Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on May 15, 2008
I have often dreamed of owning a Prius. I am certainly energized by thoughts of push-button ignition, sleek, egg-shaped driving fun, and of course 55 mpg. Unfortunately my dreams took a blow this week as I learned of Toyota’s resistance to the new energy bill, which calls for raising fuel efficiency in cars to 35 mpg by 2020.
Why, you might ask? At first I thought Toyota might be fighting for stricter standards. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Toyota fell in line with the US auto giants who opposed the new standards. Their reason: 35 mpg is unattainable.
Let’s put this in perspective. A man first stood on the moon in 1969. NASA plans to start building its moon outpost in 2020. Raising fuel efficiency by 7.5 mpg in 12 years is unattainable? Who is running these companies anyway? And what are they afraid of? By 2020 new companies like Aptera will have wiped out these dinosaurs if they don’t get on board with those of us who believe in the + + benefit of more-efficient cars – ending our oil dependence and reducing emissions.
Only in the 11th hour, after more than 100,000 messages from Prius owners, did Toyota change its tune and officially back the new standards. And here’s another idea to think about. If everyone slowed down to 65 mph, fuel efficiency would be increased by 2-3 mpg for all vehicles – without anyone any changes to technology, corporate infrastructure, etc. Imagine that impact.