Wednesday, August 09, 2006

On Time and MPG

VW brought the rabbit back to the US market. Read Dan Neil's review of it here. As usual, he was amusing. Yeah, I drove a rabbit around Berkeley and SF 20 years ago, wearing tie-dye no doubt. The real shocker comes at the end when he gave his actual gas mileage. The rabbit I drove got 40 miles to the gallon while he got 25% less than the EPA rating of 22/30. Even accounting for the difference between diesel and gasoline engines, the new rabbit's mpg is a disgrace.

My humongous Sienna minivan does better than that even though it is over 1000 pounds heavier and has more horsepower. Is VW purposely trying to make their cars consume more gasoline?

I read that, at a shareholder meeting, the head of VW bragged that VW had nothing to fear from government regulations on gas mileage. If necessary, VW could improve their fleet gas mileage 20% with merely software changes. Mark joked that the Europeans were engaging in economic warfare by getting us to waste energy on cars instead of putting it into production of goods that compete with theirs. I think that Americans don't need any help wasting energy and getting out of the production business. I think that the European and the American car manufacturers are telling us to buy Japanese cars.

I have shown in a previous post how Mark and Iris get around by bike. Iris sometimes tells me not to pick her up at school because she doesn't want to pollute and waste energy. I told her that I used to ride a bike everywhere, when I was healthier. She asked if she had ever known me when I was healthy. I had to tell her no.

I was so happy when we were able to ride together like that on the Boulder Creek path. Thanks, Pete and Celeste, for helping to make it possible. We are going to try it around home now that I am getting stronger again.

[I get better mpg than the average reported in the link above because of my driving style. We got 30 mpg with 4 people, a week's worth of camping gear and with the air conditioning blasting. Here is another article about how to improve your gas mileage in any car. I can't avoid stop and go driving in my neck of the woods. But I try to anticipate stops and coast as much as possible.]

1 comment:

  1. My 1982 Cadillac gets 18 MPG on average, and most of my driving is on surface streets. It's criminal when current cars get only fractionally better mileage.

    I'm contemplating a new car and friends are suggesting larger trucks and the Hemi-powered Magnum. Perhaps like most Americans they don't understand the value of sipping modestly from the gas tank. Along this line of reasoning, it seems that gas prices ought to increase another $0.50 or more per gallon to drive home the conservation message and get even more people to vote with their dollars.

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