I Care More About MPG Than MPH

Today’s post is less about gas mileage tips or updates on soaring gas prices, and more of a call to action to show that you want car manufacturers to worry more about their vehicles’ gas mileage and less about their vehicles’ zero to 60 time. To that end, I would like to launch the “I Care More About MPG Than MPH” campaign.

Now, I know this isn’t as catchy or inspiring as something like Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” rallying cry, but at the same time, I hope that it’s something that you can and will take seriously.

For far too long we have had gas guzzling muscle cars, trucks and SUVs jammed down our throats by the major car manufacturers. For example, last night while watching TV, I saw nine commercials put out by car manufacturers – seven of which were for trucks or SUVs. While many of us bought in to the propaganda that we needed these gas guzzlers, the times have changed and we’re ready to demand vehicles with better fuel efficiency.

I hope that through the “I Care More About MPG Than MPH” campaign us gas sippers of the world can come together and show that there are MANY car buying consumers our there who want these car companies to step up and do their part to help reduce our gasoline consumption and our impact on the environment by giving us more environmentally friendly and gas thrifty options.

I also hope that through the “I Care more About MPG Than MPH” campaign, we become more aware of simple changes we can make in our driving habits that will help increase our current car’s gas mileage, while we wait for more fuel efficient vehicles to hit the market. Even if you’re stuck driving a gas guzzler right now, doesn’t mean you can’t do your part to try and make it as fuel efficient as possible. And even if you’re already driving a gas friendly car, would it really kill you to try and squeeze out some extra gas mileage?

So, what can you do to help further the cause? Funny you should ask, because here are some very basic ways you can help:

Join the “I Care More About MPG Than MPH” social networks. I have created groups via MySpace and Facebook to help facilitate the mingling of fellow campaigners. After you’ve joined up, be sure to invite all of your friends. The more the merrier.

I know it’s completely far fetched, but my goal is to get 1,000,000 people to join the two groups. The way I figure, if we can get a large enough group together, we might be able to show these big car manufacturers that it’s time they worried more about fuel efficiency than horsepower; more about their vehicle’s environmental impact than its towing capacity.

Is this an unrealistic goal? Probably. Crazier things have happened though!

Practice what you preach. Nobody likes a hypocrite, so if you’re going to be a card carrying member of the “I Care More About MPG Than MPH” campaign, you’ve got to back it up with your actions. Don’t drive if you don’t need to. Keep it close to the speed limit. Check your tire pressure. You know, basically abide by all the wonderful suggestions you’ve found on this site!

There’s a reason the saying “actions speak louder than words” has been around for so long. Joining this campaign is one thing, following through on it is even more powerful.

Come back and check out Daily Fuel Economy Tip for Updates. Obviously I’m a bit biased, but I think there are some pretty good tips on here to help you maximize your gas mileage. Just think about it, you could do something simple like checking your tire pressure and increase your vehicle’s gas mileage by 2%. While that might not seem like much, if everyone did it we’d save millions of gallons of gasoline each and every year. Since this site is action packed full of awesome suggestions like that, it’s probably wise to come back every once in a while when you need a refresher.

Also, as the “I Care More About MPG Than MPH” campaign picks up steam, I’ll be sure to post plenty of updates on this site, as well as in the MySpace and Facebook community sites.

Put your money where your mouth is and drive a fuel efficient vehicle. Look, I know that most of us don’t have the ability to simply trade in our current vehicle for a brand new hybrid. It would be nice, but it’s pretty unlikely. However, if you are in the market for a different vehicle, make sure you move fuel economy up to the top of the list of discriminating criteria.

While it would be nice to have millions of people join the “I Care More About MPG Than MPH” movement, it’s not going to amount to anything if we continue to buy the same old trucks, SUVs, mini-vans and gas guzzling sedans. In order to force car manufacturers to bring more fuel efficient cars to the market, we will likely need to persuade them not only with our numbers, but with our dollars as well.

Maybe I’m stepping way too far out of my league by trying to launch the “I Care More About MPG Than MPH” campaign. If I get 25 people to join up, I’ll probably consider it a success. But at the same time, I think that there are plenty of us out there who really do care about having more gas friendly options available to us and are willing to do something about it!

Fuel Efficient Vehicles Dominate Super Bowl Ads. Just Kidding.

If you’re trying to pitch a new product or put a re-brand your corporation (e.g. from a eco-disaster to one of a more environmental leader), there’s likely no better forum than in a Super Bowl ad. With hundreds of millions of people watching around the world, it’s near impossible to not get your point across.

Unfortunately, it looks like the world’s major car manufacturers missed that memo.

Out of the 64 commercials shown during the Super Bowl, nine were dedicated to cars, trucks and/or SUVs. Of those nine commercials, exactly one was dedicated to a fuel efficient, hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle. And, oddly enough, that one commercial was for General Motor’s Yukon hybrid. Click here to see the ad.

(In GM’s defense, during the pre-game there were several commercials for their Fuel Cell prototype vehicles. Unfortunately, pre-game commercials don’t count.)

Now, I suppose for $2.7 million a pop, these car manufacturers are probably going to try and push vehicles that are already available for public consumption and not focus so much on products that have yet to hit the streets.

That being said, for companies like Ford and Chrysler, each of whom is desperately (and ineffectively) trying to keep from losing market share, this Super Bowl would have been a great opportunity to show that they are at least working on more fuel efficient vehicles.

Considering gas mileage is now the number one factor in determining which car to purchase, Ford and Chrysler likely would have increased interest in their vehicles and foot traffic in their dealerships had they simply shown an add saying, “we know what you want and we’re working as quickly as we can to get it to you.”

Instead, Ford decided to shill it’s F-150 and Chrysler (who seems to be facing significant financial issues) decided to do nothing.

Until these companies get it right and really start pushing to give the people the fuel efficient vehicles they want, Ford and Chrysler are going to continue to lose people to Toyotas, Hondas and, apparently, the GMs of the world.

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