Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why no 50mpg cars? Look in the mirror says Newsweek.

In Europe, cars average 43mpg. In Japan, they're up to 50. Here in the US, we're at 25. Why? It's your fault, Mr. or Ms. Consumer.

According to Newsweek: "To get to 50mpg in the near future, consumers would have to trade off at least one of three very important things—cost, drive quality or safety. That's because the quickest way to make a car more fuel-efficient is to make it smaller, lighter and equip it with some high-tech (a.k.a. costly) propulsion system like a plug-in gas-electric system."

When Ford ran a computer model to create a 50mpg Focus, they cut 1,000 pounds (30 percent of the car's weight) by substituting much lighter aluminum for the steel currently used. The resulting price tag? $50,000.

Smaller cars are dangerous, too. Pound360 will give that to SUV drivers. The smallest cars on the road 2.5-times the death rate of the largest.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.