Over the last five years, technological improvements have : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Over the last five years, technological improvements have

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Over the last five years, technological improvements have [#permalink]

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21 Jan 2010, 09:47
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Over the last five years, technological improvements have significantly reduced the cost of manufacturing and operating electric-powered cars. Nevertheless, the cost per gallon of gasoline at which it would become more economical to operate an electric car than a regular gas-powered car has remained unchanged.

Which of the following, if true, would do the most to explain why electric cars have become cheaper to operate but break-even point between electric and gas cars has not changed?

A.The price per gallon of gasoline has dropped by 25% over the last five years.
B.Electric-car manufacturers have managed to reduce production costs despite an increase in some raw material prices.
C.Improvements in aerodynamics have made regular gas-powered cars more efficient to operate.
D.Relative to the number of gas-powered cars, there are very few electric cars on the road today.
E.When the price of gasoline rises, more people are willing to take public transportation to work.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
C

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Last edited by mojorising800 on 21 Jan 2010, 23:11, edited 1 time in total.
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21 Jan 2010, 11:33
I would go with answer A.

By Power of Elimination C,D & E can be eliminated since they are irrelevant.
B does not support the argument.

The operating cost of electric cars is lesser compared to gasoline cars, however if the prices of gasoline has decreased in last five year, it would create a break-even point between the two types of cars.

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21 Jan 2010, 12:31
mojorising800 wrote:
Over the last five years, technological improvements have significantly reduced the cost of manufacturing and operating electric-powered cars. Nevertheless, the cost per gallon of gasoline at which it would become more economical to operate an electric car than a regular gas-powered car has remained unchanged.

Which of the following, if true, would do the most to explain why electric cars have become cheaper to operate but break-even point between electric and gas cars has not changed?

A.The price per gallon of gasoline has dropped by 25% over the last five years.
B.Electric-car manufacturers have managed to reduce production costs despite an increase in some raw material prices.
C.Improvements in aerodynamics have made regular gas-powered cars more efficient to operate.
D.Relative to the number of gas-powered cars, there are very few electric cars on the road today.
E.When the price of gasoline rises, more people are willing to take public transportation to work.

My take is C. Even though electric cars became cheaper and easily accessible, why don't they out-beat gasoline cars is the question at hand. Because, gasoline cars as well are operating efficiently is a good reason why gasoline cars haven't lost their market completely to electric cars.
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Re: Kapalan CR [#permalink]

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21 Jan 2010, 12:56
A once you grasp what the question is asking this is pretty easy
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21 Jan 2010, 15:41
My vote is to A also.
Because keyword is "break-even".
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22 Jan 2010, 04:05
My take is A
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Re: Kapalan CR [#permalink]

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23 Jan 2010, 10:40
Hey all,

Looks like a lot of you were heading in the wrong direction on this one, so I thought I'd weigh in. It's really important to pay attention to the exact wording of the conclusion here. "The cost per gallon at which it would become more economical to operate an electric car than a regular gas-powered car has remained unchanged." That cost per gallon is a theoretical number that the price of gasoline would need to reach before operating an electric car would become more economical than operating a gas powered car. The ACTUAL price per gallon of gasoline cannot affect that theoretical number. If I tell you that electric cars won't be more efficient than gas powered ones until gas costs ten bucks a gallon, the fact that gas maybe went down to four bucks a gallon does nothing to EXPLAIN why gas needs to cost ten bucks a gallon. This means that A cannot be the answer.

The answer must be C. This is because if gas-powered cars have become more gas-efficient, that would move the theoretical cost per gallon price upwards (in other words, now that gas-powered cars are more efficient, electric cars have to be EVEN MORE efficient to be economical).

Hope that helps!

Tommy
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23 Jan 2010, 11:34
Thanks Tommy but that was over my head.
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23 Jan 2010, 11:47
Let me try to put it more clearly.

The question tells us that there is some theoretical cost per gallon of gasoline (presumably quite high) at which it will finally be more economical to drive an electric car than a gas-powered one. Let's call that cost X. The question wants to know how it is that even though electric cars have become cheaper to operate (think of that as the cost of electricity), that value X has not changed.

Answer choice A merely tells us that gas, in the real world, has gotten cheaper. That's great. But it doesn't explain why that theoretical cost X hasn't changed. The only thing that could explain that would be that even though electric cars have gotten more efficient, so have gas-powered cars.

Hopefully that was clearer!

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Re: Over the last five years, technological improvements have [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2012, 10:00
Tommy Wallach, how come the theoretical cost X hasn't changed if technological improvements have significantly reduced the cost of manufacturing and operating electric-powered cars AND improvements in aerodynamics have made regular gas-powered cars more efficient to operate? I think these two factors should actually lower the theoretical cost X, but we know it has not changed. So I think there is a contradiction in your reasoning. Please answer.
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Re: Over the last five years, technological improvements have [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2012, 12:32
sam117 wrote:
Tommy Wallach, how come the theoretical cost X hasn't changed if technological improvements have significantly reduced the cost of manufacturing and operating electric-powered cars AND improvements in aerodynamics have made regular gas-powered cars more efficient to operate? I think these two factors should actually lower the theoretical cost X, but we know it has not changed. So I think there is a contradiction in your reasoning. Please answer.
Thank you

I think I can elaborate a bit on what tommy is trying to say. Basically the question is comparing two costs, and these two costs help to derive a 3rd cost. In theory if one goes up or down, the third cost should be affected. Its tricky to explain, I hope you are with me on this. Now the argument says that the cost of one thing is going down, but the 3rd cost is not going down. It asks us to explain how this could have occurred. THis could only have occurred if the two original costs were going down in the same proportion or at-least headed in the same direction because the third cost is a balance of the two. Its like a see-saw, we have to balance the load on both sides to maintain a balance, which is being maintained. Hence the difference is countered by a reaction from the other side, in a direction that is already asserted in the argument. The cost of maintaining gasoline powered cars has to go down to maintain the balance and hence a steady cost (the third one which is a derivative of the first two costs).
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Re: Over the last five years, technological improvements have [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2012, 16:47
It's not like a see-saw, in the sense that here both the costs of operating electric cars and gas-powered cars have decreased. On a see-saw if one side goes down the other goes up. Here both sides go down so the break-even point (X) should accordingly go down.
What you seem to say is that after the decrease in the cost of operating electric cars, the price of operating gas-powered cars has increased, and this increase has subsequently been offset. This is not the case.
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Re: Over the last five years, technological improvements have [#permalink]

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09 Apr 2012, 14:26
A.The price per gallon of gasoline has dropped by 25% over the last five years.

I also went with C

I did not go with A because whenever there is a number mentioned in GMAT questions unless there are some kind of values in the question itself it will be a wrong answer

Is this fair to say?

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Re: Over the last five years, technological improvements have [#permalink]

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21 Apr 2012, 23:45
This is many ppl screw up in Verbal and its hard

Cos in just 2 minutes you gotta think so mcuh so efficiently and with perfection!

Tough Job!
Re: Over the last five years, technological improvements have   [#permalink] 21 Apr 2012, 23:45
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