August 2, 2011

THE EHRLICH'S AMONG US ARE ALWAYS EASILY PARTED FROM THEIR CASH (AND BASEBALL CAPS):

A Fuel-Efficiency Wager: I'll bet you methanol beats gasoline. (Robert Zubrin, 8/02/11, National Review)

On July 27, I published an article on National Review Online in which I claimed that methanol could provide the United States with an alternative liquid fuel that is substantially cheaper than gasoline. This claim was greeted with skepticism by some, who countered that, if methanol were a more economic fuel, the free market would have already implemented it.

Talk is cheap, so -- in the tradition of Julian Simon's famous 1980 wager with Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren that five crucial natural resources would not become dangerously scarce by 1990 -- I am willing to back up my assertion with hard cash. I am willing to wager up to ten people $10,000 each that I can make my 2007 Chevy Cobalt run with substantially superior fuel economy on methanol than it does on gasoline. The Cobalt is not a flex-fuel car, but, like all other recent GM cars, it includes all the hardware necessary for flex-fuel operation.

According to the EPA, the 2007 Cobalt can get 34 miles per gallon on the highway running on gasoline. The current spot price (i.e., before taxes) of gasoline is $3.16 per gallon. Methanol is currently $1.28 per gallon. If my Cobalt can get 24 miles per gallon running on methanol, that will come out to 18.75 miles per pre-tax fuel dollar, 74.2 percent better than the 10.76 miles per pre-tax fuel dollar achievable using gasoline.


He's going to be taking the money from folks who think there have been no advances in glaziery since 1850.


Posted by at August 2, 2011 7:48 AM
  

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