A recent Salt Lake Tribune editorial recommended that Utah join California in its efforts to require car manufacturers to meet or exceed the federal mandated corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards. These require a 54 miles per gallon (mpg) average fuel efficiency for cars by 2025. The Trump administration wants all states including California to reduce the CAFE standards to a maximum of 37 mpg.
Fortunately, we the Utah car buyers, do not have to wait for the political battle to be resolved or wait to 2025 to buy vehicles that get better than the 50 mpg.
The government web site www.fueleconomy.gov lists 40 electric (ZEV) and 14 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) that sport a combined city/highway miles per gallon equivalent (mpge) of 100 to 133.
These vehicles eliminate or reduce tailpipe pollutants but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming.
Our family purchased a 2018 PHEV (Toyota Prius Prime) and our gas consumption computer currently shows an average of 176 mpg for 982 miles of travel in the Wasatch Front. We routinely get over 1,000 miles of travel for 8 gallons of gas.
If more folks in Utah and nationally opted for such vehicles, we could cut pollution and CO2 emissions by more than 50%.
This would require three changes in our current habits. First, require car dealers to have inventory of such vehicles by the Utah Legislature joining California and 13 other states in requiring a certain percentage of ZEV and PHEV vehicles to be delivered to Utah. Second, car dealers should advertise such vehicles in our newspapers and TV programs. Third, clever Utahns need to realize that we can reduce air pollution, global warming and costs by changing our buying habits.
Andrew Schoenberg, Millcreek