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HYDROGEN = HOT AIR?
June 18, 2008: Honda just announced the impending release of their new "zero emission" hydrogen car, the .† While we're happy to see the field of alternative fuel vehicles expand, we also wonder how much of this is hot air ... at least so far.††First off, Honda only plans to lease a few dozen of the vehicles in specific areas in California this year and plans to get up to the whopping number of 200 within three years. Second, there is no large scale distribution system in the U.S. for hydrogen fuel, which would be necessary for large-scale commercial rollout of the FCX Clarity.† On the other hand, we are intrigued by the whole back to the future idea of a†.† It reminded one of us of our childhood in rural Minnesota, living with that†† ...† With high gas prices now the norm and†unlikely to fall in a big way any time soon, most Americans have had to change their driving habits. Carpooling, driving less and using mass transit are a few of the options they've been taking up to avoid that sharp pain at the gas pump.† As NPR reports, for some Americans,†† ... †And several consumer groups††before putting rules into place ...
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PREDICTING HIGH GAS PRICES: EXPERTS 0, AMERICAN PUBLIC 1
June 10, 2008: While some experts scoffed back in January when 40MPG.org released its survey on the expectations of Americans for summer gas prices, we now find ourselves in the unfortunate position of being proven correct.  All too correct, in fact.    We reported back in January that 71 percent of Americans thought gas would reach $4 a gallon this summer and almost half (48 percent) thought they would exceed $4 a gallon.  We also reported that over half of Americans would cut back on summer travel if prices did reach this level and 58 percent said they would cut back on personal spending.  This is all happening now and in addition, the  reports: "In a society nurtured on cheap gasoline, the high fuel prices are having disparate effects: the end of free pizza deliveries at major franchises, a plunge in the sales of sport-utility vehicles, a steep drop in the price of houses that are far from jobs or mass transit."  On the solution side, an editorial from the  points out that lowering our speed can significantly help with fuel economy performance.    As it turns out,   ...
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TEETERING ON THE EDGE OF $4 GAS
June 3, 2008: Gas prices are now at $3.98 per gallon, the highest price ever recorded, according to the Energy Department.  And that's just the national average. . Not surprisingly, public transportation ridership levels are surging in such cities as , ,  and   ...  Amid  that make SUV and trucks, it's not surprising that they are also  It remains to be seen who will want a Hummer in the future  ...  When claims are made that cars can (or will soon) run on compressed air, organic waste or even water, do you write off such claims as fiction?  If necessity truly is the mother of invention, such schemes now stand a much greater likelihood of coming to pass.   As gas prices continue to rise, smaller companies are breaking from the standard hybrid/electric space and  ...
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GAS UP 15 CENTS Ö IN ONE WEEK!
May 28, 2008: "Sticker shock" just doesn't cut it anymore.  We need to come up with a whole new phrase to describe the kick in the gut that happens when   ....  How bad are things for consumers in the U.S.?  As the , we are abandoning gas guzzlers in droves and Ford has even reintroduced to U.S. shores the Fiesta - last seen in the 1970 oil embargo period  ...  OK, we will admit that we watch that  as much as the next guy (and then some), but what's with all the -related auto coverage lately?  The  writes of auto designers who allegedly are channeling George, Jane, Elroy and the whole crew.  And the  even took  the flying-car bait.  As Astro might say:  Ruh-roh!   ...  On a more serious note, USA Today has an interesting story on how  ...  
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LIQUID PAIN: SUBPRIME MEMORIAL DAY VACATION?
May 20, 2008: Expect to see a lot more people hanging around your neighborhood than is typical for a Memorial Day holiday weekend.   From around the country, we're hearing stories of record gas prices , and in some cases .  The result?  Americans  over Memorial Day weekend. Some places are  to get travelers to visit. Unfortunately, we've already seen our predictions of national gas prices at or above $3.50 per gallon coming true and expect a $4 per gallon national average to be a reality all too soon  ...  Chrysler's offer to subsidize gas costs for new buyers of its vehicles for three years after their purchase may have some people seeing green (as in cash) but in reality, it's a counterproductive marketing hustle.  Amen!  ...  More reports out there that that  Volkswagen is predicting that by 2018,  More than one of us here at 40MPG.org is already itching for a test drive! ...  
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ITíS A GREEN FLAG AT THIS FINISH LINE
May 13, 2008: No fewer than 46 alternative fuel cars -- including one powered by wood chips -- participated in the fourth-annual Green Grand Prix in New York this past weekend. The goal of event founder Bob Gillespie is    Cars that have participated in the event in the past have gotten up to 100 MPG.  This year's winners: "... a biodiesel-powered Harley-Davidson motorcycle ridden by New England Biodiesel founder Bill Bolch took top fuel honors at 89 miles per gallon, while a Chevrolet Equinox powered by a hydrogen fuel cell was second overall in the road rally."  ...  With gas prices continuing to hit records, we are all looking for ways to conserve.   ...  More evidence that car buyers are rejecting gas hogs and moving to more fuel efficient vehicles:  ...    
