The PJ Tatler

Will 'The Car America Had to Make' Become the Car You Have to Buy?

Given GM’s recent history and recent revelations about how greens and corporations rent-seek together, this is one of the most disturbing car ads ever made.

“It’s not the car America wanted to build. It’s the car America had to build.” For Gaia and Mother Earth, they mean, but for political reasons, is the unintended message. Government Motors took a huge taxpayer funded bailout, its new de facto CEO, President Obama, wants to social engineer our way toward what he thinks is “green” energy, so Chevy rolled out the Volts-wagen for the president to pitch and sell.

And now the CEO who brought you ObamaCare’s individual mandate may have found a way to force you to buy his favorite car.

The CAFE rule is the fleet-wide average fuel economy rating manufacturers are required by Washington to achieve. The new rule — issued in response to a 2010 Obama directive, not to specific legislation passed by Congress — would require automakers to achieve a 40.9 mpg CAFE average by 2021 and 54.5 mpg by 2025. In case you’re wondering whatever happened to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it has been supplanted in the CAFE process by the EPA. The proposed regulation was designed, according to the EPA, “to preserve consumer choice — that is, the proposed standards should not affect consumers’ opportunity to purchase the size of vehicle with the performance, utility and safety features that meets their needs.” But the reality is that consumer choice will be the first victim.

Getting from the current 35 mpg CAFE standard to 54.5 can be achieved by such expedients as making air conditioning systems work more efficiently. We have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to anybody who thinks that’s even remotely realistic. There is one primary method of increasing fuel economy — weight reduction. That in turn means automakers will have to use much more exotic materials, including especially the petroleum-processing byproduct known as “plastic.” But using more plastic will make it much more difficult to satisfy current federal safety standards. The bottom-line will be much more expensive vehicles and dramatically fewer kinds of vehicles.

What kinds of vehicles? Naturally, the kind that pitchman in chief Chairman O wants you to buy. Even though, in terms of actual battery performance, the Volt isn’t an improvement over electric cars available in…the late 19th century.