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Old August 7th, 2008, 10:38 PM   #2681
ChrisZwolle
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The US has lived with too low fuel taxes for too long a time, and now, when all the mass constructed infrastructure from the 50's and 60's has to be replaced, there's no money. Mark my words, it's getting worse.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 10:45 PM   #2682
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The American public need to realize their gas is still cheap-ass compared to other developed nations. In Europe, we still pay over twice your fuel price. But everybody is constantly speaking of high fuel prices, I saw it numerous times on CNN and the LA Times, it's almost like creating an hype.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 10:45 PM   #2683
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The US has lived with too low fuel taxes for too long a time, and now, when all the mass constructed infrastructure from the 50's and 60's has to be replaced, there's no money. Mark my words, it's getting worse.
I agree. And nobody is going to vote for higher gas taxes with the price we are paying at the pump. The US may have to go more toward toll roads, but even that is unpopular.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 10:53 PM   #2684
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The American public need to realize their gas is still cheap-ass compared to other developed nations. In Europe, we still pay over twice your fuel price. But everybody is constantly speaking of high fuel prices, I saw it numerous times on CNN and the LA Times, it's almost like creating an hype.
I think the American public understands this. But you have to factor in the lifestyle that has been built on low gas prices. Because of that, Americans bought big gas guzzlers, and created distant suburbs. I'm not saying it is right or wrong, it's just the reality. Plus isn't it true that European gas taxes are somewhat responsible for the high price there?

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Old August 7th, 2008, 10:57 PM   #2685
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Yes ofcourse, European taxes are mostly there to fund non-road projects. And they keep to increase. I think the right tax value is somewhere between the US and European prices.

However, I believe the US public can better adjust to higher gas prices, like the European public did with buying fuel-efficient cars (which certainly do not need to be very small). European and Asian car-manufacturers make fuel efficient cars for a long time, while because the fuel was very cheap in the US, the American muscle car never found the need to do this. An average European car consumes almost half of the American car.

I never understood the need of placing a 5 liter engine in an estate or sedan. 1.8 or 2.0 will do the job just fine.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 11:07 PM   #2686
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The American public need to realize their gas is still cheap-ass compared to other developed nations. In Europe, we still pay over twice your fuel price. But everybody is constantly speaking of high fuel prices, I saw it numerous times on CNN and the LA Times, it's almost like creating an hype.
A big difference between Europe and the US is that as a result of low fuel taxes US cities have been developed entirely based on the assumption of cheap fuel. Higher fuel prices will severely impact the economies of households that are totally car dependant. Unlike Europe where high fuel taxes and strict urban boundaries have kept urban areas compact and car dependance lower. The typical European household only has 1 car for instance and much shopping is done either on foot or bicycle. Low income households often don't have a car as do many central city housholds(about 20% of Dutch households don't have a car and only about 15% of housholds have more than 1). Americans are more vulnerable to higher fuel bills than probably any other country. I think the US lower and middle class are really going to start to hurt.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 01:57 AM   #2687
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There is all the talk about ending dependency on foreign oil.
The best what Americans can do to help them self and country is to switch to more economic vehicles.
Whats wrong with Ford Focus? Or Opel Astra?
Do you really need Ford F-500 to get from home to office?
Even American car makers know how to do great economic cars. Just in Europe.
Ford Europe and Opel (General Motors) are good examples.
Also a lot of delivery trucks in US have far worse efficiency than Ford Transit (probably the most popular van in Europe).
I think Ford is just starting introducing European models (Focus, Fiesta and Transit) in US
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Old August 8th, 2008, 08:02 AM   #2688
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Ford is retooling their plants to produce less trucks and more of the cars that they sell in Europe. A little too late if you ask me, but even with the poor auto sales in general, the small ones are by far the best ones and there are literally waiting lists for some models. So, it's a no-brainer. The SUV isn't popular anymore in the US.

Can't say that I'm very interested in the Fiesta though. If I was to get that kind of car, I'd get a Honda Fit.

