Sunday, May 4

Fuel Economy Hit 22-Year Low. The technological and engineering leaps of the last two decades have been poured into everything but fuel economy... Since 1981, the average vehicle has 93 percent more horsepower and is 29 percent faster in going from 0 to 60 miles an hour. It is also 24 percent heavier, reflecting surging sales of sport utility vehicles. ... over the same period, fuel economy has stagnated, contributing heavily to the nation's rising oil consumption. Cars and light trucks — S.U.V.'s, pickups and minivans — account for about 40 percent of the nation's oil consumption and a fifth of its carbon dioxide emissions, which many scientists see as the leading contributor to global warming. (NYT; user name: opensewer; password: iswatching.)