9 Cars That Average 50 MPG or Better on the Highway

Discussion in 'In the News' started by ALS, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    [​IMG] One reason we see fuel economy in the spotlight is the negative sentiment built up against the world's largest oil producers.

    [FIMG=LEFT]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/2/2013_VW_Passat_TDI.jpg[/FIMG] Sean Williams - FOOL - March 9, 2014

    My nose would shoot to about six feet in length if I exclaimed that gas mileage was an important feature to me when purchasing a car. However, I'm very much in the minority on this one.

    Fuel economy has grown to become an increasingly important factor which sways car buyers when making their decisions. One reason this has come to be is that gasoline price growth, adjusted for inflation, is handily outpacing wage growth, also adjusted for inflation, since 1980. This means the real cost of gasoline is rising faster than consumers' wages, so consumers are having to look toward improved fuel economy when they purchase vehicles.

    Another reason we see fuel economy in the spotlight is the negative sentiment built up against the world's largest oil producers. A number of consumers believe that big oil is evil and are looking for vehicles that run solely on electricity, a mixture of gas and electricity, or on gasoline, but that sip rather than guzzle fuel.... [RM]http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/03/09/9-cars-that-average-50-mpg-or-better-on-the-highwa.aspx[/RM]
  2. waltermlee

    waltermlee Well-Known Member

    The high price of gasoline and diesel is not due to oil producers per se or government regulations or taxes but due to financial speculation via wall street, e.g. Bank of America, Bank of England, et al. About 75% of the cost of gasoline is from the price of crude whose price is not set by the cost of extraction but by speculative forces in the futures contract market.

    Cars number 1 ...4 are Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and DO NOT use gasoline or diesel fuel!!! MPG is an irrelevant metric for a BEV. BEV energy efficiency is based on how many Miles per kilowatt/hour (MPKwH) at a fix temperature. Car 5 and 7 are plug-in hybrids that extend their MPG with MPKwH and only no.7 - the Prius Plug- in could possible get 50 mpg without plugging into an electrical outlet. The Prius is the only one of the last three which has a EPA rating of 50 mpg combine - the other two -the VW Passat TDI and the Honda Civic Hybrid- do not. A skilled hypermiler could get +50mpg on any of the last three under the right conditions but that's not what the author is saying.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  3. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    I only have an undergrad degree in econ, but I'm perplexed, Walter, where you got your numbers, and how the speculators make endless money when the futures contracts are ultimately settled in actual oil were they not repurchased.

    Also, how would you get liquidity, no pun intended, in the market and preserve the ability to hedge by producers and consumers of commodities were it not for the speculators? Must producers and consumers then just take whatever the market rate is at the time of sale/purchase, with no ability to budget when making investments?
  4. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    They don't include the Smart ED, the Fiat 500e, the Spark EV, the Honda Fit EV, and the RAV4 EV. That would the 14 cars that get >50MPG - 10 of them being EV's.
  5. waltermlee

    waltermlee Well-Known Member

    @ksstathead: The USA price of gasoline is not expensive because of the way it is made or the way it is taxed but because of the way it is financed. A few years back, the petroleum institute put out a report on the breakdown on cost of one gallon of gasoline: taxes, materials, transportation, processing, and labor cost. At the time there was talk about temporarily reducing federal taxes on gas because gasoline was over $4 per gallon in some places and people were yelling at Congress to intervene. The Petroleum Institute said that about 75% of the cost of gasoline was due to the price of crude oil and that was why the price of gas was so high and also why the price of gas could not go lower and that the oil industry was not price gouging the public. As demand dipped because the Great Recession, the price of oil and the price of gasoline bottom out to about $2.75 per gallon - at that point I was reading that oil producers were saying (or lying through their teeth?) that at that price gasoline was being sold at cost or under cost and they were losing money. IIRC the cost of extraction at the time was about $2 per gallon - it could be higher now... What I learned as an investor is that oil and gas companies don't really make much income for their stockholders and during the lean years there is a high risk that they will lose stockholder monies - the real money in the energy markets is in the financial futures contract markets for the oil and gas as commodities which is reflected in the profit margins of large financial institutions. The initial oil contract generates all the cash needed to do the oil-gas exploration-extraction-temporary holding tanks to free up money-credit - a oil company will quickly sell that oil contract on the futures oil contract market so they can do another oil extraction project - at that point the value of the oil contract will go up or down until it is purchased by the oil company to move it into an oil refinery for processing into gasoline jet fuel or diesel. Once home heating oil, gasoline, jet fuel, or diesel is made it is sold in a secondary distribution contract market to regional company owned distributors-sellers or independent distributors (e.g. home heating oil distributors). A few years back, I read allegations about how regional home heating oil distributors were manipulating the market to keep prices high in the DC area -- then for some reason the media drop the story.... not sure what went down but it probably did not have a happy ending.

    U don't need a degree in economics to understand how the futures market makes and loses money. The futures contract market is basically bubble-n-burst balloon capitalism. Speculators make money when the price is sure to go up or sure to go down (by locking into guaranteed profits using a short or long options) it is when prices are unstable and unpredictable that speculating can lose money. Big money like Bank of America hires stock brokers who use computer modeling and automated buying and selling computer systems to limit their loses in the speculative markets by buying *long* or by buying *short* essentially betting on whether market price go up or down. Market prices can go up by natural causes or by man made scenarios (war, price manipulation, etc).
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  6. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    The top 5 are not what anyone would consider highway vehicles. Possible the Volt but once the E is gone it's performance plummets.
  7. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    The fact our oil increasing comes from under a MILE of ocean depth or from tar sands or tight formations etc., has nothing to do with gasoline being more expensive that it was in the mid 1960's. It is all the evil speculators who did not exist in the 1960's?

    Glad we cleared that up. Got the econ degree for nuthin'.

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