Saturday, February 16, 2008
Fuel Economy by: lezel Williamson
Image from mapwestOmage from Visit SwanktrendzI've been meaning to write about this for a while; Terry's recent article reminded me about it.There are lots of advancements being made these days in automobile fuel economy; about ten years ago, for instance, a couple moved in across the road from my parents. The husband was one of the inventors of the technology that was being used to use hydrogen as a fuel for cars. After a lot of research and trial, from what I understand, this avenue hasn't really panned out - but they sure made a lot of money off of it! People are very anxious to find alternate means of power for their cars.My friend was driving a hybrid car for work, and raving about it. Apparently it averaged about 75 miles to the gallon, or some such outrageous claim. And electric cars seem to be springing up more and more frequently. I even saw a show about some hot-rod guy who specializes in converting muscle cars into hybrids - apparently he has about a six month waiting list!<When we were down in California last year, the whole fuel-efficiency thing was definitely all the rage. Driven (pardon the pun) by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, California is trying to introduce as many hybrids and other forms of fuel-efficient and low-pollution vehicles as possible.Obviously pollution is a bad thing, and gas is getting more and more expensive all the time. Who wouldn't want to save money and protect the environment at the same time? But one segment of the economy who don't really need to pinch the pennies is really jumping on the bandwagon, too: celebrities.Not that long ago, Oscar nominees showed up to the awards ceremony in the biggest, most ostentatious vehicles possible. I guess showing up in the SS Destroy the Environment gave them a sense of power, or something. But today, the trend is definitely toward fuel efficient vehicles, both as an everyday vehicle and for splashy events such as the Oscars.Train travel, which has always been strong in Europe, is on the rise. New lines and more high speed trains are added every year. One hopes that this trend will soon cross over to this side of the Atlantic.