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ETHANOL AND YOUR SHRINKING MPG
May 6, 2008: We've noticed our fuel economy decrease as ethanol has been blended with gas.  So, we're wondering just how big a hit ethanol is on MPG.   According to the Boston Herald:   And in a side-by-side comparison taking into account energy loss, E85 can also cost a household nearly $100 per year more than conventional gas  ...  If you're still looking for a way to improve your fuel economy,  ...
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EUROPIFICATION: WE TOLD YOU SO!
April 30, 2008: Have you heard the new, hip term for the transition in America to smaller, gas-sipping cars? Europification. Sound familiar? It should since we reported not only last year but more than two years ago that Americans want access to more fuel efficient vehicles available only in Europe and Asia. Business Week notes: ... Those truckers woes we noted in early April have now made their way to Washington, as to protest high fuel prices and demand government action ... And if you're looking for more details on how the new CAF… standards will work, Harry Stoffer of Automotive News explains how the ...
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31.6 BY 2015: TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
April 23, 2008: The rolled out with much fanfare yesterday would increase fuel economy to a 31.6 MPG average for cars and trucks by 2015 and Our question is this: Why is Washington shooting so low on MPG? We already know that much higher levels of fuel economy are possible faster and that the time for half solutions has passed ... With gas prices continuing to rise each week to across the country, including , we need to push for the maximum achievable fuel efficiency ASAP ... There is a rising uproar around the world blaming the , causing some lawmakers to wonder if the . Some groups are trying to help alleviate the problem by ... Some Maryland residents look for ways to ... and a is part of the growing movement away from gas-hog SUVS towards gas-sipping smaller vehicles ...
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NISSAN TO THE RESCUE OF LOW-MPG CHRYSLER?
April 15, 2008: Check this out:  Nissan will build and all-new small fuel efficient car for Chrysler, similar to the Versa, and Chrysler will build Nissan a version of its Dodge Ram pickup to replace the Titan pickup. CNN Money notes: "Chrysler badly needs a high-volume small car to cushion it from the precipitous falloff in its pickups and SUVs, as well as to meet stringent new federal fuel economy regulations in 2020. With sales this year down 15.5% - more than any other major automaker - Chrysler also needs to demonstrate more vitality."  Could there be any clearer indication of how Detroit missed the high-MPG boat?  If you don't want to hear it from us, read the words of Bloomberg commentator Doron Levin, who points out that the Big Three automakers are  in essentially giving the small car market starting in the 90's to the Asian carmakers  ...  This  is right on the money: "With record oil prices topping $100 a barrel this year and gas prices now climbing toward $4 a gallon, America's oil addiction is more painful than ever. So far the government response has been far more rhetoric than action. That must change. ... As the presidential candidates continue to stump for the White House, America's addiction to oil should be on the campaign agenda." ...
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GAS PRICES UP SHARPLY FROM SPRING 2007
April 8, 2008: You may have thought that gas prices last year were painful, but it turns out that was nothing.   That's right nearly 60 cents higher than a year ago!  ...  Don't hold your breath waiting for gas prices to drop any time soon.  As for the long-term outlook, the head of a consulting firm which specializes in the oil and gas market,   ...  With gas prices sky high, high-MPG vehicles are hotter than ever.  A new study by J.D. Power concludes that   Power says that by 2015, the two technologies will achieve a combined 17 percent of the U.S. new car and light truck market ... The Car Care Connection says that simple maintenance can improve your car's fuel economy, potentially saving up to $1,200 or more a year, in addition to improving safety and dependability. They have a  ...    
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(DONíT) KEEP ON TRUCKING?
April 2, 2008: Did people think that energy prices could just keep rising forever without hitting a breaking point?  If you're an independent trucker buying swimming pools of diesel at a time, you to bring the issue to the attention of lawmakers.  are making it tough for many independent truckers to stay in business.  As we reported at the end of January, 65 percent of Americans said the only reason they had not cut down on their driving to or from work was because they were not able to.  If you're commuting to work, that's one thing. But a trucker has no real choice in the matter. The story of the trucker strike is being told , and , along with dozens of other news outlets  ...  Ford's just released March sales show that . Not surprisingly, the from last year's March figures.  And conversely, Ford's fuel-sipping cars, like the Focus compact and Edge, saw an almost 24 percent gain  ...  Score one for Congress. Lawmakers lambasted oil companies executives this week for ...
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NO CLIMATE CONTROL FOR OLD MEN?
March 25, 2008: John McCain ... Isn't he that Republican presidential candidate who embraces action on climate change?  You might want to make sure you check out the fine print on that one.  In a recent interview with E&E Daily, one of McCain's top advisors said he would consider taking the recent weak MPG standards signed by President Bush   We're at a loss as to how that would help curb global warming.  And it seems as though   Some are saying this is not such a big switch after all, given that the  ... If the cost of gas is wiping out your bank account, check out these  ... Diesel prices are climbing fast, too.  And it's been a brutal couple of years for truckers, many of whom are going broke.   "Dan Little, the owner/operator of a livestock hauling company in Carrollton, Mo., estimated Tuesday that at least 1,000 other truckers from across the United States have committed so far to joining him in a strike on April 1." One truck company operator in Maine says that  ...    
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