So much car news, so little time! Yes, this post is long, but it’s highly informational and a kick in the pants (if I do say so myself). And at the end you get to read the Worst Ethanol Metaphor Ever! Trust me, it’s worth it.
Let us begin. From Uganda comes this highly punctuated bit of car news:
A local school has rewarded its best performing students with vehicles. St. Lawrence London College lavished their top three students in last year’s A-Level exams with a car each, and cash awards. Incredible!
The principal said the annual award would encourage other students to work hard. Preposterous!
Meanwhile, Lexus is unveiling the priciest hybrid on the market: the $54,900 GS 450h. Ridiculous!
And in more hybrid news: Volvo plans to launch a hybrid truck engine. The new engine would cut fuel consumption by 35 percent, say the Volvans. Says prototypically-Swedishly-named Volvo bigwig Leif Johansson:
We are talking about half of the overall heavy truck market and perhaps as much as 75 percent of the bus market and 100 percent of construction equipment.
In a separate article, he added that the prospect of this hybrid engine “makes us weep with pleasure.” Hilarious!
If you don’t want to wait until 2009 for your hip new hybrid technology, BMW may launch it’s first bi-fuel hydrogen-gasoline car by the end of this year, ahead of the originally reported schedule. Overachievous!
And the hybrid sketchiness goes on: Hybrids — including a Lexus 4×4 that gets less than 30 mpg and produces twice as much CO2 as small cars — are exempt from a London congestion charge, saving up to 1,600 pounds a year. But mayor Ken Livingstone is looking into closing the loophole. Meritorious!
Speaking of London, Britain plans to try out carpool lanes in hopes of reducing congestion. Critics point to a UC Berkeley study that found San Francisco carpool lanes actually resulted in longer average commute times, but, says prototypically-Englishly-named transport secretary Alistair Darling:
Car pool lanes have an important role to play in making best use of road space, as well as helping the environment and reducing congestion. They work in the US and there is no reason they can’t work here.
Note to Alistair — the “the U.S. does it so it must be good” argument: not airtight. Dubious!
Speaking of Europe being
smarter more forward-thinking Europer than the U.S. (one must preserve one’s patriotism), European Union environment ministers recently called for stricter car emission rules.
The executive European Commission in December put forward its so-called “Euro 5” proposals, which would require cuts in emissions of particulate matter from diesel cars by 80 percent and nitrogen oxides (NOX) by 20 percent from current levels.
I think I know why the EU is
smarter more forward-thinking Europer than the U.S. Consider: their common emissions acronym is NOX — as in, “ew, noxious emissions spewing into the atmosphere!” Ours is CO2 — as in, “See? Oh, I don’t mind breathing this. You too? Good. Let’s not regulate.” Obvious!
And with that, my friends, I think I’m spent. Compendious!
As promised: the Worst Ethanol Metaphor Ever, from the Waterloo, Iowa Courier:
The auto industry is the chicken and fuel retailers are the eggs. E85 is about to hatch.