It's time to start thinking in terms of PMPG, people-Miles-per-gallon

With gasoline at record prices in the United States for the past several months and the economy in a downward spiral, many people who bought big SUVs and crossovers in recent years are finding it increasingly hard to afford a fill-up. As people desperately try to unload their big guzzlers in favor of something more fuel efficient, they are finding them almost impossible to dispose of. With huge gluts of unsold trucks on their lots many dealers won't accept them in trade.

There is however an alternative, car-pooling. Look around you as you drive to work and consider how many people are doing the same thing all alone. How many of those are commuting in an SUV that gets 13, 14, 15 mpg? If you have a thirst SUV or crossover consider finding 3-5 people to share a ride with. Now instead of miles per gallon, switch to measuring people-miles-per-gallon. That's number of passengers x MPG. Read on after the jump.

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Photos Copyright ©2008 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.
Car-pooling certainly has some inconvenience factors. If you are the only occupant of a 15 mpg SUV, you are getting 15 people miles per gallon. Now consider what happens if you get three other people to ride with you. Four occupants x 15 mpg = 60 pmpg. Plus you only have one vehicle to park instead of four. I recently had a new Ford Flex to review and it did surprisingly well in terms of fuel consumption. We took it on a family vacation to Northern Michigan for a week and even with all-wheel-drive, it averaged 21 mpg.

With the 40/40 second row seat it very comfortably seats six. If you calculate the PMPG with a full load, you're looking at 126 people miles per gallon. Similar results can be obtained with other SUVs. So if you find yourself stuck with an SUV you can't afford to drive and you can't afford to unload, check around your workplace for other commuters. Or check your state government's web-site to see if they have a carpool matching service like the one that Michigan has at its rideshare site.
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Photos Copyright ©2008 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, In

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