Sunday afternoon reading…blast from the past
I saw this as a proposal for cutting gasoline consumption:
One of the easiest and most benign ways to cut energy waste and reduce the nation’s emissions of greenhouse gases is very simple, relatively painless and would actually save consumers money immediately, with no upfront costs – restore a lower national freeway speed limit of 55 mph. It requires no technological innovation, merely a societal acceptance of the imperative to start reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
(I just noticed this posted today and is over the rss feed, so will leave it up).
I don’t own a car and live in a highly trafficked urban area so even if I did, 55 would be a pipe dream, but time is money, so it’s fallacious to say there wouldn’t be upfront costs and inconclusive to determine it would save customers money.
Stop worrying about emissions and gas mileage already. In 10 years all new cars will be run by batteries. 🙂
I’ve often wondered how much gas is wasted at drive-throughs. Could be savings to be had there.
Cutting from 8 cylinders to new technology 4 cylinders did much more than stretching my travel time would accomplish.
Besides, in Michigan people drive 55 in the Wal-Mart parking lot.
what a stupid tax on our most productive people.
The more time anyone spends driving, the less productive they are.
what you omit is the value of the time lost that could have been spent productively
Terrible idea. The amount of gas you save by slowing down from 77 to 55 (77 is the median expressway speed in my native Michigan) is trivial. My Prius, for example, dropped from something like 49 mpg to 42 mpg. For the 300 mile trip to grandma’s house, I’d save 1.02 gallons of gas at a cost of 1.55 hours for everyone in the car.
I am sorry, but my time alone is worth ten times that.
(yes, I am making some major assumptions but the point still stands…driving slower is a waste of time except for perhaps minimum wage workers driving along and truck drivers).
Mostly, getting people to drive the speed limit and not do 80-85 (or sometimes higher) mph on an already 70 mph highway (Michigan) would be a vast improvement in economy (then they tail gate you while you pass someone at 72 mph). And to agree with STR, I watched someone due >40 mph behind the Hartland Black Rock Bar and Grill. The driveway behind this string of buildings is narrow and the parking lot out front was packed. Maybe they were hurrying to a late and very important reservation?
I disagree Chad, efficiency falls off rather rapidly above 65 mph. A Toyota Camry with eco boost proved this on my trip . . . the economy drops as you go faster. If you hold 2000 rpms at ~ 70 mph, you can do rather well. Then there is that little matter of head winds, hills, and outside temperature. In any case, Americans still drive bigger, faster, and more frequently than necessary. The spotless never been used to carry anything in back F150 is still the king in Detroit.
And what type of time do you save driving faster? The average driving time in 2009 was ~25 minutes. What time are you going to save with an increase of 10-15 mph over 25 minutes? Going to Grandma’s house for Easter or Christmas does not count as important.
In spite of all of this, I believe, and as Spencer has noted in the past (can’t find the darn post), gasoline consumption has declined. Fracking has kept prices at bay also.
well, i drive at 55 to save gas. works for me. drives the crazy people crazy. but i notice that when they pass me i always catch up to them at the next light, or exit.
you can’t save any real time in ordinary traffic by driving “faster.” and driving a hundred on “empty” roads isn’t all that much fun. it really isn’t.
time is not money.
as far as i know everyone in the car got to breathe and think and look during those terrible 1.55 hours.
sorry, but your view is called insanity by everyone who has ever thought about it for, oh, say, 1.55 hours.
as for our time being “worth more than that.”
this is a fallacy unless you spend every minute of the day working. and if you do, what in the hell for?
do you wear a diaper to avoid “wasting the time” it takes to take a pee break?
i would go so far as to say that this is THE fallacy that is destroying our civilization… or better i should say, destroying our lives, since our “civilization” is exactly the insanity that keeps us running and running in pursuit of cheap plastic toys while our lives are slipping away.
“i would go so far as to say that this is THE fallacy that is destroying our civilization… or better i should say, destroying our lives, since our “civilization” is exactly the insanity that keeps us running and running in pursuit of cheap plastic toys while our lives are slipping away.”
Nicely put. I would only add that for some of us, it isn’t “cheap plastic toys,” but an old age in which we don’t have to live under a bridge eating dog food.
Most vehicles are way over powered. The industry has over sold the idea that a person needs a lot of Hp. Thus, all efficiency obtained from new technology (mostly combustion/flow design and fuel management) have gone toward more power in the same size engine.
We would get more results from smaller engine for a given HP. Example: New Jeep Wrangler 285 hp from 3.6L. Up to 21 mpg. My jeep 1997, is 120hp 2.5L overall average 18 mpg.
I plow with my jeep no problem. So, why not give a much smaller engine with the 120 hp and save some gas?
It’s how we apply the new technology based on what is decided is important. Horse power is still it I guess.
I think I agree with that. But the “system” is somewhat rigged. You can run as fast as you can all your life and try to “save” enough for a decent retirement, and just as you reach the finish line they shake the tree and your investments are no longer enough to keep you out of poverty.
Social Security provides a barely adequate answer to that, and I think we would be wise to pay a little more Social Security “tax” to guarantee ourselves a little more comfort in old age. But I can’t even sell the idea of a tiny bit more just to guarantee the low level we already have if we are going to end up living longer.
In any case, I seriously doubt driving seventy instead of fifty-five is going to be what makes the difference to your quality of life in old age.
Speaking of which… if Chad Brick is still around (and btw Chad, I agree with you about a lot of stuff, so don’t take this personally).. instead of “calculating” the difference in time over that 300 miles, try actually measuring it. You will find it’s a lot less than that 1.55 hours. And meanwhile if you are driving a little more relaxed you may actually have time for a little brain-function that could even show you a way to make more money without timing your pee breaks.