Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Car Report Card

The Obama administration is redesigning the EPA stickers on new cars. Based on their fuel economy and environmental impact, they will have a grade letter assigned, from A-plus to D.

Story HERE.

From a transportation cyclist's viewpoint... that is so wrong!!!

Seems to me, the grades should run between, say, C-minus and F, if the grade is on fuel economy and environmental impact. The very best car - say, a Prius or the new Chevy Volt - is PATHETIC when compared with a bicycle! 50mpg? I scoff at such horrible mileage!

A couple other points:

Apparently the environmental impact is measured only by the "tailpipe emissions." That is bogus. To be realistic, it should include the greenhouse gases emitted by the power source. (If it's a plug-in car, someplace a dynamo is spinning to generate that power, even if it isn't onboard the car.) Also, it should take into account the projected life of the car, and how much it will impact the environment at the end of that life. (Is it loaded with poisonous, highly-polluting compounds in the batteries, the plastic, etc?)

If carmakers can get an "A" strictly on the tailpipe emissions, that is what they will focus on. They can afford to ignore everything else.

In a similar way, if kids are tested to gauge the performance of the Educational Industry, their instruction can be limited to what's on the test, rather than a well-rounded education.


Clancy said...

Look up Dust to Dust report. It goes over the whole cost lifecycle of various cars. A Hummer was cheaper per mile than a Prius.

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