GRA wrote:There's no question that the cheapest gas at any time in constant dollars (lowest was in 1998 IIRR) in the '90s drove the move to BRoD-class SUVs and de-emphasized gas mileage, until prices started their rapid rise in 2004. But it's also true that cars are bigger and heavier now thanks to safety improvements as well as being cleaner, so comparing the mileage of a car designed to 1990s safety and environmental standards with a current one is not apples to apples.
The reason auto companies push to sell pickups and SUVs is because they have considerably lower safety requirements and lower fuel economy targets than cars - that's why they're so profitable. It's apples and oranges to assume that car safety + car economy also applies to trucks.
That's part of the reason they're cheaper, but mainly it's because they're still body on frame construction. Introducing a new model of SUV reduces the development costs substantially, as pickup-truck based SUVs are essentially pickups with an extra set of doors and a covered cargo area. Development was cheap and quick, and by tarting them up they convinced customers to pay a premium price. Add to that high volumes because so much was common with the bread and butter pickups, and major profits are guaranteed (as long as gas prices are low, that is). Been awhile since I read "High and Mighty", but that's the way the high profit margins were explained.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].
The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.