Automobiles, Motorcycles and Libertarian Politics
Usually, when a Porsche gets permanently parked it’s because it’s a treasured museum piece – retired from heroic deeds on street or track (sometimes both). But the 1,500 Porsches that have been sitting for the past year-plus have been idled by Uncle.
1,500 brand-new but no-longer “new” 2016 model year Cayennes will eventually be sold (perhaps next year sometime) at a discount – as used cars – when Uncle finally gives Porsche dealers permission to sell them.
With Porsche dealers (and salesmen) eating the loss.
These are Cayennes powered by 3.0 liter diesel engines, marked – like Hester Prynne – but with a scarlet “D” instead of an “A” for having cheated Uncle’s emissions tests. They join the entire fleet of diesel-powered 2016 model year VWs (Jettas, Golfs, Beetles and the Cayenne’s VW stablemate, the Touareg) that have been indefinitely idled by Uncle.
In addition to the 1,500 brand-new Cayennes that never got on the road, there are another 10,000 or so 2016 (and older) Cayennes that are on the road – and soon to be taken off. In order to be “fixed” in exactly the same manner as one “fixes” a male puppy.
The puppy will never be quite the same after he is “fixed” – and neither will the “fixed” diesels, whether Porsches or VWs (there are about half-a-million of those).
Keep in mind that no one has been harmed by any of this. Regulatory standards have been affronted, that’s all. Porsche – like parent company VW – did the equivalent of making an “illegal” U turn at a deserted intersection in the middle of the night. Against the law, surely.
A reasonable cop wouldn’t even bother – or (at most) give the “offender” a warning. But the EPA – the federal agency (where, under the Constitution, do agencies get their lawful power to legislate?) which sees no humor in anything – and forget behaving reasonably – does not do warnings. That no one was harmed by this “cheating” business cuts no ice. There must be punishment! Off with their heads!
Meanwhile, how about the harm caused by EPA?
I’ve already written about the billions in fines that will come out of our pockets, ultimately. We being the people who own VW stock, or work for VW or a supplier of VW or who will pay higher local taxes because tax revenue that would have been raised from VW has been disappeared via the economic damage imposed on VW, which is to say on us. The new car and engine designs that will never see the light of day because R&D money that would have gone toward that end now goes toward Uncle’s end.
But let’s consider the effect on – yes – “clean air.” The thing the EPA’s ayatollahs insist they are preoccupied with.
How much more fuel will be burned overall as a result of the EPA’s excommunication of VW/Porsche/Audi (yes, them, too) diesel engines? Does it occur to the EPA’s ayatollahs that an engine which burns let’s say 10 percent less fuel will emit a lesser volume of exhaust gas overall? And – here it comes! – if the difference in noxious emissions between two otherwise similar engines is only fractionally higher, but one of the engines uses 10 percent (a whole number) less fuel and its exhaust volume is a whole number less, then its overall output of whatever the “pollutant” being screeched about is (oxides of nitrogen, in this instance) is – to put it in scientific terms – not a very big deal.
Meanwhile, the overall reduction in exhaust gas volume (and fuel used) is.
The diesel-powered Porsche Cayenne was (emphasis on past tense, as when speaking of other extinct creatures) capable of almost 30 MPG on the highway, the driving environment where diesels excel particularly. Those who own or regularly drive anything diesel-powered will already know that – as opposed to almost all gas-engined cars – diesel-powered cars routinely exceed the EPA’s rated mileage figures. I can personally attest that the TDI-powered VW Jetta and Passat could deliver 50 MPG on the highway, vastly superior to the real-world mileage any of these cars’ gas engines. This goes for the Cayenne’s gas engines, too.
In any event, even if you use the EPA’s official numbers as your basis for the math, we are dealing with whole number improvements in fuel usage, diesel vs. gas. Double digit whole numbers.
As opposed to the fractional, infinitesimal, picayune, how-many-angels-can-dance-on-the-head-of-a-pin “cheating” that VW/Porsche/Audi is “guilty” of. The “up to 40 percent higher”… of a fraction of a percent’s difference.
It is … a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury… signifying nothing.
Well, that’s not exactly right. It signifies economic destruction on a vast scale for the sake of nothing. The human cost of this idiocy is incalculable.
Maybe someday, someone will care.
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