L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

03 July 2007 Blog Home : July 2007 : Permalink

Even More EU Bansturbation

A blog called "The Lone Voice" recently stated (in re: a proposed EU ban on lead fishing weights):

It would appear that the EU runs on the guiding principle of if it moves ban it.

The author of that blog clearly had no idea how true he was. The Register reports today that:

The EU Parliament's environment committee is considering a proposal to ban all cars capable of exceeding 100 mph (162 km/hour) from 2013. The proposal, put forward by LibDem MEP Chris Davies, is based on the arguments that cars that go faster than 100 mph are "over-engineered to a ridiculous degree", and that for safety reasons, they need to be heavier, and hence to burn more fuel.

On his webshite Mr Davies explains:

"Cars designed to go at stupid speeds have to be built to withstand the effects of a crash at those speeds. They are heavier than necessary, less fuel efficient and produce too many emissions.

"At a time when Europe is worried about its energy security it is sheer lunacy to approve the sale of gas guzzling cars designed to travel at dangerous speeds that the law does not permit."

P2160254The Register article gives this moronic proposal a good "John Smeaton" but fails to note one obvious weakness in the proposal. That weakness is that practically any car will go faster that 100Mph. You can (if you really try hard) get a Twingo to do a ton as the photo on the left illustrates and given that they've overtaken me on the A8 I believe the same goes for a Smart (the Roadster anyway although I'm sure I've seen the classic Fortwo also go that speed on the A8). Both the Twingo and the Smart, for those who may not be aware, are the sorts of wimpy cars that people like Mr Davies seem to think are what we should all drive with fuel economies up in the 40-60Mpg (imperial) range and neither is exactly heavy. In fact I'd say that driving a Twingo at 100Mph is the sort of thing you should only do on an empty road where you are sure there will be no need to make sudden changes of velocity. In fact unless cars are electronically limited (i.e. we stop them going any faster even if they have the potential to) I sincerely doubt any car on the market today cannot do a ton.

Mr Davies excuse for this is that he wants to save the planet. Well might I suggest that Mr Davies consider the urban cycle of cars as a more practical place to seek some kind of optimization. Every car, from the most outrageous penis extension to a humble twingo, has a problem with stop and go urban driving and just about every car on the road spends a significant proportion of its time in such traffic. Fnding a way (regenerative breaking, hybrids ...) to increase average urban cycle fuel economy by 10% would do more to reduce crude oil consumption than almost anything else. Furthermore, and Mr Davies may no thave thought of this, if petrol prices remain at their current levels car buyers and hence car manufacturers are going to have an incentive to be more efficient simply by means of the market. No need to ban anything.