Niagara Gazette

Columns

November 7, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: Diesel becomes the 'norm' and other auto news

Niagara Gazette — By most accounts, the conventional gasoline engine’s days are numbered. Long before electric cars become commonplace, automakers expect to wean themselves from gas-powered engines, replacing them with fuel-efficient alternatives. A few weeks back, Ford’s Joe Bakaj said the time is coming when most Ford vehicles will come with either a diesel or an EcoBoost engine, the latter of which relies on turbo-charging, direct injection, and other innovations to wring high mileage from every drop of gas or diesel fuel. Then on the heels of Ford, Volkswagen said essentially the same thing, claiming that within three or four years, every vehicle in VW’s lineup will be either a turbo-charged gas or a diesel powered vehicle. 

This trend has been developing across the industry for quite some time now. Have you looked for a V8 lately? The shift toward smaller, tech-heavy engines is playing out in family cars, luxury rides, and even performance models.

Gas mileage is up! up! up!

With average gas prices in America still hovering above $3.50 a gallon, fuel economy remains a major concern for new-car shoppers. According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, that’s having a profound effect on the vehicles consumers buy (or, more specifically, the fuel economy of the cars they buy). UMTRI researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle say that the average fuel economy of new vehicles sold reached a record high in August: 24.9 mpg. That’s up 0.1 mpg from July 2013 and up 4.8 mpg since UMTRI began monitoring such stats in October 2007.

Just as impressive, the average fuel economy of all model-year 2013 vehicles sold to-date clocks in at 24.7 mpg. That’s an improvement of 1.2 mpg over models from 2012. Fuel economy of new cars sold has climbed steadily over the past six years. Spikes in efficiency typically occur in springtime, perhaps because that’s when gasoline gets expensive, because refineries squeeze off supply prior to the summer-blend changeover. That, in turn, makes shoppers more sensitive to the fuel rating of their new ride.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Imperfect information and the political toilet seat Sometimes, in the multiple choices of life, the answer is quite simply 'E', "Not enough information to draw a conclusion."

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Moreland panel comes back to haunt Cuomo Let's get this straight. That was Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo at the microphone in the Syracuse radio station, Dec. 4, 2013, explaining the need for reactivating the anti-corruption panel called the Moreland Commission. "The commission clearly has the legal authority to look at anything they want to look at, including the governor, the attorney-general, the comptroller, etc.," the governor told the listening audience.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Immigration issue belongs to everyone I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised when I opened up my digital edition of the Washington Post yesterday and found something that I think captures part of the dilemma America faces right this minute; it's a simple question: Who are we, or to put it another way, what do we really stand for?

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug new CONFER: It's time the U.S. stopped giving aid to Israel When you see some of the atrocities that Israel has committed in Gaza, including last week's bombing of a United Nations school that was being used as a civilian emergency shelter, you should really wonder why we count them as an ally and why we devote so much of our financial and political resources to the scoundrels.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: A cupcake gets the Niagara Beautification Commission spotlight Not a cupcake per se, but a cute shop in LaSalle operated by a "sweet" lady who is a real dynamo when it comes to running a business.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug [Duplicate] GLYNN: A key factor in luring the convention A natural wonder in the nation's oldest state park isn't the lone factor for selecting Niagara Falls as a convention site.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Regional poetry and sad realities If that isn't (or wasn't) poetry, I don't know what is! I'm referring to the self-satisfied, sluggish trot of ice chunks emanating from Lake Erie in early May 2014 -- sauntering, it felt, along the lovely Niagara.

    July 27, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Quest for an appointment comes up short We're rolling up our sleeves for Quest. The Big Mac of blood tests, the Tops of tourniquets, the Sears of screenings, opens on our Island at Monday's crack of dawn.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Davis, Vincent mug VINCENT DAVIS: Pledge your allegiance to the Slurpee, America's treat By now you must be aware that it is, in fact, summer. And since summer is a season not characterized by any obvious weather events (sometimes it's hot for days in a row, sometimes you get a bunch of rainy days and chilly nights) but instead activities, I'd like to bring attention to an underrated staple of summer sun enjoyment: Consuming the brain freeze-inducing snack classic, the Slurpee.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Popeye's '7-Minute' guide to educating southerners -- and me! Writer Mark Twain said that when he 14, his father was so ignorant that he could hardly stand to have the old man around. But upon turning 21, Twain said that he was astonished by how much his father had learned in just seven years.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page