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Title: Three Wheels Bad
Source: Eric Peters Autos
URL Source: https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2018/04/12/three-wheels-bad/
Published: Apr 12, 2018
Author: Eric
Post Date: 2018-04-13 07:17:15 by Deckard
Ping List: *Cars and Automotive*     Subscribe to *Cars and Automotive*
Keywords: None
Views: 162
Comments: 8

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You probably haven’t heard of Paul Elio – probably because his car company hasn’t been the recipient of your tax dollars, nor the prostrate fawning-over of an adulatory press . . . unlike another car company headed by someone with name recognition on par with Coke and Jesus.

Paul’s car is simple and inexpensive – projected base price of $7,450. It is extremely fuel-efficient (80-plus MPG) and so makes economic and practical sense – two more reasons why you probably haven’t heard about it.

Which is probably why you’ll never get to drive it.

The Elio doesn’t meet the criteria which that other company’s cars do. They are expensive – base price $35,000 for the least pricey version of the lowest cost model. They aren’t efficient – you’ll have to plan trips around the comparatively short range and lengthy time to recharge.

But they don’t burn gas – and that is the thing when it comes to picking the taxpayer’s pocket and being the recipient of press adulation.

The jihad against internal combustion – no matter the economics (or the other reasons) is a gale force hurricane blowing directly in the face of Elio Motors, but it’s the wind in the sails of that other car company.

Elio will probably not make it.

The company apparently has cashflow problems – but the much more serious problem is a government problem. It is not the absence, via the government, of a direct line  to the taxpayer’s pockets – which keeps that other company’s doors open. It is the probably insurmountable obstacle of acquiring the government’s approval for use on public roads.

Because the Elio is a three-wheeler.

This was intended to be Elio’s way of end-running the government’s saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety mandates, which have made four-wheelers both expensive and inefficient. Keeping the size – and weight – down is the key to getting the mileage up and the cost down. This has become very hard to do with four-wheelers, because they must pass all those government crash tests, including side-impact/offset barrier and rollover tests.

Why this is the government’s business is a very good question almost never asked. It is presumed that the natural, rightful role of the government is to ensure that everything on four wheels can withstand “x” amount of damage if it is crashed into a barrier or hit from the side or rolls on its back – and that the person buying and driving it has no right to assume a potentially higher risk of damage in the event of  crash, in exchange for very high mileage and very low cost.

We are not allowed to buy four-wheeled cars like the old VW Beetle we used to be free to buy – nor (probably) the seemingly stillborn Elio three-wheeler.

This is very strange, if you are coming from the increasingly quaint premise that Americans are free people. Shouldn’t free people be free to buy a simple, low-cost car – whether three-wheeled or four? How does it harm anyone else (the old standard, in our once-free country, before an individual’s actions were stymied beforehand or punished after the fact) for me or you to drive a car such as the Elio?

And if it doesn’t, why aren’t we left free to choose?

Somehow, it has become the government’s business to decree – rather arbitrarily – how much saaaaaaaaaaaafety we must buy. If we buy a four wheeler, we must buy the capacity to withstand impacts to “x” degree, coming from various angles. Including upside down –  standards which the Elio three-wheeler probably has trouble with.

Two-wheelers, on the other hand, are exempted from all of it. Which of course is the main reason why they remain light, extremely efficient – and affordable.

The problem is you have to be willing to do without a roof – and be able to ride a motorcycle – to enjoy those benefits.

Elio’s intent was to offer those benefits with a roof – and without the buyer needing to learn how to ride. You drive the Elio, seated (warm and dry) inside – with a roof over your head. But that treads too close to being a car in the eyes of Uncle – and so the Elio isn’t exempted from the saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety folderol which the designers and manufacturers of two-wheelers don’t have to sweat and which buyers of them do not have to spend their money on.

Why is that allowed?

The answer, of course, is that the government hasn’t gotten around to outlawing it yet. Motorcycles are a relic of once-free America, a place where people were free to choose the type of transport that worked best for them and their budget. The government has been chipping away at two-wheeled freedom via mandatory helmet laws – also justified on the basis of saaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety. But the bike itself can’t be made saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafe in the way a car is without becoming a car.

Paul Elio tried to split the difference. But getting that past Uncle is no easy thing – and probably an impossible thing.

There are four-wheelers available in other countries that aren’t legal for sale in once-free America because they aren’t saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafe enough for Uncle. These include the Mahindra Roxor 4×4 I wrote about recently (here) as well as many others, all of which we’re not allowed to drive.

Meanwhile, the expensive, impractical cars built by that other company more than meet all of Uncle’s standards – and far more important, they jibe with his agenda. So they get unlimited “help” (funded by you) as well as fawning press.

The deck is stacked, but we’re supposed to keep on playing – everyone pretending it’s an honest table.

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#1. To: Deckard (#0) (Edited)

They keep reinventing the 3-wheeler and they never succeed, with or without government intervention.

People just don't want them. Planes are almost all tricycle-geared but cars can only have 4 wheels and motorcycles only two.

It is outdated but good luck trying to get legislators to change the laws. The car monopolies and tire companies hate anything with 3 wheels and they do have very powerful lobbyists to keep their monopolies intact.

Tooconservative  posted on  2018-04-13   7:49:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Deckard (#0)

Look at the picture above with the three-wheeler next to the SUV. The SUV's bumper is in line with the face of the driver driving that trike.

