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Re: Four Wheel Drive SUV popularity


You might try to see how Amory Lovins and his staff at the Rocky Mountain 
Institute (in Snowmass, CO) have chosen to justify their work on their 
concept car of the future (hypercar?)  It's a low mileage vehicle that  
utilizes composite materials to absorb (without deforming) much of the 
energy of a crash, thereby rebutting the argument of sfety of rigid (SUV) 
vs. flexible (unibody) construction used to justify the preference for 

As always, its a complex issue - but the RMI has been working on this.  I 
don't have a web site handy for them - but a search should provide one. 
That's where I ran across written information regarding their car - also 
heard Lovins' speech about it on the radio a couple of years ago.

BTW - you might want to visit the RMI before or after the NPPR conference 
in Denver..



> Ever since going thru the 1972 fuel shortage I have been a proponent
> of using less. And so have a lot of other people. Something has
> happened to change this. Today the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) is
> extremely popular. Since most are four wheel drive and heavy, they use
> more fuel.  I read somewhere that the national Miles/Gallon usage
> increased by 18% due to the popularity of the SUV. What is driving
> this? From what I gather many are buying them because they feel more
> secure driving that type of vehicle. The other day I saw a Ford
> Explorer lightly hit by a school bus. The SUV rolled over on it's
> roof. They are much more top heavy than sedans.  Last year I saw a
> number of SUVs in the ditch due to icy conditions. The sedans drove
> slower or stayed home. Here in Eastern North Carolina, there are no hills,
> little or no snow, and I have'nt seen a dirt road in years, yet SUVs are all over.
> I would love to have one but cannot justify the need where I live. In
> western PA or similar snow belt place they would be great. Must this waste
> continue? Any thoughts on how to push the cost/benefit thing?
> Rudy Moehrbach
> Waste Reduction Resource Center
> P.O.Box 29569
> Raleigh, NC 27626-9569,Tel 800-476-8686,FX 919-715-1612
> Homepage http://owr.ehnr.state.nc.us/wrrc1.htm


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