Friday, July 21, 2006
Ford: they lost money because they build gas guzzling death monsters.
Even with "hybrid technology" the stupid Ford Escape still only gets (on a good day) about 25 mpg. My neighbour's Toyota Prius regularly gets twice that much, and often more.
When my wife and I bought our car, an Audi A4, back in 1997, we bought it as a highway cruiser, because she had to drive all the way to Santa Clara for work (She's been telecommuting since 2000 - so thank Bog those days are gone) Once it was paid off in 2002, we figured - heck - we don't drive that much anymore, and the car is in perfect condition. To this day it still gets 32 mpg on the highway, and 24 in the city. When we bought it, high test was about $1.50 a gallon. Now it is $3.50 a gallon. about 2.3 x as much, Which means our car's mileage per dollar of gas is 42% of what it used to be.
So, our 32 mpg car, for the dollar spent, now gets 13.4 mpg per dollar.
This means that an SUV that once got 12 mpg is effectively getting 5 mpg per dollar. So - doubling your mileage from 12 to 24 is really only getting you back to 10 mpg, which is less than where you were...
That is the razor of PeakOil - "we've doubled the mileage on our SUVs" isn't going to wash because the mileage they're starting from is so absurdly low and isn't keeping pace with the increase in expense.
America IS ready for hyper-efficient vehicles. I also believe that America IS ready to let go of the SUV. It will start with commuters and city dwellers, and eventually sink into the brains of the suburbanites who still labour under the illusion that they NEED an SUV to get their spawn to soccer practice, or that driving an SUV three blocks to the liquor store to get some beer and a pack of smokes is any more effective tan driving a Prius three blocks to the liquor store to get some beer and a pack of smokes.