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Can You Guess Who Doesn’t Like Higher Fuel Efficiency Standards?

2011/11/03

As previous mentioned in these “pages”, the Obama Administration has announced that fuel efficiency standards will go up to 54 mpg by the year 2025.  Even the car companies (who have always done their best to keep fuel efficiency standards low) were on board.  However, it turns out that car dealerships don’t like the idea one bit and are positioning themselves with the Republicans (conservatives) that are trying to stop the fuel efficiency standards from becoming law.  And if that doesn’t work, the dealership are actually considering lawsuits!

What’s their beef?  They believe that the increased costs associated with the increased fuel standards will discourage car buyers and that the Obama Administration’s agreement on fuel efficiency standards “bullies business and consumers”.

I say, raise the darn-tootin’ standards!  (I know.  I curse with the best of them.)  There are (in my opinion) three reasons why it is so difficult to reach higher fuel efficiency standards in North America (the models sold in Canada are the same as those sold in the USA).  First, our regulation of particulates (fine soot particles) doesn’t allow diesel engines to be as popular as in other jurisdiction (like Europe, where 50% of cars are diesels because they are much more fuel efficient).  Second, we like our V8 and V6 engines.  If you could fit a V8 in a Honda Civic, North America would be the place to do it.  And finally, but most importantly, we like big-old cars.  (Why drive around in 1400 kg of metal when you can ride around in 2000 kg of metal?!?)  Not only do we have gigantic trucks, mini-vans and SUVs that people use to commute (one person per vehicle), we don’t even sell some of the smaller models that are offered in other countries.

I’ll give you and example.  In Canada, the smallest VW you can buy is the Golf with a 2.5 liter gasoline engine or a 2.0 diesel.  In the UK, the 2.0 liter diesel is the largest engine available in the Golf!  You can actually go as small as a 1.2 liter engine.  But, more importantly, in the UK, VW offers two models that are smaller and smallerer (it’s word, I swearz) than the Golf: the Polo and the Up.

Wanna make some money, car dealerships?  How about offering some smaller cars?  Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease!  It’ll make YOU money, save US money and help us burn less fuel.  Come on.  You want to!

Source: World Environment News

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