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Saturday, May 07, 2005

Did you know?

Why are SUVs so popular? And what happened to station wagons?

Every large family needs a large vehicle to transport themselves. But station wagons are treated the same as cars, while SUVs are called light trucks.

CAFE, the fuel efficiency standard, is more lenient for light trucks.

So, if you hate SUVs, blame environmentalists. Ah, the law of unintended consequences.

The article by Michael Lynch further describes the history.


At 1:08 PM, Blogger honestpartisan said...

I'm confused. An environmental standard is created. Commercial interests lobby for loopholes, which industry then exploits. Why do you and Michael Lynch blame the environmental standard rather than the loopholes?

By the way, he's wrong that station wagons are the only less-inefficient substitute for SUVs. Mini-vans are comparable in size but have much better mileage.

At 1:09 AM, Blogger Greg said...

I personally don't think putting different standards for fuel efficiency for trucks and cars is a loophole, when in general comparable trucks and cars never get the same gas mileage.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger honestpartisan said...

It's a loophole when the exemption for trucks is clearly justified in theory for vehicles with commercial uses and instead they're used for SUVs, which are ostensibly not cars but in reality are obviously used just like private, non-commercial cars are used.

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Greg said...

You're venturing into some dangerous territory! You want the government to track how something is used, to make sure it meets the goal of the different treatment?

Consider states that exclude food from their sales tax, under the assumption that food is a basic need. Are we going to monitor people to make sure they don't buy extravagant food, waste food, or use it in a food fight?

At 1:16 PM, Blogger honestpartisan said...

I don't think excessive monitoring is necessary. If commercial vehicles need to be exempt from CAFE standards, so be it -- just exclude SUVs from the exemption.

At 12:39 AM, Blogger Greg said...

But what if someone uses his SUV for commercial purposes?

At 10:01 AM, Blogger honestpartisan said...

I know lots of people who you use cars for commercial purposes (messengers, etc.) But those cars still have to comply with CAFE standards.


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