Why Is It So Difficult To Build A Fuel-Efficient Vehicle?

Posted by on April 7, 2012 | No Comments

When purchasing a new car, gas economy was a key point for at least one-third of American car buyers. In 1992 previously General Motors built a vehicle that got 100 miles to the gallon – and all these years later on one of people’s major concerns on top of global warming and pollution is dependence on foreign oil. The GM TPC was a car that was able to get 75 miles per gallon, weighed about 1000 pounds, plus looked like the Geo Metro. However, in order to meet American safety regulations, the 3-cylinder vehicle required reinforcement weighing 200 pounds, which resulted in further development being discarded.

It was in no way the only protype designed by GM which ended up on the scrapheap. A few of these were the 1982 GM Lean Machine which performed 80 miles per gallon, and the GM Ultralite which managed to do 100 mpg. In 1992 Honda appeared to be achieving 50 miles per gallon with the Civic VX, and at the same time General Motors had vehicles behind the scenes getting 100 MPG, while selling the public cars that were getting 20 MPG. Because cars have already been designed that get 100 miles per gallon, then why are they not being sold to the general public?

Why are traditional vehicles sold in the US, while at the same time, the same vendors are selling different vehicles far away in other countries? Buyers in Japan and Europe have for several years now managed to get cars that do 70 miles per gallon and more. A case in point of a car never marketed within the US and capable of 78 mpg, is the Lupo by Volkswagen. In 2007, Honda in the united states launched the FIT, in other regions known as the Jazz. The Jazz in Japan has ways to increase fuel economy and a smaller engine, but for the US, the Fit doesn’t even contain a smaller engine as an option.

The auto companies tell Americans that they love big cars, and that is what they want to produce big cars. Not surprisingly they make big money on SUVs, and practically nothing on a small two-person commuter. Commercials have convinced the citizens of the US that Tanks on Wheels are an absolute must to have. It is quite obvious where the big companies’ interests lay when you consider that they have never offered options. In lieu of being identified with SUVs, GM today could have been identified as a leader in fuel-economic vehicles. Americans have not been denied merely by GM, but also by all of those other manufacturers who have developed fuel-efficient cars.

All of us live in a society that has fought wars over oil, that has been polluted, and car makers have never even given the choice to people in this country of fuel-efficient cars. Ask this question: how many people who were never given the choice would have been excited to have a car that was fuel-efficient? Could it be time to get access to those dumped designs and, again, start building those vehicles that were once built a long time ago?

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