Californication, Continued, by Eric Peters

The more people cannot afford personal transportation, the more they have to rely on the transportation the government allows them. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

The Californication of the car industry is about to accelerate – once the former head of California’s notoriously anti-car Air Resources Board, Steven Cliff becomes the new head of the federal “safety” apparat, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Which somehow is involved in dictating how much gas mileage your next new vehicle must deliver – at your expense, of course.

NHTSA has “proposed” increasing the mandatory minimums that every company making cars (and trucks) must achieve by 8 percent – by 2026. For those not hip to what it costs to achieve such a gain, it may be helpful to review what has been necessary to achieve compliance with the current mandatory minimum “corporate average” of 36 miles per gallon . . .

The replacement of port fuel injection in favor of direct injection, an extremely high-pressure form of fuel injection that operates at several thousand pounds of pressure vs. the 30-40 pounds typical of port fuel injection systems and which requires wholesale re-engineering of the engine as well as the fuel system. An additional hole must be bored into each cylinder – for the injector – and a separate fuel-injection circuit added to prevent carbon fouling of the intake valves, which in a PFI system are automatically kept clean by the solvent action of gasoline washing them down. DI also involves multiple fuel pumps to achieve the necessary pressure step-up from tank to injector.

The retirement of most naturally aspirated six cylinder engines in favor of heavily turbocharged four cylinder engines. Many vehicles in the $30k or so price bracket – including family sedans like the Honda Accord and Mazda6, the VW Passat, etc. – used to offer six cylinder engines and most luxury-badged vehicles in the $50k or so price bracket such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series sedans came standard with one. As of 2022, none of the vehicles in the latter class come standard with them – and only a few in the former class (such as the Toyota Camry) still offer one.

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