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EPA ON THE BEST AND WORST CORPORATIONS FOR FUEL ECONOMY

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sat, Aug 28, 2004

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

2005 Ford King Ranch F-150 Super Crew

EPA ON THE BEST AND WORST CORPORATIONS FOR FUEL ECONOMY By ROY NAKANO

In the Environmental Protection Agency's latest report on fuel economy trends, 2004 Fords earned the lowest average fleet fuel economy of any major car maker selling vehicles in the United States. In fact, the report reveals that Ford has earned the lowest average for every year since 1999. One might be able to overlook this figures, given the large number of trucks and SUVs that the company produces.

The same report, however, reveals that another large producer of trucks and SUVs achieved the best average car fuel economy, the best average truck fuel economy, and the second best combined car and truck fuel economy average. That company is Toyota, and their combined car and truck figures are second only to Honda (27.6 versus 27.7 miles per gallon). Considering the vast number of trucks and SUVs that Toyota produces (versus Honda), this is quite an achievement.

A few years ago, William Clay Ford (Ford's CEO) pledged to dramatically increase the average fuel economy of its truck and SUV line, only to rescind that promise shortly thereafter. According to Gretchen DuBeau of the United States Public Interest Research Group, Ford has been taking actions to undermine the entire federal fuel economy program. Weighing in on a recent Bush Administration request for comments on the fuel economy program structure, Ford supported maintaining an exemption for trucks between 8,500 and 10,000 pounds, as well as a loophole that permits pickup trucks, SUVs, and minivans to meet lower fuel economy standards. "Ford is supporting the Bush Administration¹s proposal to maintain a loophole that blocks our escape from U.S. dependence on oil," said DuBeau. Ford should be commended for bringing its Escape Hybrid SUV to fruition. However, with a projected annual production of only 20,000 vehicles, the introduction of the Escape Hybrid is not expected to make much of a dent in Ford's last place fuel economy rating. Hopefully, Bill Ford's original promise will one day become a reality.

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