85% of American workers depend on a personal vehicle for getting to work. Southern California commuters face the highest fuel prices in the nation, yet they still drive to work. Today, gasoline and diesel fuel are glaring line items for most household budgets in the United States. Oil companies state flatly that escalating fuel prices at the pump will be with us for several years.
In recent episodes of the Road Ready Channel, the focus has been ways to reduce our fossil fuel use. In Episode 12, we make go forward plans for containing fossil fuel costs while simultaneously keeping a lid on overall vehicle expenses. Plans include changing axle gearing on the Ram Cummins turbo-diesel truck and even the possibility of making our own bio-fuel for the Ram and Jetta TDI if diesel fuel prices spike too high.
There are alternatives like electric vehicles. Many consumers will see the high price of fossil fuel as a deal breaker and switch to an EV. Ford has taken a bold initiative with its commitment to the F-150 ‘Lightning’. This could be the turning point for wide public acceptance of electric-powered light trucks and SUVs. Volkswagen and others are wholly committed to electric cars. Zero use of fossil fuel is better than hybrids that still use an internal combustion engine as part of the powertrain.
Many households are not in a position to jump into a new truck or car now. Housing, vehicles, food and other necessities have inflated in cost, too. Our vehicle fleet still consists of a gasoline powered Cherokee 4×4, the Ram Cummins pickup and the newly acquired, pre-owned VW Jetta TDI turbo-diesel. For now, we will make this work.
4WD Mechanix Magazine, the 4WD Mechanix Forums and the Road Ready Channel focus on consumer needs. As a SEMA Member, we will continue to advocate for automotive aftermarket equipment and support vehicle accessorizing plus safe and legal modifications. We want your household to flourish and not just “survive”. The pressing issue is fuel efficiency and reducing our dependence on expensive fossil fuel. In the face of swelling inflation, we will focus on vehicle utility and the practical ways to navigate the cost of ownership.