Posts Tagged ‘fuel efficiency’

Rising SUV sales could be cause for concern

December 30, 2010

News articles like this one — which explains how SUV sales are on the rise while smaller, more fuel-efficient car sales are on the decline — make me nervous. They make me nervous because they hint at the true reason that environmentalism has managed to gain mainstream attention from consumers in the past few years — consumers couldn’t afford not to listen. Now that the economy is showing signs of an upswing, I’m afraid people’s green inclinations will go out the window.

When it comes to cars, green is always a money-saver for the consumer — you get more bang for your buck with a fuel-efficient car, but the increase in SUV sales proves that, if gas prices are low enough, consumers don’t mind filling their gas tanks more often, as long as the price per refill is within their budget. It’s an interesting example of how people disassociate the specific trips to the pump with the bigger picture, e.g. more frequent trips to the gas station costing more money overall.

Though I’m thinking this trend will be momentary, as gas prices are expected to keep rising to nearly $5 within the next few years, so I’m thinking fuel efficiency will be on the forefront of consumers’ mind again relatively soon. I hope that money-saving green initiatives (e.g. energy-saving appliances, better home insulation) don’t get the boot from consumers as the economy recovers, simply because people can afford not to think about them anymore.