Our Corolla Still Has It Where It Counts

Y and I just returned home from a day trip to Pittsburgh. We drove there today to pick up a new desk so that we could both “go Rumsfeld” when it comes to reading and writing (i.e., standing).

I was very proud of the Corolla’s performance today. Driving at or slightly below the speed limit yielded a fuel economy of 39.9 mpg. It achieved that rate with two passengers, a full tank of gas, and approximately 100 lbs of materials on the trek back.

I do not know how many people were driving at the same speed that I was, because there were no cars in my vicinity that matched my rate of travel. However, I do know that a whole heck of a lot of people were going 5 to 25 mph faster than I was going at any given time. Needless to say, Y and I read a lot of license plates today.

The high rate of speed of other folks on the road confuses me. Gas prices are rising, and they are burning through their fuel like nobody’s business. Additionally, their rate of consumption may give them slightly better arrival times at their destination, but they are paying dearly for that time. This is especially true for the majority of speeders, because a disproportionate number of vehicles were large sedans, SUVs, and pickup trucks. These vehicles already have poor fuel economy due to larger engines and greater drag. Why do so many pile wasteful consumption on top of wasteful consumption?

Published by Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.