EU Debates 101Mph Speed limit…

The European Union is considering imposing a 101Mph speed limit on all European manufactured cars in an attempt to reduce emissions and increase efficiency:

Chris Davies, a Liberal Democrat Member of European Parliament (MEP) has tabled a set of proposals to the EU Environment Committee that include harsh cuts to CO2 emissions, and a top speed limit of 162km/h for Euro-approved cars.

Mr Davies said: “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.” – [GizMag]

Notwithstanding my admitted love of high horsepower engines and breakneck speeds, legislation like these generally seem to me to be the knee-jerk reaction of ignorant and narrow minded thinkers. The relationship between an engines efficiency and a cars top speed is never that simple. The same is doubly so for emissions. It is possible to make highly efficient high speed vehicles, as it is to make low emission, high horsepower engines. It’s all about the technology. Better solutions are found by fostering an environment of innovation, not prohibition.

Capping off arbitrary characteristics like top speed is meaningless, because you can have low speed vehicles that are still inefficient and produce high emissions. They might as well outlaw SUVs in Europe. I’m all about saving the environment, but lets hope people don’t cross the line into prohibition while they’re at it. Just a little bit of objective, scientific thought would go a long way here…

If they are worried about emissions and efficiency, they should just specify what they consider to be an acceptable emissions goal and efficiency rating, and let the manufacturers worry about it. That’s their job. They want to sell cars people like and they are pretty good at it. And I guarantee you they will come up with the technology to deliver that, and high horsepower, all at the same time. That’s how they make their money. And that, my friends, is how innovation works.

EU to debate 101mph speed limit for all new cars – [GizMag]

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