AUTO MAKERS SEEK MOTORIST HELP TO CUT FUEL USE
The Alliance of Automobile Manufactures has kicked off a program
(www.EcoDrivingUSA.com) that seeks motorist cooperation in an effort to reduce fuel use.. This reflects the economic impact of U.S. dollar outflow for
imported oil, delays in achieving increased domestic energy supply and lead times needed for re-tooling more fuel efficienct vehicles all under a cloud of national economic crisis. .
Alliance members are BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Mazda, M-B USA, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Toyota and VW which the Alliance says represent 77% of car and light truck sales in the U.S.
Aside from the usual factors of vehicle maintenance and tire pressure control, the Alliance acknowledges that the largest potential for cuts in fuel use are reductions in motorist hard acceleration and high speed driving.. Asked if this effectively means that the focus is now on the question of how to “un-sell” motorist use of high horsepower, a spokesperson for the Alliance tells Auotomotive Industriess, “we are all part of the problem”.
The Alliance is following the example set after hurricane Katrina which cut Gulf Coast refinery output three years ago. Oil companies at the time ran advertisements in major media that promised 20% less fuel use by motorists who avoid hard acceleration and high speeds. The problem now is not a short term fuel supply problem but rather a key part of the U.S economic crisis which includes recent $700 billion/year outflow for foreign oil.
Uncertain is the timing of substantial new supplies of alternative fuels and development of untapped U.S oil potential such as the 2 trillion bbl of shale oil in the Rock Mountain West. Also uncertain is the collective impact of emerging vehicle fuel efficiency technology and vehicle downsizing although the outlook in this area appears to be good.