The Prospects for Reduced Automotive Costs.

by Milton Kamins

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Investigates various areas of automobile costs that seem amenable to major cost reductions. Costs discussed fall into two categories: fixed costs, which include initial investment costs and insurance costs and are relatively independent of mileage accrued; and variable costs, which include mainly fuel and oil costs and repairs and are roughly proportional to mileage. Prospects of reducing overall automotive costs do not seem at all favorable, mainly because more and more is expected from vehicles as time and technology progress. Although a number of fairly promising concepts are now under study, such as the Wankel engine and some closed-system power sources, only the electric car seems to have enough leverage to reverse the overall trend of rising costs, primarily by removing our dependence on liquid fossil fuels. 12 pp. Ref.

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