    President Bush made it clear last week that he sees no quick fixes to the nation's energy woes. The problem has been long in coming, the argument goes, and so will the solutions. But if history is any guide, there is one thing he could do immediately: bring back the 55 miles-per-hour speed limit.

    It has been done before. Along with record oil and gasoline prices, improvements in fuel efficiency and a lasting economic recession, speed limits helped curb fuel consumption for the first time in American postwar history between 1974 and 1984.
    Of course, energy eventually became cheap again, the economy expanded and Americans became complacent and unwilling to make more sacrifices.

    Instead of opting for small fuel-efficient cars, people switched to large sport utility vehicles and larger pickups. As drivers groaned and states fought for their right to speed, the limit was raised.

    While oil consumption in most industrialized nations has either leveled off or declined, in the United States, oil demand has soared 38 percent since the first oil shock of 1973.

    The Bush administration's focus over the last four years has been to increase the supply of oil and natural gas, which are also priorities for the energy industry, instead of finding ways to cut back on energy demand, which until very recently has been left out of the picture.

    "We are in a boxing match, and the president keeps one hand tied to his back," said Steven Nadel, the executive director for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a nonprofit research group in Washington. "We're punching with supplies and not using demand. We're at a disadvantage."

    Other industrialized countries, especially in Europe, have been much more successful than the United States and have managed to actually lower oil demand, or at least keep it in check. That comes from higher diesel use and higher taxes. In France and Germany, a gallon of gasoline sells for as much as $6, with taxes accounting for about 80 percent of that.

    Few politicians in America might risk ridicule or rejection by explicitly supporting higher taxes on gasoline, one of the surest ways to limit the nation's dependence on oil.

    "Even the least outrageous gasoline tax would have choked off some demand, and the money would have gone to our own government instead of being transferred overseas," said Robert K. Kaufmann, a professor of geography at the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies at Boston University. "Of course, that would have to involve personal sacrifice, which is off the table politically."

    There are other ways to curb consumption that may be only slightly less challenging, analysts say. One would be to increase the average mileage per gallon requirement. After Congress passed legislation forcing automakers to act in 1975, average mileage almost doubled to 27.5 miles a gallon in 1987 from 14 in 1972. But it has since slipped back to 24 because of S.U.V.'s, and Congress shows no inclination to toughen the standards.

    Another way to sharply reduce demand - and improve mileage - would be to encourage drivers to buy diesel cars, which offer as much as 60 percent more fuel efficiency, said Theodore R. Eck, an energy consultant and former chief economist at the Amoco oil company.

    "The neat thing here is that this is off-the-shelf technology," he said. But the trade-off to diesel fuels also includes higher emissions of nitrate oxide, a pollutant that is responsible for smog.

    In a recent speech, President Bush suggested that diesel cars might be made eligible for similar income tax credits as hybrid cars, which are quickly turning into best sellers with long waiting lists.

    The present predicament behind high oil prices is quite different than the oil shocks of the 1970's and 1980's, which were a result of producers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries cutting oil supplies.

  2. #2
    Radar Fanatic
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    Default



    This is going to be a tight one.

  3. #3
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    Oh, damn. I killed it!! :shock:

  4. #4
    Yoda of Radar
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    Yeah this forum layout doesn't like big posts... I'm gonna try and trim it for two and get the other 1/2 of the article in!

  5. #5
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    how does a lower speed limit make you use less fuel!??

    it makes you use more fuel..... urban........extra urban!!!

    they seem to have this mentality over here, the faster you go the higher the gears you use....... just because you going faster doesnt mean your revs go higher! you can do 40mph in 3rd or 4th at 2500 - 3000 rpm or 70mph in 5th at 3000rpm!

    your going faster using the same rpm using less fuel, less fuel less emissions..... greater mpg!

    at the end of the day.. if it all goes up....... and the speed limit come down......

    people will end up worse off all round......

    more time consuming to get to places because theres lower limits......
    lower limits not only use more fuel they also annoy people which results in
    agressive driving tailgating etc, and the use of higher revs in lower gears!
    modern cars dont like slow speeds the engines run rough!

    not only that but when people drive slow they start doing other things.

    this is what happens when they drop the speed limits!

    i'm sure you will agree!

    faster roads, better designed engines, better designed roads.... less junctions, less traffic lights,
    less obstructions.. then traffic flows quick.... you use less petrol.....
    people dont drive agressive...... driving is calm and enjoyed!

    also tyres and brake linings last longer as people arnt braking in temper...
    or for daft junctions and pointless roundabouts etc!

    i dont know about the usa but the uk needs altering!

  6. #6
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    Physically, it should be that the faster you go the more fuel you use. This is due to the fact that the air resistance of an object goes up with the square of the velocity. So if you go a little faster there is a lot more push back against you. Power = foce x velocity and fuel consumption should be directly related power, so fuel consumption should also go up with the square of velocity. However, we all know that cars don't follow that rule directly. If they did, city driving would result in better fuel efficiency. (HA!) I think that this is where the gear ratios and engine design come in. Manufacturers plan for a car to perform best at the condition where it will be driven the most, which in the US is currently assumed to be 65mph. So reducing the limit might result in small gains, but not a whole lot.

    I mentioned in a different post on the same subject that there is a good chance that a 55mph limit would actually increase fuel consumption. Why? Traffic jams. Our roads can barely handle the traffic volume as it is, and slowing them down won't help that. Think of traffic like water, except that it gets confused when there's too much in the same place at the same time. (Call it "dumb water.") So more traffic jams on high volume days = more idling engines. What's the fuel efficiency of a car going zero mph with the engine idling. Zero miles per gallon!!

    Now, can anybody actually read all that?

  7. #7
    Speed Demon
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    i just want to be part of this weird format thread, but have nothing useful to add. :wink:

    well i guess I do.... i've heard about the slower = less fuel.... i know when i get a new car and do the break-in for the first tank or so that's the best mileage i ever get on that car!

  8. #8

  9. #9
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    and einstein said...... the faster you go the slower you age!!

    that sounds like a good idea......

  10. #10
    Speed Demon
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    Quote Originally Posted by laserblaster
    how does a lower speed limit make you use less fuel!??

    it makes you use more fuel..... urban........extra urban!!!

    they seem to have this mentality over here, the faster you go the higher the gears you use....... just because you going faster doesnt mean your revs go higher! you can do 40mph in 3rd or 4th at 2500 - 3000 rpm or 70mph in 5th at 3000rpm!

    your going faster using the same rpm using less fuel, less fuel less emissions..... greater mpg!

    at the end of the day.. if it all goes up....... and the speed limit come down......

    people will end up worse off all round......

    more time consuming to get to places because theres lower limits......
    lower limits not only use more fuel they also annoy people which results in
    agressive driving tailgating etc, and the use of higher revs in lower gears!
    modern cars dont like slow speeds the engines run rough!

    not only that but when people drive slow they start doing other things.

    this is what happens when they drop the speed limits!

    i'm sure you will agree!

    faster roads, better designed engines, better designed roads.... less junctions, less traffic lights,
    less obstructions.. then traffic flows quick.... you use less petrol.....
    people dont drive agressive...... driving is calm and enjoyed!

    also tyres and brake linings last longer as people arnt braking in temper...
    or for daft junctions and pointless roundabouts etc!

    i dont know about the usa but the uk needs altering!
    The faster you go the better your mpg is? Dam I wish! Cars have fuel curves. I remembered when I had my audi wagon. @75mph I was getting 23 mpg and @82mph I was getting 27mpg+ Anything in between was like 19mpg.

 

 

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