Only higher fuel prices will change consumers

 

By Bruce Rhodes

 

November 28, 2004

 

Re: Fuel efficiency low priority, York climate forum told, Nov. 21.

 

MP Bryon Wilfert deserves credit for organizing the recent climate change
forum at the Richmond Hill Library.


Toyota is doing the right thing by providing the fuel-efficient Prius. However, I predict that greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles will not be
materially reduced until the price of gasoline rises to the point where individuals choose to practise conservation.

 

Once fuel hits $2 per litre, just watch people abandon their SUVs in favour of vehicles with the best efficiency ratings.

 

Until then, people will continue to waste fuel by warming up their engines for 20 minutes on a not-so-cold November morning, as I have witnessed several times this week.

 

If the government can muster the political will to tax fuel further than it has, and thereby have drivers cover the total true costs of burning that fuel, then Toyota Canada managing director Stephen Beatty will have a solid answer to his question about what Canada is prepared to do to encourage consumer and fleet acceptance of fuel efficient vehicles.