Wednesday, February 13, 2008

miles per dollar - so what?

So, have you heard about the new fuel-measuring regulation (here)? They are dumping MPG (miles per gallon) to MPD (miles per dollar). Basically, you take how far your vehicle goes between fill-ups and divide by the cost of a gallon of gas. So, let's say your car gets 20 miles per gallon, and gas costs $3.00 per gallon. 20/3 = $6.67 miles per dollar. This means that at 70 miles per hour, it costs you $6.67 for every mile you drive. If you drive a prius (powder blue or otherwise, Mr. Dunham), which gets 45 MPG, at $3.00 per gallon, your car would get $15.33 MPD.

So, the more gas costs, the lower the MPD, and vice versa. Some people are saying that MPD will be the demise of the gas-guzzling muscle cars and SUVs. Yeah, I doubt it, seriously.

Do you think that people who own Corvettes or Hummers give a rip what it costs to fill their tanks up? Okay, yeah, they do. But, do they care if they are getting 13 MPG or if they are getting $4.33 MPD? I doubt it. I know I won't.

The MPD is more useless than MPG in my book. Why? Because the price of gas CHANGES. So, today I get 5 MPD, but next week, maybe I get 5.50 (if gas prices fall) and next year I get 4.78 (prices rise again). Frankly, that is more confusing than saying I get 19 MPG (or whatever). Then again, I don't even care WHAT my MPG or my MPD is. I do not buy vehicles because of their mileage. I own a HEMI truck because I needed one to pull my travel trailer, and even if/when I get rid of the travel trailer, I will still want a truck because they are very handy to have around, and I *LIKE* it. As gas prices rise and fall, I may have to cut a luxury or wasted trips, but I should probably do the latter anyway.

MPD will not be the death of anything. How can the government force carmakers to make vehicles based on MPD if the price of gas changes? One year, a certain car passes the muster, then next it fails simply because the price of gas changes? Good friggin heavens, who came up with this one?

Next go-round, I may have to run for some national office just so I can be a sane voice among the wackos that have nothing better to do than sit around and create meaningless standards (which also covers No Child Left Behind, the HGH scandal, how E-Rate is handled, and more).

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