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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Would-Be Newsom Neighbor Criticizes Mayor's Wanton Parking, Fuel Consumption

Posted By on Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 7:30 AM

click to enlarge This 'green' vehicle is missing only the turret
  • This 'green' vehicle is missing only the turret
An irate citizen looking to invest in property a Vitalis bottle's toss from Mayor Gavin Newsom's Russian Hill penthouse dialed The Snitch in a huff over the mayor's much-ballyhooed hybrid Chevy Tahoe.

Apart from the fact that a hybrid Tahoe is the transportation equivalent of putting Sweet and Low in your coffee after a 14-course banquet (and we'll get to this), the potential neighbor was peeved that, whenever the mayor is at home, the massive SUV is often found parked across one or two crosswalks. Needless to say, mere mortals get tickets for this sort of thing -- sometimes very expensive ones.

Of course, the sight of the mayor's car splayed out across a pedestrian zone would be less galling if it weren't for the utter ridiculousness of a massive hybrid SUV. According to the estimated consumption posted on GMC's Web page for the Tahoe's twin vehicle, the Yukon hybrid gets 21 miles per gallon in the city and 22 on the highway (averaging 18.4 overall in according to Auto News). A regular Yukon or Tahoe gets 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway (averaging around 17 overall, again according to Auto News). But here's the catch: To obtain that extra 1.4 mpg, the hybrid costs up to $54,680 while a conventional model runs between $38,655 and $47,735. Channel Seven's Dan Noyes, the mayor's personal Savonarola, reports that Newsom's wheels ran $58,000 -- and that one mile per gallon a hybrid saves on the highway didn't do much good when the vehicle was driven to Montana for the mayor's nuptuals.

Just as marketers would love to have you think you're living a healthy lifestyle when you eat a whole "low-fat" pan of brownies, you are not helping the environment when you drive a car that only gets 18.4 mpg -- whether it's a hybrid or runs on magic pixie dust. And when you're billing the public to pay for this greenwashing, that rankles too. It seems Newsom and The auto companies both understand the value of branding, however. He's "the green mayor" and the three-ton Yukon hybrid has the word "hybrid" plastered on it 13 times

NOTE: This story initially suggested that Newsom's vehicle is a GMC Yukon. It is actually a Chevy Tahoe, which is the Yukon's twin vehicle and has an identical fuel efficiency estimation according to the company.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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