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Friday, September 23, 2005

Fuel Costs And Economy

I drove to Pennsylvania this morning to fill up my gas tank--the low fuel light came on just as I was arriving in Binghamton.  NYMary told me to go south 2 miles until I left the tax-heavy evil empire of New York and entered a land of milk and honey and mildly less-expensive gasoline.  She is wise.

The obnoxious fuel prices have had a completely unsurprising impact:

Toyota Motor Corp. has seen a rise in demand for hybrid vehicles in the United States in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as consumers seek more mileage out of $3-gallon gasoline, a top official said on Thursday.

"At the end of last month, we had a 20-hour supply of the Prius (hybrid sedan)," Jim Press, head of Toyota's U.S. operations, said at the Reuters Autos Summit, held in Detroit. "We no longer count in days."

I wonder if new car buyers will also be swayed by this:

The Environmental Protection Agency says it will propose by the end of this year significant changes to the way it estimates fuel-economy ratings -- the miles-per-gallon numbers shoppers see on price stickers in the windows of trucks and cars.

The agency has long been faulted for test methods, based on decades-old driving habits, that in most cases overestimate the miles per gallon drivers can expect. The EPA is acting as consumer groups such as traveler-friendly AAA and Consumers Union, a non-profit advocacy group, are calling for such changes, and consumers, spurred by the latest surge in gasoline prices, are paying more attention to their fuel consumption.

Apparently 90% of cars (including hybrids and diesels) tested by Consumer Reports had fuel economy claims that were inflated by 35-50%.  Yikes.

ntodd

September 23, 2005 in Biofuels, Bitches! | Permalink

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Comments

I was cleaning out a pile of old papers this week and happened across the window sticker for my '99 Saturn SL2. It was rated at 25 city / 36 highway MPGs. 6 years later, my average MPGs are 20 city / 34 highway.

Pretty accurate, I'd say.

Posted by: fiat lux | Sep 23, 2005 7:02:29 PM

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