Car Anti-Innovation

Here is an interesting fact that I read in the latest edition of the BBC Wildlife magazine which I thought summed up the car industry's attitude to fuel.

"US cars average 20.8 mpg. The Model T Ford managed 25mpg, the Ford Explorer SUV does 16mpg".

That's nearly 100 years of innovation! But, I can remotely eject 15 cupholders and flip down 5 TV screens from my car key fob.

Comments (5)

  1. That’s a bad comparison.  You’re looking at a fleet average for cars, and then pull in an SUV, which is technically a truck in terms of engine and chassis.  What went into figuring that average–passenger cars and SUVs?  Or just passenger cars?  What were the makes, models and years?  There’s no direct comparison to the Model T these days, but your average family sedan in the US is in the 30 mpg range, with significant increases in comfort and power over the Model T.

    To be fair, catalytic converters and fuel additives reduce fuel efficiency by several mpg.  Also, the Model T screamed along at a top speed of what–15 mph?  I think the early Model Ts also burned ethanol-based fuels, which are more expensive to make (hence the switch to petroleum) but have a higher octane kick than petroleum fuels.  The car companies only gave people what they asked for–cars that ran on cheaper (at the time) fuels.

  2. theCoach says:

    I am also pretty sure I would rather be in the Ford Explorer if they collided head on at 30mph.

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