By on August 21, 2008

After our characteristically snarky blog on the launch of website, The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers reached out to TTAC to defend its PR campaign. Like every professional spinmeister I've ever met, AAM's Senior Director of Communications proved to be an affable, sensible, persuasive guy. And how can you argue against saving gas? So I let the not-so-sibilant Charlie Territo make his case, then explored other mpg-related issues: federal fuel economy regs, state's rights in the matter and suchlike. TTAC encourages any newsmaker (or their rep) to contact us about any published story to make their case on the site, including, should they desire, unedited editorial space for their reply. ([email protected]

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10 Comments on “EcoDriving Spinmeister: “We Can’t Let the Perfect Be the Enemy of the Good”...”

  • avatar

    Funny stuff. I love the fact that this guy is doing interviews about fuel efficient driving while tooling around alone in an unladen SUV.

    Do you think that just maybe that he is on the payroll of the big automakers? Just maybe?

  • avatar

    Found this gem over there:

    “Did you know that every 5 mph you
    drive over 60 mph is equivalent to
    paying 20 cents per gallon of gas.”

    I’d gladly pay 20 cents for each gallon of gas. Heck, I’d even pay 80.

    Or did they mean an EXTRA 20 cents?

  • avatar

    This is about having informed consumers, and I’m all for it. Nothing but good can come from it; I think. But what we REALLY need are some informed voters, about issues other than family values, protecting the sanctity of marriage, that sort of stuff.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis


    is any of this taught in basic driver’s ed?

    Maybe we can after-market some kind of gauge, attachable easily to every vehicle, which shows with a simple red/yellow/green gauge LARGE ENOUGH TO BE PROMINENTLY SEEN BY THE DRIVER as to how efficiently they are driving. I know many cars have an MPG gauge, but usually those displays are small on the dash, and the numbers are relative.

    One of the kinder, gentler by-products of the price in gas prices is that many people seem to understand that cruising at 85 on the e-way is less efficient that doing so at 65 or 70. so, at least on the west michigan roads on which I drive, there is less of a NASCAR track feel to driving, than there was 2 or 3 years ago….

  • avatar

    Lets see

    480 mile trip at 60mph is 8 hours and at 80mph is 6 hours. If I get 24mpg at 60mph I burn 20 gallons and if I get 20mpg at 80mph I burn 24 gallons. At $5/gallon the trip costs $20 more at 80mph so my time is worth $10/hr. I’ll take whats behind the 80mph door Debbie.

    The way he stated it it makes even less sense. The cost of my trip at 80mph vs 60mph would only increase $16 according to his calculations making my time worth $8/hour.

    E85/Biodiesel/wind turbines/76 trombones are all coming to river city. You pay with your time or wallet and hope you don’t starve or freeze in the winter.

  • avatar

    The real-time analog MPG gauge in bimmers is ingenious. It always seemed idiosyncratic to me, but in this day and age it’s perfect. The MPG gauge has enough prominence sitting right in the tachometer face but doesn’t scream “Hey, look how eco-friendly you are(n’t)!” Just by glancing at that gauge as I cruise around town and highways, up and down hills, I can quickly figure out the best right-foot behavior while not sacrificing the speed I like to travel. I’ll bet that just installing such a gauge would make better (i.e. more efficient and smoother) drivers of us all. For those other times we want to thrash the car, just pretend it’s an inverse turbo boost gauge.

  • avatar

    I’ve been screaming about this for three years:

    Ralph Nader killed Tire Pressure Monitors.

    That is the perfect over the good.

  • avatar

    ^ what? My VW has tire pressure monitors. Please explain. And what’s all this talk ’bout MPG gauges? Is that really needed? Keep a light touch on the right pedal. End of story.

  • avatar

    Unless you drive manual, in which case go full throttle in the highest possible gear (which not only saves fuel but is fun as well).

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    Unless you drive manual

    Which is what you do, if you care about fuel economy at all. Some autoboxes may look great on paper, but there’s so much you just can’t do with them…

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