The Commute

Observations on the current happenings in the world of vehicles and the fuels that power them from Fuels Institute Executive Director, John Eichberger.

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Good Intentions

  John Eichberger |  February 2019

Why is it that good intentions become distorted as we get mired in the details? Within the transportation energy sector, do we even remember what it is we are trying to achieve? It is so frustrating to witness well intentioned advocates attack one another because their strategies have diverged – can’t we all get along?

Lightning Crashes

  John Eichberger |  January 2019

Last year was another banner year for sales of electrified vehicles. Battery electric (BEV) and plug in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) combined for more than 330,000 vehicles sold, which represents a growth of 79% over 2017. And 2018 saw more announcements from automobile manufacturers about their commitment to electrified powertrains. Clearly, momentum continues to grow for this technology. But, if EVs are gaining traction does that mean that legacy powertrains powered by internal combustion engines (ICE) are dying at an equal rate?

Wind of Change

  John Eichberger |  November 2018

Without a doubt, there is significant momentum behind the electrification of transportation. Just open any newspaper (or more accurately click on any news website) and the headlines scream at you that electricity is coming, kind of like the Red Coats were in 1775. But the U.S. market for electrified vehicles currently is heavily dependent on public policy to support market growth, and if we have learned anything in the past several years it’s that the winds of change are strong in American politics and what once was can soon be no more.

Canary in a Coalmine

  John Eichberger |  October 2018

There was a consistent theme resonating with the meetings I had during the [NACS] Show – those who operate petroleum underground storage tanks (USTs) need to pay more attention to their systems in order to head off problems associated with water intrusion and corrosion. And consistently evaluating and monitoring the system (aka, sending a canary into the coalmine) can provide an early warning to potential problems before they get out of hand.

Where It’s At

  John Eichberger |  September 2018

We have seen coverage about the proposed changes to U.S. fuel efficiency policy, and I was wondering how much impact these changes might have on the global automotive industry. Will the industry fall in line behind the U.S. or will other markets wield greater influence?

I Can’t Drive 55!

  John Eichberger |  August 2018

Some of the arguments underlying the recent Trump administration proposed revisions to the CAFE programecho the sentiments of efficiency and safety that came with 55 mph… Among other provisions, the proposed rule seeks to freeze the increase in CAFE standards (which relate to tailpipe emissions) at model year 2020 levels through model year 2026… [I]t seemed to me that there is a primary, underlying thesis: the proposal seeks to accelerate fleet turnover by reducing the stringency of the standard to mitigate an increase in the price of new vehicles.

Where the Streets Have No Name

  John Eichberger |  July 2018

Remember growing up? For some of us, that is getting more difficult but one of the hallmarks for many kids was the family road trip.

Under Pressure

  John Eichberger |  June 2018

The strongest pressure washer you can buy at Home Depot delivers water at 4,500 pounds per square inch. Now, imagine fuel being injected into an engine piston chamber at 40,000 pounds per square inch! That is the reality of modern diesel engines - cranking out more miles per gallon by leveraging high pressure common rail (HPCR) injector systems. But nothing comes without complications and the Fuels Institute is leading a collaborative effort to study opportunities and challenges in the market.

Money for Nothing

  John Eichberger |  April 2018

Is it time for a new grassroots campaign with a catchy hook?

Land of Confusion

  John Eichberger |  March 2018

Driving home from a recent congressional hearing, I was reflecting on a question I was asked: "Can we make this any more confusing?" regarding the consumer experience when refueling their vehicle...