No safer than driving a go-cart on the road.

misterwhite  posted on  2018-04-13   8:56:14 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: misterwhite (#2)

No safer than driving a go-cart on the road.

It's basically a motorcycle with a roof.

Cycles are legal - why not one with a roof?

Here's one that is - only costs $30K yet street legal.

Alternate text if image doesn't load

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

Deckard  posted on  2018-04-13   9:48:45 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Deckard (#3)

The Polaris Slingshot is a motorcycle, not a car, and is sold as such.

misterwhite  posted on  2018-04-13   9:57:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Deckard (#0) (Edited)

Why this is the government’s business is a very good question almost never asked.

Why? Because We, the People, have to drive in order to live and work in this country. We can't build cars ourselves, so we have to buy products produced by a handful of massive, profit-making companies.

And those companies sold us Ford Pintos, which blew up when they were rear- ended. AND THEY KNEW THAT, but did a calculation that the cost of lawsuits would be lower than the increased profit margin from not fixing the problem.

Those companies sold us Corvairs, that looked cool but flipped over easily at speed, killing its occupants. They knew it, and kept selling them.

And We, the People, don't like to have our families die in vehicles sold to us for profit that have known serious design flaws that will kill us way out of proportion to the normal death rate in accidents, that the manufacturers don't fix because it will cut into their profits.

We're not going to accept a higher than necessary death rate of our loved ones. The auto companies will not effectively self-regulate, so we've used the power of democracy to impose oversight of them, through the vehicle WE control, which is government.

That's why it's the government's business: private industry did not regulate itself and played dice with our lives. Our families are more valuable than their profit margins. So we imposed on them.

The moral for private business is: self-regulate in a way that is reasonable, or We the People have the power, and the will, to step in and regulate you through our government.

A recent example from a different industry. Skreli bought the rights to some drug necessary to extend the lives of tens of thousands of people. He then used his ownership power to crank the price up so high that thousands of people could no longer afford the drug. It was a head-to-head challenge of private property rights versus people's lives. Not hard to know from the beginning how that's going to come out. We the People used government to crush Shkreli. He's in prison, and the drug is reasonably priced.

Private property rights are tempered by other realities. If you don't regulate yourself and you behave in a way that costs other people their lives, the government has the power, and the People have the will to use that power, and you're going to lose your discretion to make the decisions. The financial industry did. The car industry did. Shkreli did.

Essentially, if you have the liberty to make business decisions that kill people, you had better self-regulate, and you'd better err on the side of safety. If you won't do it effectively, we will step in and do it. We know you'll whine about abstract rights. Guess what: the right of my family not to blow up in a car trumps your rights. That's the way it is. It is never going to change. Whine about it all you like, but you will submit to that reality - even if you hate it. It makes PERFECT sense, too.

That is why it's the government's business. It has to be. Private industry fucked up and killed people and would not fly right. So we make them, at the point of a gun. What do you really expect? Do you REALLY think we're just going to let ourselves be killed so some jackass can make more money?

Perhaps that WAS America, once, but We have replaced THAT America with something We think is better. And we're never, ever going back.

Don't like it? You lose.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-04-13   10:29:02 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Vicomte13 (#5)

And those companies sold us Ford Pintos, which blew up when they were rear- ended.

misterwhite  posted on  2018-04-13   13:39:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: Deckard (#3)

I really liked the way he disguised his training wheels as saddlebags.

There is a now-local geezer almost as old as me that lives near me that bought hissef a Sportster to be cool,hip,widit,whatever. It is literally the very first motorcycle I have ever seen with actual training wheels bolted to the rear.

Now,I don't know this guy personally and can't stop laughing long enough when I see him to ask,but he MIGHT have had the training wheels put on due to some geezer affliction that affects his balance,and it's the only way he can ride. IF that is the case,GOOD FOR HIM!

I had to quit riding because my back got to the place where I can't always raise my leg up high enough to get on my old Fat Bob,and the last two times I left home with it both the bike and I ended up riding back home on a rollback. I could probably mount a rigid frame scoot ok,but but there is no way my elderly back can take that kind of pounding anymore.

I do have a 58 frame with a lowered swing arm that MIGHT work,though. Not sure I want to do all the work to swap everything over just to see if I can get on it,though. Maybe once I get caught up on some of the other crap I need to do,I will take the time to slap it all together and see. I put over 40K miles on that old lowered swingarm bike before taking it apart to take the engine to a Harley shop to make it a 112 inch stroker,and it rode fine. Unfortunately,the Harley shop I took my engine to in order to have the machine work done decided to just go out of business one day without telling anyone,and sold my cases,heads,and other engine parts for scrap and disappeared behind a lawyer,so I no longer have an engine for it.

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2018-04-16   8:43:04 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Vicomte13 (#5)

And those companies sold us Ford Pintos, which blew up when they were rear- ended.

BullBush! A TINY minority of Pintos that were rear-ended caught fire due to the collision. I don't know the true numbers,but I suspect it was fewer than 1 in 100 because there also had to be a spark or a open flame in exactly the right place for the fire to have happened.

I knew a BUNCH of people that bought and drove Pinto's,and loved them. Then that law firm of vultures took off after Ford for a large amount of money,and the Pinto was killed. GREAT little car,and probably the best car for the money that has ever been built.

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2018-04-16   8:46:35 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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