The best that the US (and the states) can do is gradually raise the fuel taxes to help finance the revitalization of our aging infrastructure (or we could just get out of Iraq. ), and at the same time, officially make getting more fuel-efficient cars in vogue. The days of cheap gas and Hummers are over and good riddance. The US economy needs to become more efficient and not rely on cheap gas (imported or domestic) as much.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 08:10 AM   #2689
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I prefer the get the heck out of Iraq and stay out and put a ton of dough to building mass rapid transit infrastructure. I think gasoline powered vehicles will become a thing of the past in a manner of years and we need to be ready for it.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 08:28 AM   #2690
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Well, we are getting the Fiesta in 2010, and we already have the Honda Fit. I currently reside in Virginia, a former crown colony, where we have some of the worst traffic in the nation. I love the American Automobile industry, but there needs to be a change in the Americans live. Americans were used to cheap fuel in the 1990's, which increased suburban sprawl and convinced people that buying large Sport Utility Vehicles and owning a large house in a distant suburb of a city was the way to go. That was considered the "American way." There has been a subtle change in the marketing of automobiles. Ford is bringing six of its European models to the United States soon. But Americans need to hange their philosophy. I admire London for its subway system. I believe it's the largest in the world. It causes transit-oriented development. But America needs more diesel cars. With diesel becoming cleaner and more efficient that petrol, it's time we start introducing more diesel-burning automobiles to the American market. Commuter cars only need to be 1.0 to 2.0 litres. Offshore Oil Drilling, in combination with alternative fuels fuel-efficient cars, will reduce our dependency on foreign oil. That's why Obama needs to become president. America also needs more nuclear, solar, and wind power. But America is leading the way in household alternative power. We are just behind Germany in the Amount of solar power we generate. We are building more wind turbines. I also agree that we should raise our taxes by a small amount. Otherwise, we would be socialist (like Europe), and not have a powerful, free-market economy. Raising taxes would support health care, infrastructure, military, and other needs. We already are the world's strongest country with the strongest military, and I believe if we raise taxes, our military might will be even greater.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 08:28 AM   #2691
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Ahaha it's a live!!! Well you have to understand though, the main reason that the Big Three is losing so much money right now is because they don't have fuel-efficient alternatives readily available. The Fiesta isn't going to reach our shores until next year, the Opel Astra (Saturn Astra in the U.S.) is practically sold out.

But then if you look at the VW Golf, (Rabbit here), is only available with a 2.5L petrol engine. There are no smaller engine choices available, so fuel efficiency can only be moderate. Also, diesel cars aren't popular in the U.S....yet. I really wish the U.S. would start taxing and maintain fuel prices at around 6 dollars to a gallon. That would change a lot of habits. Maybe 7 dollars petrol, 6 diesel.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 08:32 AM   #2692
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Ahaha it's a live!!! Well you have to understand though, the main reason that the Big Three is losing so much money right now is because they don't have fuel-efficient alternatives readily available. The Fiesta isn't going to reach our shores until next year, the Opel Astra (Saturn Astra in the U.S.) is practically sold out.

But then if you look at the VW Golf, (Rabbit here), is only available with a 2.5L petrol engine. There are no smaller engine choices available, so fuel efficiency can only be moderate. Also, diesel cars aren't popular in the U.S....yet. I really wish the U.S. would start taxing and maintain fuel prices at around 6 dollars to a gallon. That would change a lot of habits. Maybe 7 dollars petrol, 6 diesel.
I beat you to it...
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Old August 8th, 2008, 08:40 AM   #2693
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But then if you look at the VW Golf, (Rabbit here), is only available with a 2.5L petrol engine. There are no smaller engine choices available, so fuel efficiency can only be moderate. Also, diesel cars aren't popular in the U.S....yet. I really wish the U.S. would start taxing and maintain fuel prices at around 6 dollars to a gallon. That would change a lot of habits. Maybe 7 dollars petrol, 6 diesel.
A few companies are bringing diesel models here. I think that Volkswagen and maybe some others (can't remember). Using diesel as a fuel-efficient way is somewhat hard since diesel is hovering $5 here. However, I wouldn't mind paying a bit more for it, since diesel cars have the same efficiency as hybrids. The public is oblivious to that.

