Fuel Economy Gives New Meaning to ‘Riding Dirty’
Are you caught riding dirty? As far as fuel economy is concerned I am, with my small SUV getting a whopping 19 MPG on the highway. The CO2 emissions are sickening, too. Have fun with the EPA’s carbon calculator at http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ind_calculator.html Believe me, I can’t wait to trade it in for a Prius. (They will begin selling the new & improved hybrid in the US starting in early 2009 http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2008-05-21-honda-gas-electric-hybrid_N.htm ) The ACEEE’s Green Book publishes a list of ‘greenest’ and ‘meanest’ vehicles, naming Volkswagen Touareg, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Ford F-250 among the ten worst. (See the full list at http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0922086.html) However, the Honda Civic GX, Toyota Prius, and Honda Civic Hybrid are listed as the top three most fuel efficient. Everyone is feeling the pain at the pump, but few can afford to trade in their vehicles. Caught in a vicious cycle, many Americans wonder how to escape their dependence on gas when more disposable income is funneled directly into their gas tanks rather than saving for a more fuel efficient vehicle.
One obvious solution is taking mass transit. Many cities are adding new routes and buses to acomodate the influx of new passengers. http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/05/11/business/10transit.php This is a no-brainer for residents of NYC or Chicago, and even my hometown of Houston is finally witnessing a change in attitude toward the alternative to the dreaded daily commute. Hey, the perks are definetly there- you can read the paper while someone else drives, listen to music, read a book or just about anything else that we try to do while steering through the hoards of fellow commuters. I’m going to try this myself this fall, for the first time. I’m looking forward to it, mostly because I want to green my family as much as possible. Also, we just can’t chunk that much change into our gas budget.