Posts Tagged ‘mpg’

The Feds are in Town Today, for the Big 54.5 MPG Fuel Standard Meeting Up in Fishermans Wharf – Plus, Point Counterpoint

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Get all the deets about the Feds’ big meeting after the jump.

Now, here it is, “Support 54.5 mpg auto fuel standard”

Fresh from the latest Washington debate on giving middle-class families a much-needed tax cut, here’s one burden off your future paychecks that you can count on – a $4,400 savings on gasoline.

Uh no, Gentle Reader. Don’t “count on” that.

Just weeks ago, President Obama proposed strengthening fuel efficiency and carbon pollution standards for passenger cars and light trucks to require that they get an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. That means the average California family buying a car in 2025 will save up to $4,400 on gas over the car’s lifetime, even after paying for fuel-saving technology.

Well, gee, won’t “the average California family buying a car in 2025″ be able to get a car that gets 54.5 mpg anyway? I think so. Actually, I know so. And gee, isn’t the average California family buying a car in 2012 able to get a ride that gets 54.5 mpg right now? I think so. Actually, I know so.

Additionally, we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil. These standards will reduce our oil consumption by 1.5 million barrels per day, the same amount we imported from Saudi Arabia and Iraq combined last year. That’s a big deal.

Uh let’s see here, the lion’s share of oil that America uses comes from just three countries – can we list them now? I’ll give a hint, they’re all in North America. They are America, Canada, and Mexico. How much do we import from Saudi Arabia and Iraq? Not a whole bunch. It’s not a big deal.

Instead of draining our economy by sending nearly $1 billion a day overseas for oil, we can use the savings from new clean car rules to invest in businesses in California that will drive American innovation and industry. Indeed, California is a recognized leader in the United States in innovation and investment in energy-efficient cars.

People can buy more fuel-efficient cars right now, can’t they?

These standards enjoy the support of three-quarters of all Americans and 13 major auto manufacturers, including Detroit’s “Big Three,” which have signed letters of commitment supporting strong standards. It’s not hard to see why fuel-efficient cars are so popular. These proposed policies will drive demand for fuel-saving technology and put money back in Americans’ pockets, which will create 484,000 jobs economy-wide by 2030, including 43,000 in the auto industry.

Three-quarters of all Americans don’t support this standard. Not really. Detroit’s “Big Three” doesn’t support this standard. Not really. Fuel-efficient cars aren’t “so popular in America.” Not really. This standard won’t create half a million jobs. Not really.

We need to recognize that these standards are not partisan or controversial. Saving the average American family thousands of dollars on gas, cutting pollution, decreasing the costly negative health impacts from this pollution, combatting climate disruption, creating jobs and revitalizing the American auto industry as an engine of economic growth are benefits we can all get behind. Equally important, we would be cutting carbon pollution in 2030 by an amount equal to shutting down 72 coal-fired power plants for a year.

This standard is partisan and controversial. Oh, hey, why don’t we just tax the hell out of gasoline? I’d support that. And it would accomplish all your goals, right?

This is the biggest single step that a U.S. president has taken to break America’s addiction to oil. President Obama should keep doing the right thing and finalize these strong standards this summer so that American families get a “tax cut” on gas for decades at the same time we decrease our reliance on foreign oil. It’s critical to stand up to the current efforts trying to oppose or weaken these standards.

Raising the standard for mpg is not a “tax cut.” Raising the standard for mpg is not a “tax cut.” Raising the standard for mpg is not a “tax cut.”

Join the Sierra Club and hundreds of other at a public hearing Jan. 24 in San Francisco, one of the three cities in the United States where hearings are being held, and the only one on the West Coast. Urge Obama administration officials to keep these proposed standards strong so that we don’t need to fight future wars to secure oil supplies. Help American move beyond oil.

Of course, “Help American move beyond oil.”

Linda Weiner is a member of the executive committee of the Sierra Club’s San Francisco Group. For hearing details, go to http://blog.sfgate.com/opinionshop/

Thanks, Linda. You know, you’re not supposed to just make up stuff when you argue.

Even when you know you’re correct.

You understand that, right, Linda?

I mean, are there any consequences to your proposed course?

Yes there are.

But you don’t want to talk about that, do you?

OK fine.

