Request to park in "Green Parking"
I was walking into work today and got a little annoyed with the little car/Prius parking spots right in front of the door, and decided to make a point.
I hope you enjoy it:
***I apologize for how the table came out with the adjusted MPG for the Prius and the F250.
I am requesting that my 2008 Ford F250 (6.4L diesel) be allowed to make use of the “Green” parking spaces available at the TTC building.
This truck may not have the look of a traditional “green” vehicle, but there are several reasons why it should be considered to have the same status.
As outlined in the handbook, green parking spots are reserved for vehicles that fall into one of the following categories:
• MPG rating of 45 or better
• Hybrid powered
• E85 Flexible Fuel (capable)
My truck may not meet any of these criteria, but after doing some research I believe it competes with all of them.
I started by investigating which vehicles the EPA has given a rating of 45mpg or better. To my astonishment, I found that only certain Hybrid vehicles were able to attain this level of “efficiency”. There were several other compact cars that came close to 45mpg, but only the hybrid versions of these cars, or cars designed specifically to be hybrids, were achieving such high numbers.
My vehicle cannot compete in the high mpg arena as it weighs just over 8,000lbs and cars like the Toyota Prius weigh a mere 2,500lbs. It was this difference in weight that prompted me to investigate the actual “efficiency” of these two vehicles.
• The Toyota Prius 1.5L Hybrid powered sedan has an EPA estimated combined mpg rating of 50, and weighs 2,500lbs.
• My 2008 F250 Crew Cab 6.4L Diesel has an actual (hand calculated) mpg rating of 15, and weighs 8,120lbs.
The difference in weight is a ratio of 3.248/1, or 3.248 Toyota Prius’ to 1 of my trucks. If you used this ratio to determine how “efficient” either one of these vehicles really were, you would find that they are actually within 0.3mpg apart.
Prius 2500 50
F250 8120 15
Prius LB's Adjusted MPG
F250 LB's Adjusted MPG
People buy large and small vehicles for a variety of different reasons. Two concerns of mine when purchasing a vehicle are the towing/carrying capacity and the safety offered. Larger vehicles obviously have advantages over their smaller counterparts in both of these areas, and it is because of this that I drive a very large truck.
There has been much debate over whether the fuel savings offered by Hybrid vehicles are enough to make up for the initial costs to the environment of constructing one. I have researched this topic to some extent, and have not seen conclusive evidence for either side of this discussion.
It is not my intent to speak negatively towards this form of fuel conservation, but I will instead illustrate that Hybrid cars are not the only efforts being made by the auto manufacturers to reduce our use of fuels.
The Ford Motor Company and the EPA have been in efforts together to reduce the nation’s dependence on petroleum while meeting new exhaust emissions requirements. They have collaborated on a new technology called Clean Diesel Combustion which attempts to curb the amount of nitrogen oxide and other harmful gasses that are emitted by diesel vehicles.
The 2008 6.4L diesel engine produced for Ford utilizes these principles and is the cleanest diesel engine offered by an American Manufacturer, with the exception of Ford’s newest 6.7L. This is done by incorporating emissions control measures such as Diesel Particulate Filters and Exhaust Gas Re-circulators, both of which redirect exhaust back into the engine thereby reducing the release of harmful gasses.
Diesel engines as a whole have a number of other advantages over gasoline powered vehicles.
• They are generally much more efficient (usually 25-30%)
• Diesel fuel is refined easier than gasoline
• Diesel burns leaner
• Diesel has 20-25% less CO2 emissions
European countries have been realizing the potential of diesel vehicles for years, and I believe Americans see as little use as we do due to a general uneducated perception of diesels. Canada and Mexico are also examples of diesel friendly countries, and even have diesel variants of American made vehicles that are not available in our own country.
The diesel engine found in my truck is an option, just as it would have been if I had purchased a Ford Fusion and ordered the Hybrid option. Both are aimed at increasing performance and saving fuel, and this option in my truck has shown a savings of 2.5mpg (20%). Hybrids are not the end-all to fuel conservation, and diesels need to be recognized at the same level.
E85/FLEXIBLE FUEL (capable)
Both E85 and Flexible Fuel are variants of Ethanol diluted gasoline aimed at reducing the amount of petroleum products used on our roadways. E85 is by definition 85% ethanol and 15% gas, and presents an obvious reduction in the percentage of petroleum in each tank of fuel. The only problem with E85 is it is generally 25% less efficient than regular gasoline.
If: Gasoline is 25% more efficient than E85
And: Diesel is 25-30% more efficient than gasoline
Then: Diesel is 50-55% more efficient than E85
E85 and Flexible Fuel vehicles are “capable” of using this alternative fuel source, and are not restricted from using regular pump gas. Modern diesel engines, like the one found in my truck, are also capable of using different mixtures and grades of alternative fuels. Bio-diesel is one of these alternatives, and it is made from recycled vegetable oil. I can safely use B20 (20% bio-diesel) in my truck, and can even buy this type of fuel from local gas stations in the area. During the summer months, where fuel gelling would not be an issue, I could even use a mixture of B100 (100% bio-diesel) in my vehicle with no adverse effects on the engine.
In conclusion, I respectfully request that I be allowed to park in the designated green parking spaces at the --- building. My truck may not appear to be a high efficiency vehicle, but as I have shown above, it either meets or exceeds the qualities and characteristics that are currently being used as the basis for awarding “green” status. Arbitrary numbers and the size and appearance of a vehicle should not be used to make the decision, but instead judge it on the basis of its efforts and proven ability to conserve fuel and reduce emissions.
2008 F250 6.4L CC Lariat 4x4
2006 F250 6.0L SC Lariat FX4