Car Fuel Efficiency Counterpoint

I’ve always appreciated a zippy, spacious, and fuel-efficient car. In fact that is my criteria when I goout looking for the next car. I attend the annual car shows and soon determine what is available fornew or future used car purchase. Dealers soon figure that out, and don’t waste their time on the standard promotions with me.

My first car was a 1964 white with red leather interior impala, bucket seats, and stick shift that got 13-17 mpg; now referred to as a boat. My second was a smaller zippy station wagon with bucket seats, and stick shift that got 30-35 mpg.

Over the years the car cost has gone up as safety improvements and fuel efficiency increases were declared by manufacturers. But the facts showed that the gas efficiency went from 30-35 mpg to 28-32 mpg-in the same ballpark. The increased car price was tied to the requirements of getting increased efficiency-but where was the increased efficiency that was professed over four decades.

For a brief history of the car fuel economy refer to this brief report and graph. My second car purchased had met the fuel economy, and this was the reason (along with the oil shortage-crisis) that forced congress to enact the nations first fuel economy standards.

For how we regulate and determine car fuel economy refer to this article. It depends on social issues and government regulation.

From the Green Car Congress-refer to the reported sales of hybrids. Yet the fuel efficiency is not increasing compared to the higher cost, and the disposal of battery materials.

Business Week reported on “The Road to a new CAFÉ Standard” that forces automakers to more fuel efficiency. Will automakers achieve a 35 mpg fuel economy standard by 2020-approximately the same as my second car?

The EPA is responsible for providing fuel economy (gas mileage) data that is posted on the window stickers of new vehicles. Will the government agencies (EPA, DOE, DOT IRS) be able to control the fuel efficiency or will the public dictate by what it buys?

National security and environmental quality concerns were important forces affecting the U.S. petroleum industry during the past 30 years. Much of the Federal legislation on petroleum was directly or indirectly associated with limiting petroleum imports or reducing petroleum-related pollution. Several political and economic events that occurred between 1970 and 2000 were critical because of the Nation’s dependence on petroleum imports.

The cost of a barrel of oil has been held below $35 in the past years. Now due to regulations, environmental concerns, and the world situation it is now above $100 per barrel. Is fuel efficiency and environmental factors our main concerns, or has our requirement and dependency on government regulation gotten out of hand? Is there a free market, or just a desire to force their ill begotten will on us?

Of interest are the candidate’s views on technological issues: Energy, Climate change, Space program, skilled worker shortage, and technology.

My second car was able to meet 30-35 mpg. My present car meets 28-32 mpg. Have all the years really brought about an improvement in fuel efficiency and environmental concerns? I know a car does cost considerably more, it is also easier to maintain, but fuel efficiency?