As for $7 gas, that will be a tough sell. Best case scenario, the US and state governments gradually raise the tax and sell the reasons to the public WHY they are doing this. I think if examples like the Minneapolis bridge disaster are brought up and more education about the slow death of our infrastructure, Americans will have to eventually have to deal with the tough medicine. We really have no other alternative.

Forget making the US more fuel-efficient for a second...we need to increase more money for our highways, bridges and roads or we will be seeing more Minneapolis bridge disasters...I heard a large % of bridges nationwide aren't good. We need to fix them with more revenue.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 09:00 AM   #2694
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A few companies are bringing diesel models here. I think that Volkswagen and maybe some others (can't remember). Using diesel as a fuel-efficient way is somewhat hard since diesel is hovering $5 here. However, I wouldn't mind paying a bit more for it, since diesel cars have the same efficiency as hybrids. The public is oblivious to that.

As for $7 gas, that will be a tough sell. Best case scenario, the US and state governments gradually raise the tax and sell the reasons to the public WHY they are doing this. I think if examples like the Minneapolis bridge disaster are brought up and more education about the slow death of our infrastructure, Americans will have to eventually have to deal with the tough medicine. We really have no other alternative.

Forget making the US more fuel-efficient for a second...we need to increase more money for our highways, bridges and roads or we will be seeing more Minneapolis bridge disasters...I heard a large % of bridges nationwide aren't good. We need to fix them with more revenue.
There are already diesel models in the U.S. Mercedes has the E-320 Bluetec, a very clean and fuel-efficient diesel, Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD, Mercedes-Benz GL320 CDI, Mercedes-Benz ML320 CDI, 2008 Mercedes-Benz R320 CDI, Volkswagen Jetta TDI Clean Diesel, and the 2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 V10 TDI Twinturbo.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 09:50 AM   #2695
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Oh really...that's something that I didn't know. I need to read up on that, sorry.

I wish that there was more education about diesel though. People think it's only for trucks.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 09:54 AM   #2696
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Right... diesel is superior to petrol in two ways. It produces more torque, thereby increasing a truck's towing capacity and diesel can actually burn more efficient than petrol.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 10:00 AM   #2697
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My Diesel car gets 45 miles per gallon
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Old August 8th, 2008, 10:10 AM   #2698
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Seriously...if Americans knew about the efficiency of diesel, it could actually be worth the higher cost. At least it's more useful spending extra on that instead of say, premium gas.

We should be looking this in the face.

BTW: my car gets 30 on the highway. Don't know how much in the city.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 11:10 PM   #2699
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I beat you to it...
Aw man you are so on next time

haha there's a Volkswagen Lupos diesel that does 80-something miles to a gallon (imperial I believe), so that drops it down to 60-70 U.S. gallons. Then there's the problem of it being small. The Ford Ka and VW Lupos do not have the ability to withstand an impact from a full-sized SUV like the Tahoe. The Smart barely got away. As for diesel, the EPA estimates are a disadvantage to diesel because the way they test it put diesel fuel economy ratings as much as 18 to 25% less than its actual real-world economy.

As for highways, it would be nice to see a 4-laned highway, the right lane for trucks and trailors capped at 55 miles an hour, the next lane for slower traffic and non-performance-oriented SUVs and minivans (like the Tahoe, Yukon, Sequoia, 4-runner, Pilot, Sienna, Odyssey etc.) capped at 65 mph.

Then the next lane for passing/general traffic capped at 80, and the last for passing that allows you to go 10 over the speed limit for passing.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 11:17 PM   #2700
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That's the Lupo 3 L (3 liters per 100km), which gets 70 miles per gallon. However, those are cookie cans without any options. You'll get a much larger diesel car that gets 45 miles per gallon, which is a nice fuel economy. Better than those US 15 - 25 mpg cars.

What is the current speed limit for trucks? In Europe, it's usually 50 - 55 mph. Higher is unsafe in my opinion, they are vulnerable to bad pavement, winds and other traffic makes the possibility to jackknife or turn-over much bigger.

I believe a 70 - 80 mph speed limit is just fine for rural highways. 60/65 feels like crowling. SUV sales should be disencouraged by higher taxes, possibly based on pollution (this is measurable). A chevy Tahoe pollutes nearly 400 grammes CO2 per kilometer, which is just nuts.
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