Fuel economy is mentioned often in this year’s St. Louis Auto Show, which started yesterday and runs through 5pm Sunday.
ABOVE: Sign at the Toyota display
No wonder really, given the views of today’s auto buyers:
15% of those surveyed said that fuel economy was their #1 criteria in choosing a new car, but as low as that figure sounds, it still outranked styling, reliability, and cost. In other words: fuel economy is leading the pack, but not by much. (Christian Science Monitor)
Consider where we were in 2008:
The cost of gas in June of 2008, the early stages of the heavy summer driving season and during the presidential campaign, was $4.10 per gallon. The 2008 gas crisis hit its peak one month later with prices averaging $4.11 per gallon. (CBS News/Face the Nation)
By December 2008:
Gas prices declined for the sixth straight day on Thursday, falling below the $1.65 per gallon, according to a national survey of credit card swipes at gasoline stations. (CNN Money)
Currently the national average is around $3.31/gal (AAA).
This focus on fuel economy is partly a response to consumer demand but also to higher standards announced by the Obama Administration in August 2012:
The standards — which mandate an average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon for the 2025 model year — will increase the pressure on auto manufacturers to step up development of electrified vehicles as well as sharply improve the mileage of their mass-market models through techniques like more efficient engines and lighter car bodies.
Current rules for the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, program mandate an average of about 29 miles per gallon, with gradual increases to 35.5 m.p.g. by 2016. (NY Times)
I’m glad to see manufacturers and consumers on the same page.
ABOVE: Chrysler products continued their “Imported from Detroit” theme
ABOVE: Ford featured the small Fiesta on its first display
ABOVE: The Tesla Model S is in the Eco area
The annual show is billed as the “largest automobile event in the St. Louis area, the 2013 Saint Louis Auto Show features more than 500 new cars, trucks, SUVs and luxury vehicles from over 25 manufacturers all under one roof.” Maybe, but some weren’t present: Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, BMW, and Porsche.
Still, the show is a great place to see many cars in one place. It runs noon-10pm today, 10am-10pm Saturday, and 10am-5pm Sunday.
– Steve Patterson