A new fuel efficiency bill passed by the New York State Senate includes a provision for helping drivers think in “gallons per 1,000 miles” (GPM) instead of the traditional miles per gallon (MPG).
The idea is originally the brain child of Richard Larrick and Jack Soll who blogged about it earlier. Larrick and Soll’s original proposal called for gallons per 100 miles driven, but they fully endorse the New York Senate bill, which would require car dealers to put up a poster in their showrooms with a conversion chart showing consumers how to calculate GPM.
1. 1,000 miles is roughly what the average American drives in a month, so it is a meaningful number
2. It allows easy estimation of yearly consumption (multiply by 10, roughly)
3. It avoids the problem of seemingly small differences in efficiency that occurs when comparing “gallons per 100 miles”
In New York, the heavy lifting on the bill, the first of its kind in the U.S., was done by Senator Daniel Squadron. Reached by phone after the bill passed 35-26, Squadron said he was laughed at on the floor of the Senate by some opponents. “Folks had a difficult time telling why this is necessary,” he said. “They said this (gas mileage) information already exists, why would anyone need it? They can do the conversion themselves.”
Apparently, there are many assembly members who think New York state is full of Econs.
A similar bill exists in the state’s Assembly. Squadron said there is some momentum for it, but that lots of work still needs to be done. “We’re hopeful,” he said.