Fuel economy was thought to be a significant factor in their pick of a new car by a minimum of 1/3 of buyers in America. Due to the preoccupation today with smog, global warming and America’s dependence on foreign sources of oil, it’s actually shocking to learn that as long ago as 1992 a car that got 100 miles to the gallon was built by General Motors. The GM TPC was a car that was able to get 75 miles per gallon, weighed about 1000 pounds, plus looked like the Geo Metro. Unfortunately, to be able to meet American safety regulations, the 3-cylinder vehicle required reinforcement weighing 200 pounds, which ended in further development being discarded.
This is certainly not the only protype developed by GM which ended up on the scrapheap. These types of cars include the GM Lean-Machine in 1982 at 80 MPG, as well as the GM Ultralite which got 100 MPG. In 1992 Honda appeared to be attaining 50 miles per gallon with the Civic VX, and at the same time General Motors had vehicles behind the scenes getting 100 MPG, though selling the public cars that were getting 20 MPG. In the event that cars that were able to get 100 miles per gallon had already been developed way back then, why is it that such cars are not being sold today?
It is just a peculiar phenomenon that some companies sell traditional vehicles in the US, but sell different, more efficient cars in other countries. Buyers in Japan and Europe have for quite some time now been able to get cars that do 70 miles per gallon and more. For instance, the Volswagen Lupo has never been marketed in north america – this is a car that gets 78 mpg. In 2007, Honda in the US released the FIT, elsewhere known as the Jazz. There are economy-boosting selections with the Jazz in Japan, like a smaller engine and other ways to reduce consumption, but not so with the Fit in the US.
In The United States the manufacturers point out they have to build big cars simply because that is what the American public wants. Building a small commuter type vehicle doesn’t make the manfacturer big money, unlike with a large SUV. Commercials have convinced the citizens of the US that Tanks on Wheels are an absolute must to have. The reality that options have never been presented shows where the big companies have their interests. In lieu of being synonymous with SUVs, GM today could have been identified as a leader in fuel-economic vehicles. Americans have not been denied just by GM, but also by all the other manufacturers who have developed fuel-efficient cars.
In spite of climatic change and the incredible pollution of the world environment, US car makers have yet to react positively and at least give Americans the option of a fuel-efficient car. Just how many people would have loved having a car that got good gas mileage, and were never given the option? Perhaps the instant has come to revive building those cars that were developed only to be abandoned all those years ago.