Saturday, December 15, 2007

35 MPG

According to an article in the NY Times, the US Senate has passed a bill to force cars, small trucks and SUVs to achieve an average 35 miles per gallon by the year 2020. Unknown to me, apparently the current bar is at 27.5 mpg for the year 2008, but I can't help but chuckle at that one - perhaps I'm misinformed, but I don't think the average SUV sold today, in 2007, achieves 27.5 mpg or anywhere close to that. Cars, maybe, but not SUVs or small trucks.

Despite my doubts that auto manufacturers will actually adhere to this new standard, lets hope that they at least improve significantly over what they can do today.

In frustrates me to no end seeing so many SUVs on the streets of Cambridge/Boston and the neighboring areas. In my own unscientific estimation, close to 40% of the non-work-related vehicles driving around the city are SUVs and I have to wonder... why?

Is there some off-road driving that needs to be done in the middle of the city that I'm simply not aware of? Maybe they need to drive across the Boston Commons to avoid traffic?

Are these people driving off to the Great Outdoors on weekends and for some reason need an SUV? Like in those SUV commercials where young couples go off and drive through mountain ranges and settle on some cliff to have a picnic while enjoying the view of nature?

If those couples really enjoy nature so much, you'd think that instead of getting an SUV, they'd have bought a (cheaper) car, driven to a parking lot near some hiking trails, and hiked through the wilderness.

If everyone bought an SUV and tore up the wilderness every weekend to "get away", there'd be nothing to get away to after a few years. Everyone would just be driving to SUV parks (kinda like trailer parks, except even trashier).

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