Barring a miracle, I don't think any of us should expect the price of gasoline to fall below $3 a gallon for any extended period.
With that in mind, the folks in Washington, after three decades of inaction, finally passed a new CAFE law.
They stretched out the new fuel economy standards until 2020, which is quite a ways away. So if you hear people complaining, tell them that they have plenty of time.
Chances are good that during the next decade-plus, we'll see dramatic improvements in fuel economy without any great change in vehicle size or comfort. We'll probably see reductions in emissions, too.
It will be exciting to see the industry's engineering talent working on improving fuel efficiency. It will make a great deal of difference in the marketplace.
We can thank the computer and the microprocessor for making present and future improvements in fuel economy possible, not to mention lower emissions and safer cars and trucks as well. Without that technology, it would be impossible to improve our vehicles.
Back in the 1960s, we started to worry about auto emissions without any concern for fuel economy. After the first oil crisis in the 1970s, the federal government passed the first — and, until now, only — CAFE law, which has been outdated for a couple of decades.
Whenever anyone tried to change or raise CAFE standards, the Detroit 3 would rally the troops and beat down any change.
Finally, it appears, everyone has acknowledged the need to improve our fuel economy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I hope we'll see not only an improvement in CAFE for cars and trucks but also real opportunities to introduce some alternative fuels, including diesel and biofuel, in North America.
I'm sure we'll see some real improvements in hybrids and pure electric vehicles as well.
It will be exciting to watch the auto companies achieve those new standards with lots of innovation and creativity.
We've seen safer cars and trucks with vastly lower emissions. Now we're going to see dramatic improvements in fuel economy as well.
They're needed, and they're long overdue.