Claim: The federal government is preventing Volkswagen's XL1 model car from being sold in the U.S. because the vehicle is too fuel-efficient.
Examples: [Collected via e-mail, September 2013]
Would like to know of the article is valid.
Origins: For many years conspiracy rumors have circulated positing that a collusion between Big Oil and the U.S. government has prevented the American public from having the opportunity to purchase fully developed, market-ready automobiles capable of obtaining fuel efficiencies of
April 2014 saw the emergence of yet another entry in this vein, courtesy of Jim Stone, Freelance Journalist (the same "journalist" who promulgated the ridiculous story about a passenger on missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 who supposedly hid his cell phone in his rectum and used it to post a picture to the Internet after the flight was hijacked), positing that Volkswagen has a terrific
The answer is obvious. Simply for the sake of raking in huge profits from $4 a gallon gas, getting guzzled at 10X the rate it should be, the corporations have via campaign contributions and other types of pay outs succeeded in getting the FED to legislate the best cars off the road for irrelevant trumped up reasons.
Even after being hand made with "exotic" materials in an intentionally limited edition, the Xl1 still only costs $60,000. There is a lot more of a market for this car than 2,000 units at that price, have no doubt, this car is being held back on purpose.
It's the physical representation of the benefits of reducing weight and improving aerodynamics. The small body may only take two people, but it's allowed for an incredibly streamlined body with a drag coefficient of only 0.189.
Low weight — only 1,752 lbs — means only a small engine and electric motor is needed to deliver respectable performance. Much of the car is constructed from carbon fiber, aluminum and titanium.
VW says the car will do 261 mpg, though the real figure will be lower than that should it ever be tested under EPA guidelines. Even so, it'll still use comfortably less fuel than any vehicle currently on sale.
A diesel engine of only 0.8 liters and
Those figures sound miniscule by modern standards, but the XL1 should reach
Operating alone, the small battery can deliver up to
First of all, it's not true that the XL1 has "been denied a tour of America because
Second, the primary reason the XL1 won't be seen in the U.S. anytime soon is that Volkswagen is only producing 200 units for retail sale (not 2,000 as claimed above), all of them to be sold in Europe via some sort of selection (i.e., lottery) process.
But why only 200 cars? And why only in Europe?
As for the first part, the answer is that new vehicles like the XL1 are expensive to develop and produce (and therefore expensive for consumers to afford), and similar forms of automobiles have not yet met with tremendous success on the commercial market, so any automotive company that puts such a model into full-blown production risks sinking a whole lot of money into something that may not sell well at all (especially in the U.S. market, where consumers have very different expectations and preferences than European car buyers do). The XL1 is in many ways still a concept/prototype vehicle, and so Volkswagen is testing the waters by putting out a limited production run to see how many consumers are really interested in shelling out the equivalent of U.S. $150,000 (not $60,000 as claimed above) for a two-person car. And the testers at Car and Driver found that while the XL1's fuel efficiency might be superb, it might also be somewhat overblown as presented in promotional materials:
According to the on-board computer, we are fuel hogs. Having started with a full tank
Barely a real production model, it's made in a factory, but largely by hand. It couldn't meet U.S. safety rules and needed changes in German rules to be on the road there.
Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 by a group of intrepid Silicon Valley engineers who set out to prove that electric vehicles could be awesome. The name of the company pays homage to Nicola Tesla, a Serbian American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.
As the California automaker’s first production model, the Tesla
Unlike the internal combustion engine with hundreds of moving pieces that spark, pump, belch, and groan, the Tesla motor has only one moving piece: the rotor. As a result, Model S acceleration is instantaneous, like flipping a switch. Hit the accelerator. In
Last updated: 14 April 2014
Ballaban, Michael. "The MPG Conspiracy Theory Is Crap, And Here's Why." Jalopnik. 12 April 2014. Healey, James R. "Test Drive: VW XL1 Shows How to Get 200 MPG." USA Today. 7 December 2013. Ingram, Antony. "261 MPG Volkswagen XL1 Production Confirmed, Debuts Geneva." Green Car Reports. 21 February 2013. Ingram, Antony. "Orders for 261-MPG Volkswagen XL1 Exceed Production of 200." Green Car Reports. 28 October 2013. Zoellter, Juergen. "2014 Volkswagen XL1." Car and Driver. June 2013. Green Bay Press Gazette. "2014 Tesla Model S Sedan Takes the Electric Car to a New Level." 14 April 2014.