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Automobiles use 50 percent of all energy consumed in the United States

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Automobiles use 50 percent of all energy consumed in the United States  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2017, 10:25
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Source: Nova GMAT

Automobiles use 50 percent of all energy consumed in the United States. Since Congress has passed legislation requiring all cars built after 2002 to be twice as energy-efficient, eventually automobiles will consume only 25 percent.

The argument makes which of the following assumptions?

(A) Electric cars will not become widely available before 2002.
(B) The public will not be buying twice as many cars in 2002 as it is currently.
(C) As cars become more energy-efficient, the public does not increase its use of cars.
(D) Cars will actually be three times as energyefficient in 2002.
(E) Cars will not be significantly more expensive in 2002.

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Re: Automobiles use 50 percent of all energy consumed in the United States  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2017, 10:34
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We are given currently cars use 50% of emery produced. A new law requires all acrs built after 2002 be twice efficient, hence the consumption should be reduced to half. Provided they are not increasing their use.

(A) Electric cars will not become widely available before 2002. : Irrelevant.
(B) The public will not be buying twice as many cars in 2002 as it is currently. Trap choice. Notice, we are given in 2002. But the law is for cars after 2002. Hence, this is incorrect
(C) As cars become more energy-efficient, the public does not increase its use of cars.: As per our pre thinking. Hence, correct
(D) Cars will actually be three times as energy efficient in 2002. Irrelevant.
(E) Cars will not be significantly more expensive in 2002. Price is Irrelevant.
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Re: Automobiles use 50 percent of all energy consumed in the United States  [#permalink]

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New post 01 May 2017, 20:27
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let us simplify the reasoning given --

% of energy consumed by automobiles = (Average energy consumed by each automobile * No. of automobiles) / (Total energy produced)

We are told that this quantity is currently 50%.

However, we are told that efficiency of each car will increase by a factor of 2.

From this the author makes the assumption that Average energy consumed by each automobile would also be halved.

this makes the assumption that --
1. The amount of fuel consumed/amount of miles driven would be the same -- only then would the average energy consumed would drop by a factor of 2.

Other assumptions concern other terms. We also assume that --
2. No. of automobiles would not change much
3. Total energy produced would not change much

Any answer option that talks about any one of these assumptions should be the correct answer.

Option A - Incorrect
Electric cars do consume energy. We are talking about all automobiles.

Option B - Incorrect
Even if it does, this talks about "2002". However, the conclusion -- eventually automobiles will consume only 25 percent -- talks about the future.

Option C - Correct
This is the same as point #1. If the public does increase its usage of automobiles, then we CANNOT say that average energy consumed by each automobile would reduce.

Option D - Incorrect
We are talking about all cars since 2002, not just ONLY those in 2002.

Option E - Incorrect
We are talking about all cars since 2002, not just ONLY those in 2002.
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Re: Automobiles use 50 percent of all energy consumed in the United States &nbs [#permalink] 01 May 2017, 20:27
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