The unusually loud portions of my TV watching have had me thinking: Why does every car commercial boast about mediocre gas mileage? My current ride, a ’96 Saturn, is getting better gas mileage than 99% of those in its class. In fact, I did a little research on MPGs using fuel efficiency reports on fueleconomy.gov and I found that there were more models in production in the 90’s with better gas mileage than produced in 2008. Sure the years of Geo Metros are over, partly because we don’t want to die in a fender bender, but this is the new millennium. Shouldn’t our fuel economy reflect the advancements made in transportation technology?
One of the things that set me off on this quest for MPG research is an article found on calcars.org.
Apparently, Toyota doesn’t ship the US Prius hybrids with a convenient little button that converts it into a fully electric vehicle. This feature is usefull in stop and go traffic, runs to the store, and trying to get out of the parking lot after the Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana concert.
You can purchase a Hybrid in Europe and Japan with this feature, so calcars published a how-to pdf that instructs the North American Prius owner on how to beat the system. You can also check out calcars’ plug-in electric vehicles, and how they’re creating them.
Here’s my take on the auto industry in video form:
There is obviously something going on here. I think the auto industry is telling the American consumer what they need rather than listening to what the market is demanding. I’ll prove this to you in my next post outlining a new ad campaign by a heavy hitter in the oil industry, and no it’s not T. Boone Pickens.
Sweet name, though.
Check out more of Tim Cox’s writing at TimNCox.com