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John Acheson

It's easy to react to a fleet-wide proposal by thinking of one or two cars in the driveway. "My hybrid gets X MPG" is a typical response to the CAFE debate which goes way beyond Toyota.

First off, what is a "fleet" and why 35 MPG?

Before we discuss "fleet" how did we get to the proposed magic answer of 35 MPG, where did it come from? Why 35 MPG which equals 14.86 KM/L a very strange global number.

The reason that number is so strange is that the Insight and Prius are already rated at 40 KM/L which is about 94 MPG.

Is 35 MPG halfway in between 45 MPG (20 KM/L every small car in Europe meets this) and 25 MPG (10 KM/L every car in Japan meets this) so auto makers can allocate to cars and trucks, as half the vehicles are trucks anyway, and trucks deliver everything we consume.

So it seems like politics are playing domestic with MPG numbers to settle debates... After all, are there any universities in American turning out automotive engineering majors at the PhD level???

I propose that 100 MPGs is more like it!

Why, because the global fleet (population) of cars and trucks is projected to triple around the time my future kid buys his first car.

One or two billion first-time car buyers are just now starting to trickle into dealerships around the world and they will start stampeding over the next few decades.

If our current fleet is only 800 million cars and trucks responsible for 1/3 of the global pain we're all debating, how can the oil and fuel and road infrastructure as well as ozone support an explosion in the number of vehicles upwards of 300%.

Imagine 3 times more smog, 3 times more accidents, 3 times more traffic, 3 times more expensive gasoline, etc.

Yes, vehicles kill one million, smog kills another 2 million, each year, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I love cars, grew up next to a race track and pumped gas at my 1st job, but I'm worried about two billion lower middle class car buyers who don't give a hoot about CAFE or even Toyota for that matter...

I'm worried about 2,000,000,000 or six United States population first-time car buyers shopping on price and looks not mileage. We're on the right track in America because we already have 230 million cars and trucks which is probably enough to hold us for awhile.

So if Toyota's stance is the same as the other guys in Detroit, I'm not surprised, that's the way Japanese companies do business, status quo first, then incremental change...

So let's understand the problem and get the debate over with. If we had started at 100 KM/L we could have been talked down to 100 MPG.

Anything short of a global 100 MPG will sicken this planet far worse than it's slight fever today. Anything less than three times more efficiency will be back peddling into the future...

Earl

I appreciate John's conviction, and I believe that change always happens slowly. I work for a company that supplies it's sales force with company cars. These people are driving incredible distances every day. The company that I work for has take a great first step in providing the option of a Hybrid company car. I can get too upset that the world isn't changing faster with regards to the environment, but I do believe that a lot of changes is driven by people like John with similar conviction.

Earl

I appreciate John's conviction, and I believe that change always happens slowly. I work for a company that supplies it's sales force with company cars. These people are driving incredible distances every day. The company that I work for has take a great first step in providing the option of a Hybrid company car. I can get too upset that the world isn't changing faster with regards to the environment, but I do believe that a lot of changes is driven by people like John with similar conviction.

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