(more…)

Is It Really True That Cars in the 1950s Only Went 100 Miles Between Fill Ups?

Monday, February 9th, 2009

No, no it’s not. But who’s saying that in today’s New York Times? Disingenuous Shai Agassi of Project Better Place, that’s who. To wit:

Cars in the 1950s only went about 100 miles on a tank of gas, and that problem was solved by installing an infrastructure of gas stations.”

See, he’s trying to get support for his scheme of battery exchange stations for electric cars, so he’s cogitating about History and stuff. Which is fine, but why does he have to be all Music Man all the time?  

A Nash from the 1940′s. Did some Nashes have a range of 600 miles on a tank of gas? Yes.

 

Other cars, like VW Beetles, could also go much farther than 100 miles on a tank. But what about your stereotypical slick black Cadillacs with sold gold hub caps? Could these huge vehicles with 20 gallon tanks get more than 5 mpg on the open road? Yes.

Well maybe Shai was talking about cars in Israel or Europe in the 1950′s? Even so, same deal. Does this make Shai Agassi a liar? A promoter? A Believer?

If it doesn’t matter what MPG cars got in the 1950s, then why talk about it in your pitch? If you’re mistaken about this, what else are you mistaken about?

New Chevy Volt Plug-In Electric Car Proposal – Meh

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Click here to see the latest version of the proposed Chevy Volt “series hybrid” gas-electric car from General Motors. Yes, that’s a fake grill on the nose of the car – apparently, all Chevies gots to have a grille whether they need it or not.

But that’s the way this “boring, boring, boring” vehicle will look once it gets to production.

But look below to see what the Chevy Volt looked like less than a year ago when it visited San Francisco.

Click to expand:  

Nobody expected these 22-inch wheels (complete with “not for road use” Michelin Green-X tires”) to make it into production, but the folks at Chevy could have tried a little harder to drag the show car dream into existence.  

Comes now Toyota with the third-generation Prius that might get a plug-in option at the end of next year. GM better hurry if it wants to get the Volt on the road before then.

But at least Hollywood’s Michael Bay is doing all he can to help. Having honed his skillz directing Scarlett Johansen (as Jordan Two Delta) in The Island, he’s now working on fitting the Chevy Volt into Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

But sadly, this little Chevy will just drive around and not transform into a robot or have any lines with Optimus Prime (known as Convoy in Japan).

Oh well…

Volkswagen Comes to San Francisco to Show Off Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

Monday, June 16th, 2008

It seems Volkswagen is making progress with fuel cell technology. VW dropped by a few places in the bay area this past week to show off their latest effort in the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. VW just happens to be introducing their “Tiguan” (tiger plus iguana, in German) crossover vehicle soon, so why not put this experimental propulsion technology in the latest platform?

CNET was there at the W Hotel and they took some photos. Wired also took some shots, plus they have a nice rundown on the whole affair.

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This Tiguan uses hydrogen fuel cell technology, which differs from what BMW has done with hydrogen so far. BMW’s approach is to just modify a typical internal combustion engine so that it will accept either gasoline or hydrogen. Comedian Jay Leno explains. But this method comes with its downsides.

VW was also pleased to show off the new fifty-state-legal Jetta TDI diesel. You can’t hardly tell it’s a diesel. Look to see lots of these TDI cars on the streets of San Francisco soon. It seems everyone who owns a TDI just raves about this high-MPG technology.

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Invizabul driver in the SOMA. This new 50-state-legal Jetta has plenty of power and very high MPG - perhaps you’d prefer this VW over the slightly larger and more expensive Toyota Prius hybrid?   

And let’s not forget about the Jetta TDI Cup Race, which shows the young’uns that diesel engines have come a long way since the bad old days. It’s the first clean diesel racing series evah.

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A  speedy TDI at the yummy XYZ restaurant in San Francisco.

VW says that their hydrogen fuel cell technology is seven to ten years away from being available. The sooner the better.

Riding Your Scooter on the Freeways of California

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Apparently, the freeways of California are open to scooters, if they’re the right kind. Like this Suzuki Burgman for instance, seen on the 101 heading north in Marin County.

Read all about these fast scooters here (and discover the set up for the Chronicle’s off-colour moped joke here). Maybe this is your new set of wheels?

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