Which is cheaper when buying a car. Stocks, or flows?

I have of course asked, just in a different way, whether the stocks or the flows are the bigger cost. Intuitively, I suspect it’s the flows. To do this, I will try to represent my argument with some simplified mathematical assumptions.

One of the key links here is between electric cars and cars that are autonomous. Larry Burns and Christopher Slugan actually do a great job of using numbers to show us how gasoline cars are energy inefficient in their book “Autonomy”.

At the time of writing the book, these people claimed that about 30% of the energy from the gasoline that we put into our car is used to move it down the road. Should we do some back of the envelope calculations to verify? Or should we accept this number as true. I do wish this book had footnotes. Oh wait, you mean it’s not perfect? Imagine my shock.

Skeptics make the best scientists, and yet I don’t know which weight class my readers might be thinking of. Therefore, I’m going to generalize, like a physicist, and still be practical like an engineer. The result will be an equation that you can plug the relevant numbers into.

Let’s consider this piece of evidence, which comes with its own citation.

First, let us assume that it takes the same amount of energy to move each pound. This lets us know right away, that lighter payloads require less energy to transport.

So, how much does your car cost? What are we measuring in? Dollars? How do we convert between dollars and the probability of a car crash? It my estimation it’s not a worthwhile endeavor. This makes it so difficult to come up with a a single sort of “cost index”. Remind me to take economics out of my “About Us” portion on this site.

Somehow, we’ll have to put a number on the probability of an accident, the probability of death. I mean, why trust some visionary genius altruist CEO to do that for us, right? What are we, morons?

I’m really just grasping at stars here, aren’t I? I’ll finish this later. Maybe I was just writing satire the whole time. Who’s buying it?

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