As is now, conserving energy was then the topic of choice. There were private wind generators, solar panels on the roof, underground homes and alternative ways to heat homes with wood. (Today, we continue to heat our 1977 built home with passive solar and a wood burning forced air furnace.)
It was with conservation in mind that we purchased a new, 1978 Volkswagen Rabbit. It was my mail car on the weekends and a family car the rest of the time. Although basic manual transmission, it had a well engineered diesel engine, which needed very little maintenance. The sound of the injected fuel took a bit of getting used to. We didn’t win any drag races. However, once it was rolling down the road in high gear, it had amazing power.
Twenty-eight years ago, we drove our Rabbit to Colorado on a family vacation and received 49 miles per gallon.
Today NPR had a segment on ways to get better gas mileage.
During the segment they talked about the 70s diesel engine and the fact it received very good gas mileage. I learned that the reason this car did not continue to flourish was it failed California’s emission standards. It probably could nave been modified at that time, but the public did not feel this little nondescript car was worth having. Beside, gas prices were not that high.
Enter 2007 and over $3.00 record gas prices and guess what? A cleaner running diesel engine manufactured by Daimler is on the market. The people on the radio show panel expect this engine to take a big share of the market in the near future.
It seems to me that companies supply what the public demands. In the end, it is up to us to lower the use of fossil fuel consumption.
NOTE: Friday, 7:21 pm
I've been off line all week. My internet connection was finally restored late this afternoon. Thanks for checking in. Linda