When purchasing a new vehicle, gasoline economy was a key factor for at least one-third of American car buyers. Way back in 1992 by now General Motors built a vehicle that got 100 miles to the gallon – and all these years later 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, to be able to meet American safety regulations, the 3-cylinder vehicle required reinforcement weighing 200 pounds, which led to further development being discarded.
It might be shocking that GM had this car built and left behind, but they had other prototypes that ended the same way. The GM Lean Machine of 1982, which could obtain 80 mpg, as well as the GM Ultralite which achieved a fabulous 100 mpg, were two of these vehicles. In 1992 Honda had been attaining 50 miles per gallon with the Civic VX, and at the same time General Motors had vehicles behind the scenes getting 100 MPG, though selling the public cars that were getting 20 MPG. If cars that were capable of doing 100 miles per gallon had already been developed way back then, why is it that such cars are not being sold today?
What makes traditional vehicles sold in the US, while at the same time, the same vendors are selling different vehicles far away in other countries? Cars that achieve more than 70 mpg have been available in Europe and Japan for several years. For example, the Volkswagen Lupo has never been marketed in north america – this is a car that gets 78 mpg. Honda launched to the US market in 2007, a car called the Fit, but known as the Jazz in other parts of the world. Inside Japan the Jazz designs include one with a more compact engine, plus there are ways to improve fuel consumption, but with the Fit in the US not even the option of a smaller engine is offered.
Auto manufacturers in America express to their public that they make big autos because they, the public, love big autos. It really is apparent that manufacturers don’t make a lot of money selling a small 2-person commuter vehicle, but they certainly do selling big SUVs. Commercials have convinced the citizens of the US that Tanks on Wheels are an absolute must to have. It is quite apparent where the big companies’ interests lay when you consider that they have never offered options. GM could today have been in the forefront with fuel-efficient vehicles, but they decided, rather, to champion SUVs. The rest of the car makers did the same thing by producing fuel-efficient cars, but then denied them to Americans.
We live in a community that has conducted 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. Consider how many people who were never given the choice would have been thrilled to have a car that was fuel-efficient? It’s possible that it is time to get those previous plans back out and build a vehicle that has already been built before.
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