When Fuel Economy Matters
As prices climb so does the desire for more fuel efficient cars
And to think that once, not so long ago, we thought two bucks a gallon was too much, and we swore that we’d never be like those Europeans, with their dirty little diesels and tiny toy cars. It sure seems as though we’re headed that way now, thanks to foreign oil barons, hurricanes and the unabated greed of oil companies. Though most experts expect the price of fuel to stabilize – even decrease slightly – before the end of the year, chances are that it won’t be long before spring price increases send the price hurtling upward once again. The result is a gasoline double whammy, a merging of increases with no relief in sight.
It's not a question of if – only when. In fact, the only real question is, will we continue to purchase vehicles that get less than 20 mpg when the price of fuel reaches $4 per? There’s evidence that it’s happening now. According to industry trade journal Automotive News, August saw a 10.1-percent increase in sales, but a 1.6-percent decrease in light truck sales. Vehicles such as the Chevrolet Silverado took big hits last month, as did the Ford Explorer, while the Toyota Prius and other small cars sold in droves. Judging from August sales, and the continued increase of gas prices, it’s clear that the shift toward more fuel efficient cars has already begun.