Beginning in 2008, any car or SUV that cannot meet a fuel efficiency standard of 30 miles per gallon will have to pay a guzzler tax of $1,000 per year. That is the proposal of three top executives at Fred Alger Management, a money management firm, delivered in a letter they sent to President George W. Bush recently. The firm says the proposed tax could generate “as much as $200 billion in revenue” in its first year, and “may increase in subsequent years.” Read more . . .
Gasoline prices are news. But is it the incessant drone of the media on the issue of gas prices or are average Americans really feeling the pain in their pocketbooks? The definitive answer to that question is yet to be written, but two recent polls hint at how Americans and foreigners feel on the subject.
An AP/Ipsos poll has found that 69 percent of Americans believe that over the next six months they expect that increases in the price of gasoline will cause financial hardship for them and/or a member of their family. Read more . . .
Don’t look now but some people who are buying off-road-capable vehicles like SUVs are actually taking them off-road. In fact, the trend has become so significant that the U.S. Forest Service just created a new regulation to standardize the way off-highway routes are designated in the lands it administers. The goal is to change the haphazard way trails and the vehicles that can use them are authorized to protect the forests while still allowing use by a large number of Americans. Predictably, the new rule is drawing fire from both environmentalists and gung-ho off-road vehicle fans. Read more . . .
With fuel prices continuing to rise at an uncomfortable level, many people are looking for ways to save. And the general media is pouring gasoline on the flames with its on-going coverage of the fuel price issue. But, as a rational consumer, there is a question you should ask yourself–do you want to save fuel or do you want to save money? And while, at first blush, they might seem like the same thing, they can actually be very different. The good news is there are simple, cost-effective things you can do to save both fuel and money. The bad news is they are not the most obvious steps people are taking today. Read more . . .
General Motors and the other U.S. auto manufacturers have taken some pretty hard knocks from the general and business press for being slow to jump on the hybrid bandwagon, but now a report from Tokyo indicates that Toyota Motor Corporation, one of the key proponents of gasoline-electric hybrid power, might be seriously rethinking its strategy.
Toyota’s hybrid-only Prius model has become the poster child for hybrids in the United States, but after launching the Prius to building acclaim, Toyota has hedged its bets by launching a hybrid version of existing models like the Toyota Highlander and Lexus RX 400h. Honda is following a similar strategy with its Civic and Accord hybrids in addition to its hybrid-only Insight, a two-seater that is Read more . . .