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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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...

ICE, ICE Baby

  John Eichberger |  February 2018

Like Vanilla Ice came under pressure from David Bowie and Freddie Mercury for "sampling" their technology, today's ICE vehicles are likewise under pressure from fuel economy standards and the unrelenting drum beat of electrification which threatens to steal their market. But don't count ICE out of the equation - there is a resurgence under way that should prove more fruitful than Vanilla's effort to shift from rap to hard core rock, then ultimately to high-end house flipping.

Consumers Hold the Keys, Even Before Buying the Car

  John Eichberger |  January 2018

So much is written about the future of transportation and the shift to electric vehicles, but not enough focus is being given to the whims of the consumer. This fickle beast will determine whether alternatives, like EVs, will take over the world - but how do we know what consumers actually think and what they will actually do?

A Tango and a More Worldly View

  By John Eichberger |  November 2017

My entire career has been focused in the United States and it is so easy to adopt a U.S.-centric philosophy, but once you begin to engage with others around the world, your perspective begins to change you realize how small the world is and how interconnected we all are.