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Vehicle Fuel Economy : Budget Math 0.1 in $2014 USD Prices

Your budget is affected by fuel prices and the fuel economy of your vehicles. Here I examine in a crude brief way the relative impact that fuel prices will have on your annual budget given current and emerging vehicle energy economy trends projected into the future. 

2014 Era Fuel Prices 

25 MPG at $4 / gal & 12,000 mi per year = Annual Fuel Cost $1920 : Conventional Vehicle
50 MPG at $4 / gal & 12,000 mi per year = Annual Fuel Cost $960 : Affordable Good Hybrid Vehicle

75 MPG at $4 / gal & 12,000 mi per year = Annual Fuel Cost $540 : Plug-in Hybrid

100 MPG at $4 / gal & 12,000 mi per year = Annual Fuel Cost $480 : Diesel 2cyl Plug-in Hybrid

125 MPG at $4 / gal & 12,000 mi per year = Annual Fuel Cost $480 : Aero Optimized PHEV

150 MPG at $4 / gal & 12,000 mi per year = Annual Fuel Cost $320 : Possible Below $65,000

2025 Era Fuel Prices

Carbon fiber reinforced plastics will be commonplace for major frame and body sections. Ceramics, advanced polymers and advanced metal alloys will be used extensively in regular vehicle construction. Autonomous self driving luxury cars will be normal.

80 MPG at $9 / gal & 12,000 mi per year = Annual Fuel Cost $1350 : Advanced Conventional

135 MPG at $9 / gal & 12,000 mi per year = Annual Fuel Cost $800 : Low Cost Aero Hybrid

250 MPG at $9 / gal & 12,000 mi per year = Annual Fuel Cost: $432 : Carbon Fiber Aero Hybrid

2083 Era Fuel Prices

Dramatic improvements in machine cognition and engineering production refinement, it will become possible to build a car that integrates many future innovations in materials science and technology. Super energy efficient vehicles will be normal, and exceptionally energy efficient vehicles will be a luxury.

200 MPG at $24 / gal & 10,000 mi per year = Annual Fuel Cost $1200 : Affordable

400 MPG at $24 / gal & 10,000 mi per year =Annual Fuel Cost $720 : Exotic

3000 Era Fuel Prices

Grid Generator Standby Portable Safe Thorium Power Core Vehicle Energy System $24,000

Fully Automated Core Refill Every 5 years $2500

Annual Lifetime Average Vehicle Use Energy Cost $4500

Home and Work Energy Costs will be reduced because of the networked nuclear power sources. The power networks will be like the communications networks of today. The big heavy battery that goes in the car, will be used to produce power at home, and in office buildings, factories and business places.

Small lightweight super safe thorium reactors that operate with a direct drive thermo-ionic conversion system that harness the radiation as electrical energy directly. This ultra high energy portable energy generators will become the way that people power the future, long after it no longer makes sense to burn carbon for any source of energy. Chemical industrial and electrical developments along with material science advances and extremely refined nuclear energy technology, will combine to allow people of the future to live carbon free energy lives.

Energy is going to be expensive in the distant future: but not much more than we might expect from the cost of a mass produced, intrinsically redundantly safe thorium power generator pack that a normal human can carry, that produces 10kW of electrical energy continuously. Such a device would be able to power all electric heavy transport vehicles, ships and electric aircraft. Nuclear electric final drive will migrate from aircraft carriers of today into the daily lives of every day people in the future. Tiny safe car battery sized nuclear reactors with lead, bismuth, and other exotic shielding technologies, with passive air cooled solid state direct energy conversion cores. It might seem almost inconceivable, but an 80lb nuclear reactor of the future will be able to power the lives of everyday people. The small household reactors that power homes and vehicles of the future will cost $15K to $45k in terms of todays USD values.

The topic of fuel economy will change when people stop thinking about gas prices and start considering long term financial planning for a Thorium Solid State Energy Home and Vehicle Power Generator solution. In the home, the small car battery sized reactors will link into the grid. In the vehicle the 10kw energy cores will work with a large capacity 50kWh onboard vehicle energy storage system. 

Energy Cost Analysis will become more important to everyone as the costs of energy increase. Our homes and vehicles will become more efficient, but with the abundance of energy offered by thorium solid state reactors, we will move forward to a whole new level of development as a species and as a civilization. 

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