April 2, 2022

Fueling Up!

Fueling Up!
For those who have been following along with our Pursuit of Series, where we've been discussing Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness in the US, you know we've been tackling some pretty heavy topics. We also talked about Hank Green and An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Unsurprisingly, Jaime also follows Hank on several social media sites and a relatively recent post on TikTok caught her attention. Basically Hank breaks down a graph comparing cars in the US from 1975 through today:


So as you can see, we had a few interesting years where fuel mileage went way, way up but the power and weight of vehicles went way, way down. This was due to government regulations calling for auto makers to meet certain emission standards. With the advance of technology, we've been able to increase power and lower CO2 emissions while seeing continued increases in fuel efficiency. 

Hank wraps up his video by saying, "Proving we can do this, but only if we require it.

And now, we're looking at higher MPG requirements for new vehicles. Current requirements are just over 24 miles per gallon. The new requirements increase gas mileage by 8% per year for model years 2024 and 2025 and 10% in the 2026 model year, leading us up to 40mpg for new vehicles by 2026. 

It will be interesting to see how this chart looks in a about five years!

In other news, quasi-related to fuel:

A lot of gig work involves juggling drive time, fuel economy, and expected tips. Jobs like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, etc. can have days where it's extremely expensive to operate, and it can be shocking for new drivers that haven't figured out how the earnings work.

Washington State has decided to require that Uber and Lyft take some of the guesswork out of it by requiring drivers to earn a minimum of $1.17 per mile and 34 cents per minute with a minimum pay of $3.00 per trip. The law also ensures standards which apply to other workers in the state also apply to drivers: paid sick time, family medical leave, and access to workers' compensation programs. 

"This new law decisively gives drivers what they want - to stay independent while gaining historic new benefits and protections," Uber's head of public policy in the Western U.S., Ramona Prieto, said in a statement. She said Uber hoped the law could be replicated in other cities, states and countries.

"Drivers achieved this win because labor organizations, legislators, and app-based companies listened to them, and then worked together to drive a historic bill that works for them," Lyft's head of government relations, Jen Hensley, said in a statement.

Washington is the first state to implement minimum pay standards for ride-hail drivers. 

Remember kids, tip your drivers, deliverers, and in today's world of crazy fuel prices, keep on doin what you gotta do to get by.